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Publishers frustrated as Apple blocks iPad subscriptions - Page 2

post #41 of 102
I just read this story, and there is some missing analysis here that is wanting.

There is a simple reason why these "subscriptions" are rejected, and why Zinio, WSJ and Amazon Kindle apps sail right along.

Here's the deal. Apple allows app developers to use a "pay once" or "subscription" system using iTunes, where customers do not need to re-enter purchasing information. This type of application is NO PROBLEM for Apple. Approval all but guaranteed. Apple keeps 30% and developers keep 70% as usual. If you wish to take customer billing information, however... Apple REQUIRES that you NOT do it through the application itself, but on the Internet where Safari is tasked with handling the proper encryption and giving users the feedback that their information transaction is secure. WSJ allows people to login to their EXISTING subscription from their website or set-up elsewhere. To my knowledge, the WSJ iPad app DOES NOT request that you enter billing information through the app itself. Likewise, Zinio allows people to setup subscriptions OUTSIDE of the app itself.

Solution... give your app its own protocol, so that after billing through Safari on your website, customers can be directed back to your app without a hitch. Super-easy. Using cookies, you can even determine whether your app is even installed. Sure, its an extra step, but its not rocket-science.

I have a hardtime understanding why this seems so obtuse. It is also my understanding that Android Marketplace has the same requirement that apps DO NOT directly record critical credit card information directly. This is a basic security requirement in place to protect consumers from potential fraud and abuse in ways they simply cannot track or easily understand. Browsers have a very basic and easy and standard method of showing "secure" transactions and detecting "phishing" of information. Apps do not. So, no "in app" subscriptions or billing of ANY kind.

Times can get around Apple's rejection by simply sending users to its website to set-up a subscription, then allowing those users to access those services independently from the iPad. iTunes/AppStore are the ONLY applications able to take credit card info directly inside of the app (and use the same interface to do it).

All said... I need to research this more to be accurate, but this seems like the most basic message here. I feel like Times is trying to bully Apple into allowing it to do something no one else is doing, and that Apple (as usual) is not providing clear instruction to people. You'd think there'd be a developer relations manager for high-profile rejections or communication. Why do these people feel like they're "reaching out" and not getting anywhere? Are they lying? I know of at least one developer that got Apple to change its policy simply because they felt the restriction was boneheaded, and pretended to not understand Apple's requested change and resubmission. I don't think that reaction is uncommon.

~ CB
post #42 of 102
this is a very interesting thread for me personally, I'm a huge Mac, App store iPhone / iPad fan, but this is also a market I'm watching very carefully… sorry if I waffle and go off subject a little… well you can always stop reading and skip what I've written

I get the impression that most of the sports illustrated app reviews, were from users that not necessarily want subscriptions per se (although I'm sure there's plenty of users that do), but they were more concerned about the high cost of the electronic version. the problem is two fold, the publishers always say that the cost of producing an electronic version is the same as a printed version, so the prices should be comparable (although we all know that's a croc)… but the real problem is that the majority of people don't want to pay for things when they're delivered digitally… and even though they may not like to view adverts, they'd rather suffer them than pay for the content.
http://tinyurl.com/2woppgm

You only have to look a couple of freebie newspapers, in the UK we have the Metro and the Evening Standard given away on the Tube system everyday. NB: The Metro has always been a free daily, while the Evening Standard was a paid for newspaper, but it gave in and moved to being given away free last year (which resulted in two other freebies closing down), probably due to it's core user base being eaten away by the other freebies. The Metro makes a very good iPhone app that downloads the entire formatted newspaper in a format akin to a PDF ever morning and can be viewed offline, hence you still see all of the advertising, thus increasing the Metro's circulation for it's advertisers (unfortunately and strangely, it's iPad app doesn't allow for offline viewing and doesn't retain the printed versions format!?!). The Evening standard, also has an iPhone app, but it's pants to say the least and is basically an RSS feed that simply sends you back to their website, which unfortunately isn't very good.

As to paper versus digital check this PDF… 59% said they'd read an online version if the print edition ceased 37% said they'd read another printed newspaper
http://www.digitalcenter.org/pdf/201...al_release.pdf

and as to paywalls you only have to read this!
http://www.businessinsider.com/murdo...t-start-2010-7

One of several problems with the app store is that as a developer I cannot charge for updates, I can charge for add ons within my app, but not for updates (which is no problem for minor updates and tweaks, but for major updates it's an issue). As someone pointed out the Dwell app handles subscription but as Cleverboy so clearly explained above most subscriptions have to be handled directly between the Developer and the User, I can understand Apple's reasoning for this.

As to user demographics / advertising / future magazine stands within iTunes, I'm sure that is all in the works at Apple… although one important point raised earlier is user experience and differentiation of using an iPhone / iPad etc to other cross platform offerings. A major advantage the iPad has over the e-ink eReaders of the world, is the immersive and feature rich capabilities of an AppStore Application as apposed to a PDF or ePub formatted eBook. That's something Apple will push magazine publishers to deliver... and with Xcode 4's imminent general release just around the corner, that's undoubtedly the way they're heading
post #43 of 102
Marvel Comics has figured out a way to sell their magazines without issue. Why can't these other publishers? They simply want to collect money outside of the iTunes ecosystem and Apple is saying no. Simple.
post #44 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Object-X View Post

They simply want to collect money outside of the iTunes ecosystem and Apple is saying no. Simple.

Really? To me it seems that the only thing Apple is not offering (yet) is charge a subscription fee through the appstore (via your Apple ID).
The Financial Times clearly manages to collect money outside of the iTunes ecosystem for their iPad app. The app is free but to get content you have to subscribe on their webpage and pay directly to the FT.
post #45 of 102
Magazines are a "scam"? You can learn something new here every day.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #46 of 102
@ Prof. Peabody

If you think making a magazin costs no money then I think you have never been in the print industry.

I have been working the last five years for a magazine, from a small publisher. Our printrun was 50.000 issues (very small compared to real magazines). But the printing costs alone for it ran in the 20.000 Euro range for each issue.
Then you have to pay a distributer who delivers your magazines to the newsstands. and if thats not enough he charges you again for collecting unsold issues, for destruction or return to you.
The people working for the magazine would like to be paid as well, office space also is not free.

Most magazines would love to ditch the advertising for more content, but then you could not get it for 5 Euros but would have to pay maybe 20 or 30.

Subscriptions make it easier as you can calculate you know that a fixed amout is getting deliverd and you got th money. But the mailservice wont send them for free so this is another expanse for the publisher.

This year we started to go digital, as the mounting costs just were not manageable. And the Interent allows us to reach a broader audience.

Currently we are waiting for a good soultion to get our issues on the iPad and iPhone.
post #47 of 102
People really expect to get premium content delivered to them 12 times a year for only $10? The magazines I subscribe to are $20 a year each. Sure there aren't printing and delivering costs involved in a digital version but there are new costs in developing the video, 3D images and interactive content. I think $15-$20 is the sweet spot for a subscription.

Wired Magazine offers a great reading experience for $4 an issue. That doesn't seem outrageous to me. I'm surprised that it does to others.
post #48 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by xphilezz View Post

According to Zinio, Apple has veto power over the magazines Zinio sells for the iPad.

Apple will not let Zinio sell magazines with nudity on the iPad, for example, even though Zinio will sell a Mac/PC version of Playboy.

Based on Phil Shiller's comments on this, it seems that Apple has set up an odd "grandfather" exemption for certain magazines. I think it goes like this: if your grandfather might have bought one and it's not hard core, they allow it. In other words, Playboy has supposedly been around enough that it has a certain societal acceptance that a similar magazine with a different name might not have. Which really makes the "Apple doesn't want porn" angle a little odd when they whitelist publications that a lot of people seem to think is porn, even if it is soft core.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Currently there is no refunds for apps, right? But if someone paid for a 12-month sub and for whatever reason only 6 months were delivered, they would naturally come yelling and screaming at Apple.

An old classmate of mine got a refund for a faulty or mistakenly bought app, I forget which. Apple seems to be willing to do more than their documentation requires them to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by russgriz View Post

Topic: Subscriptions for magazines is an outdated concept i.e. you must by an entire album to get one song.

The iTunes store has freed me from the obligation of buying an entire CD of crappy songs so that I might own the one song I want, while still allowing me to buy the entire album if I wish. And either way I don't get gouged by the price.

Curious. I can buy single issues if I want at a magazine rack. The economics made it hard to make them too cheap at the news stand because unsold issues get returned when the new issue is released, and the retailer wants a markup too. With a subscription, production-wise, you don't have to worry about whether an issue sells or not, because it's already paid for.

Quote:
As for the "..provide recurring revenue and customer data for advertisers." Provide recurring revenue? Absolutely, whether the magazine deserves it or not. Ever get an issue of a magazine via a subscription that you wish you hadn't already paid for because the content sucks?

That's why the bulk pricing works. Maybe not every issue is going to appeal to you, a dud issue isn't so terrible. Maybe they can suddenly make a bunch crap issues to be jerks, but that would mean you have no reason to re-subscribe once the year is up.

Quote:
"Customer data for advertisers"? How about, "We sold X number magazines last month, X number the month before, etc., etc." for advertising data?

Advertisers like to make sure the magazine actually has readers in the age bracket and sex their product targets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SendMe View Post

Generally, the per-issue price for the physical magazine, when you subscribe, is so low as to be inconsequential. Newsstand prices are always a ripoff because the item is an impulse purchase.

See my response to russgriz above.

Quote:
But none of this replaces getting the entire world's knowledge for free on the 'web. Magazines are an outmoded technology. $5 is too much for any magazine. Even Make.

It's fine for you to have that opinion, but Make is a very well produced magazine. It's more like a quarterly serialized book than a magazine, I think it holds its value longer as reference material.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Subscriptions give the consumer a very small and modest discount over the cover price, but the cover price is already so greatly inflated, that there is still a huge profit margin even in the subscription cost. The benefit of a subscription is almost entirely to the publisher. They sell something like 60 or 70% more magazines if you subscribe because magazines are basically all the same and they are an impulse buy when purchased individually.

It really depends on the magazine. Time subscriptions run about $0.35 to $0.50 an issue when you subscribe. Most magazines I see have 50% off or more of the cover price to subscribe. Even if you don't like a couple issues, it's still a big savings.
post #49 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Currently there is no refunds for apps, right? But if someone paid for a 12-month sub and for whatever reason only 6 months were delivered, they would naturally come yelling and screaming at Apple.

But adding refunds would create a massive administrative headache for Apple, possibly necessitating hiring large call centres full of people, in multiple languages, when half the point of going digital is to make life more automated and therefore efficient and cheap.

If publishers want to do subs, let them handle that headache through their website and give people who paid a password to type in to the app.

This is something I hadn't thought of and you're right. One reason for Apple not approving subscriptions (if that's true) could be working out the right model that works for them, the publisher and the readers.

I like your idea about letting the publisher continue to manage subscriptions. Not sure if Apple would like that though.
post #50 of 102
Greed is a horrible thing, that mostly only affects that acutely wealthy. What Apple really needs to do is to find a granola-munching 20-something, with long hair and sandals, who wants to "change the world" to run their company. Just imagine the blossoming of creativity that could result from the leadership of someone who truly believes in the potential change effects of building tools "for the rest of us."
post #51 of 102
I once had high-hopes for magazine subscriptions delivered to my iPad, but so far they've been both way over-priced and too clunky for their intended purpose, that's why I was very happy that the DMSS I've been using since 2003 (incidentally... on my HpTC1100 tablet PC) quickly made its way to the iPad...

ZINIO remains the best/most cost-effective digital magazine subscription service existent, especially on the iPad.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #52 of 102
Apple needs to communicate. Stop being arrogant.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #53 of 102
The so-called Time "insider" obviously doesn't know anything, so why bother referencing him/her at all?

Plus, it is impossible to imagine that Time is in the dark about this. Time is big company. Does anyone honestly believe Time and Apple are not actively negotiating a solution to the problem? C'mon. This is a non-story.
post #54 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Object-X View Post

Marvel Comics has figured out a way to sell their magazines without issue. Why can't these other publishers? They simply want to collect money outside of the iTunes ecosystem and Apple is saying no. Simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Really? To me it seems that the only thing Apple is not offering (yet) is charge a subscription fee through the appstore (via your Apple ID).
The Financial Times clearly manages to collect money outside of the iTunes ecosystem for their iPad app. The app is free but to get content you have to subscribe on their webpage and pay directly to the FT.

Developers are not required to use In App Purchase or iTunes to collect money from within their apps. Developers can choose to handle subscription on their own using their own payment system (last paragraph in the article). From my understanding of the developers documentation, Apple could have rejected this app for one the following reasons:

1- The developers failed to state the terms of the subscription (this is important if the subscription is initiated from within the app and not their website).

2- The developer used the app to collect users information (including device information) without the user approval.

Developers can charge for subscription from within their apps as long as the subscription/purchase does not include selling physical goods or products. Furthermore, developers are responsible for reminding users to renew their subscription because Apple will not automatically renew it.
post #55 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

Apple needs to communicate. Stop being arrogant.

Yes, because this story is exhaustive, the sources are iron-clad, and we know all the facts about this issue. Right? Get real. Even the so-called Time "insider" doesn't know crap about why it was rejected. (I.e. Time "insider" = Time low-level nobody.)
post #56 of 102
Gee... I wonder if it occurred to any of the magazine publishers just to sell the app at a subscription price... say, $45 for the app, which gets free updates every time an issue is published, for an entire year, before the updates stop, then that version of the app gets abandoned. Oh, wait... I missed that there's an opportunity here to trash Apple. Nevermind.
post #57 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

i think Apple might be working on a way to bring magazines to the iBookstore.

I can't check right now, but correct me if I am mistaken...

Doesn't the iBookstore only sell ePubs? They do not sell PDFs, right?

ePubs are for books with a lot of text, not a lot of pictures and page layout. I think hat is why magazines are going the app way. They want their pages to look great and they add extra content. Click on a photo and see a gallery of images. Click on another and if becomes a movie, right? At least that's how Sports Illustrated was showing in their demo video.

Well, you can now have audio and video in an ePub, but you cannot have page layout.

Am I wrong about what is allowed to be sold on the iBookstore?
post #58 of 102
Apple is not a free distribution network. You want to use itunes to distribute your app but not pay for the bits, use some other service. Otherwise, please pay the ferryman, Mr Publisher.
After 3 netbooks from acer, toshiba, hp, I find contentment in my 11.6 MB Air. Hoping the 8-hr battery version shows up soon.
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After 3 netbooks from acer, toshiba, hp, I find contentment in my 11.6 MB Air. Hoping the 8-hr battery version shows up soon.
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post #59 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesmall View Post

These publishers are trying to move their print business mode, which doesn't work, over to digital, where it also will not work.

They're going about it ass-backwards. They should be selling individual articles for pennies rather than entire editions or subscriptions. That's the lesson from the iTunes music experience. Customers didn't want to pay for entire CDs which contained maybe one or two songs that they really wanted.

Conde Nast Traveler's current edition contains travel articles on Haiti (I'm not going there), cruises (I have no interest in cruises), Africa (nope), and Veracruz Mexico (maybe if the drug lords aren't killing each other there.

The iTunes experience is selling a song for $0.79 to $1.29, not pennies. It takes much more work to put up an issue of a magazine, especially if it includes video, links to their web site, etc. I would consider an entire album to equal one issue of a magazine. I think that 50% of the newsstand price is fair for a single issue. It's up to the publishers to decide what they will charge. If they ask for too much, then they won't sell anything. They will learn.

Apple has to work out what they want though. If they want subs to be in iBook alone, then they should make that clear. If there are other reasons, they should spell them all out, so that everyone will know what they are. This is Apple's biggest failing. They have to stop having secret reasons for doing things.
post #60 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleverboy View Post

I just read this story, and there is some missing analysis here that is wanting.

There is a simple reason why these "subscriptions" are rejected, and why Zinio, WSJ and Amazon Kindle apps sail right along.

Here's the deal. Apple allows app developers to use a "pay once" or "subscription" system using iTunes, where customers do not need to re-enter purchasing information. This type of application is NO PROBLEM for Apple. Approval all but guaranteed. Apple keeps 30% and developers keep 70% as usual. If you wish to take customer billing information, however... Apple REQUIRES that you NOT do it through the application itself, but on the Internet where Safari is tasked with handling the proper encryption and giving users the feedback that their information transaction is secure. WSJ allows people to login to their EXISTING subscription from their website or set-up elsewhere. To my knowledge, the WSJ iPad app DOES NOT request that you enter billing information through the app itself. Likewise, Zinio allows people to setup subscriptions OUTSIDE of the app itself.

Solution... give your app its own protocol, so that after billing through Safari on your website, customers can be directed back to your app without a hitch. Super-easy. Using cookies, you can even determine whether your app is even installed. Sure, its an extra step, but its not rocket-science.

I have a hardtime understanding why this seems so obtuse. It is also my understanding that Android Marketplace has the same requirement that apps DO NOT directly record critical credit card information directly. This is a basic security requirement in place to protect consumers from potential fraud and abuse in ways they simply cannot track or easily understand. Browsers have a very basic and easy and standard method of showing "secure" transactions and detecting "phishing" of information. Apps do not. So, no "in app" subscriptions or billing of ANY kind.

Times can get around Apple's rejection by simply sending users to its website to set-up a subscription, then allowing those users to access those services independently from the iPad. iTunes/AppStore are the ONLY applications able to take credit card info directly inside of the app (and use the same interface to do it).

All said... I need to research this more to be accurate, but this seems like the most basic message here. I feel like Times is trying to bully Apple into allowing it to do something no one else is doing, and that Apple (as usual) is not providing clear instruction to people. You'd think there'd be a developer relations manager for high-profile rejections or communication. Why do these people feel like they're "reaching out" and not getting anywhere? Are they lying? I know of at least one developer that got Apple to change its policy simply because they felt the restriction was boneheaded, and pretended to not understand Apple's requested change and resubmission. I don't think that reaction is uncommon.

~ CB

This doesn't explain why Sports Illustrated and others haven't been given the go-ahead. They say they're waiting on Apple's approval, and I believe them.
post #61 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

People really expect to get premium content delivered to them 12 times a year for only $10? The magazines I subscribe to are $20 a year each. Sure there aren't printing and delivering costs involved in a digital version but there are new costs in developing the video, 3D images and interactive content. I think $15-$20 is the sweet spot for a subscription.

Wired Magazine offers a great reading experience for $4 an issue. That doesn't seem outrageous to me. I'm surprised that it does to others.

I doubt that most of us would argue that $20 a year would be fine. I'd be happy to just get the paper out of my house, as I have to keep a lot of issues for reference. I have bout ten yards of magazines, and I go through them every three months or so to weed out the older ones that are no longer of use, but a lot still are. As long as I can keep copies of the digital versions, I would subscribe.
post #62 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Based on Phil Shiller's comments on this, it seems that Apple has set up an odd "grandfather" exemption for certain magazines. I think it goes like this: if your grandfather might have bought one and it's not hard core, they allow it. In other words, Playboy has supposedly been around enough that it has a certain societal acceptance that a similar magazine with a different name might not have. Which really makes the "Apple doesn't want porn" angle a little odd when they whitelist publications that a lot of people seem to think is porn, even if it is soft core.



An old classmate of mine got a refund for a faulty or mistakenly bought app, I forget which. Apple seems to be willing to do more than their documentation requires them to do.



Curious. I can buy single issues if I want at a magazine rack. The economics made it hard to make them too cheap at the news stand because unsold issues get returned when the new issue is released, and the retailer wants a markup too. With a subscription, production-wise, you don't have to worry about whether an issue sells or not, because it's already paid for.



That's why the bulk pricing works. Maybe not every issue is going to appeal to you, a dud issue isn't so terrible. Maybe they can suddenly make a bunch crap issues to be jerks, but that would mean you have no reason to re-subscribe once the year is up.



Advertisers like to make sure the magazine actually has readers in the age bracket and sex their product targets.



See my response to russgriz above.



It's fine for you to have that opinion, but Make is a very well produced magazine. It's more like a quarterly serialized book than a magazine, I think it holds its value longer as reference material.



It really depends on the magazine. Time subscriptions run about $0.35 to $0.50 an issue when you subscribe. Most magazines I see have 50% off or more of the cover price to subscribe. Even if you don't like a couple issues, it's still a big savings.

A number of fashion mags have removed nude and seminude pics from their mags to get it into the app store. I think it's ridiculous for them to have to do that. There's a difference between real porn and nudity. a lot of this is up to parents. They can control what their kids buy from the store. Apple shouldn't be the one to accept the burden.
post #63 of 102
Other rumor sources are now reporting Time wants to collect subscription fees outside the iTunes infrastructure (thus escape paying Apple 30%) and then distribute the issues as apps through iTunes.

Apple would be foolish to let anyone freeride on iTunes.
post #64 of 102
Apple DOES allow in-app purchases of magazine single issues and subscriptions. The Esquire app allows you to buy the August issue for $2.99 or multiple issues for various subscription terms, and the transactions go through the app store.

AI really should mention that in the story.
post #65 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillin View Post

Gee... I wonder if it occurred to any of the magazine publishers just to sell the app at a subscription price... say, $45 for the app, which gets free updates every time an issue is published, for an entire year, before the updates stop, then that version of the app gets abandoned. Oh, wait... I missed that there's an opportunity here to trash Apple. Nevermind.

It's really not a big deal. Developers who say they can't do this don't understand the way it works.

All we have to do is to look at the MBL app. Each year, you have to get another version of the app, which includes all content for the year. No big deal, the app can be updated every month with a new feature (or issue). Just because someone is a developer, it doesn't mean they know what they're doing. The big companies understand how it works. It's the little guys who seem to have problems. They should talk to an accountant.

But still... Apple isn't making this easy. It's up to them to approve it. If they're not, they's a reason, and they aren't saying what it is. That's wrong.
post #66 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Other rumor sources are now reporting Time wants to collect subscription fees outside the iTunes infrastructure (thus escape paying Apple 30%) and then distribute the issues as apps through iTunes.

Apple would be foolish to let anyone freeride on iTunes.

It's a rumor, and they don't have to do it that way. I already gave the way they should do it the way that the MBL does it. That ends all problems. They could simply charge 30% or so more to cover the app store surcharge. Or not, as they aren't paying for mailing charges, the surcharge covers that.

There must be some other reason.
post #67 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The iTunes experience is selling a song for $0.79 to $1.29, not pennies. It takes much more work to put up an issue of a magazine, especially if it includes video, links to their web site, etc. I would consider an entire album to equal one issue of a magazine. I think that 50% of the newsstand price is fair for a single issue. It's up to the publishers to decide what they will charge. If they ask for too much, then they won't sell anything. They will learn.

Apple has to work out what they want though. If they want subs to be in iBook alone, then they should make that clear. If there are other reasons, they should spell them all out, so that everyone will know what they are. This is Apple's biggest failing. They have to stop having secret reasons for doing things.

You're nuts if you think publishing a single edition of a print magazine is equivalent to writing an album. Next you're going to have to qualify that by citing a crappy band because I doubt you'd think U2 thinks it's work, or Queen, or The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, RUSH, Van Halen, etc., think their work is equivalent to a single issue of Time, Wired, Esquire et.al, magazines. Not even close.
post #68 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

You're nuts if you think publishing a single edition of a print magazine is equivalent to writing an album. Next you're going to have to qualify that by citing a crappy band because I doubt you'd think U2 thinks it's work, or Queen, or The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, RUSH, Van Halen, etc., think their work is equivalent to a single issue of Time, Wired, Esquire et.al, magazines. Not even close.

I've been in both industries for decades, and yes, an album is about equal to one issue of a major mag. Perhaps I should have said "major mag". It can easily cost as much do put out one edition as to do one album. When you take away much of the Ads, or most of them, as you see the digital mags doing, then there is little to get those costs back. Remember that from 50 to 60% of a mags page space is Ads. Someone has to pay for that, and newsstand pricing and subs don't.

Yeah, when you talk about the COSTS to do an album. I'm not talking about whether the work inside is equal, though you will get lots of people who will think it's worth more, if they don't like the music. There are far more highly paid people directly working on putting out one copy of a magazine then working on one album. And for big names in music, well, they get far too much of an advance anyway.
post #69 of 102
Instead of speculating on Apple's reasons for rejecting these subscriptions, how about speculating on the reasons for Apple not even giving these developers an explanation?
post #70 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Apple has to work out what they want though. If they want subs to be in iBook alone, then they should make that clear. If there are other reasons, they should spell them all out, so that everyone will know what they are. This is Apple's biggest failing. They have to stop having secret reasons for doing things.

Why do I find this to be such a radical suggestion? All companies have secret reasons for doing things. They rarely telegraph every intention.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #71 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Why do I find this to be such a radical suggestion? All companies have secret reasons for doing things. They rarely telegraph every intention.

Apparently a revenue issue according to macrumors rumor:

Update: We have heard that the holdup, at least in the case of the Sports Illustrated subscription plan, is in fact a dispute over revenue, with Apple maintaining that it should be able to collect a 30% cut of revenue as it does for content distributed through the App Store. Publishers, understandably, would prefer to move out from under the App Store umbrella for their subscriptions and keep 100% of the revenue for themselves.
post #72 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Why do I find this to be such a radical suggestion? All companies have secret reasons for doing things. They rarely telegraph every intention.

This is not an acceptable use for secret rules. You don't have business partners, and that's what these companies are, and not tell them exactly what they need to know in advance.
post #73 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Apparently a revenue issue according to macrumors rumor:

Update: We have heard that the holdup, at least in the case of the Sports Illustrated subscription plan, is in fact a dispute over revenue, with Apple maintaining that it should be able to collect a 30% cut of revenue as it does for content distributed through the App Store. Publishers, understandably, would prefer to move out from under the App Store umbrella for their subscriptions and keep 100% of the revenue for themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This is not an acceptable use for secret rules. You don't have business partners, and that's what these companies are, and not tell them exactly what they need to know in advance.

Perhaps it's not such a big secret after all.

In any event, it's up to any given company to decide what they think is necessary to tell their business partners. It's very difficult for us from our vantage point to judge whether they are being unacceptably secretive. In this case, it seems SI may be spinning the situation to their advantage. It could very well be that they understood the rules perfectly, but decided not to go along with them.
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post #74 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Perhaps it's not such a big secret after all.

In any event, it's up to any given company to decide what they think is necessary to tell their business partners. It's very difficult for us from our vantage point to judge whether they are being unacceptably secretive. In this case, it seems SI may be spinning the situation to their advantage. It could very well be that they understood the rules perfectly, but decided not to go along with them.

It's a big secret if these companies don't know how they can charge until they submit their work to Apple, and are told "no".

Apple should have carefully spelt this out months ago, before the iPad actually came out. Right after the intro, in fact. Apparently, they didn't.

And this is another rumor. It may be true, and it may not. It may be only one of several reasons.
post #75 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's a big secret if these companies don't know how they can charge until they submit their work to Apple, and are told "no".

Apple should have carefully spelt this out months ago, before the iPad actually came out. Right after the intro, in fact. Apparently, they didn't.

And this is another rumor. It may be true, and it may not. It may be only one of several reasons.

A very big if. SI can claim now that they didn't know, but that doesn't mean they didn't know.
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post #76 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

A very big if. SI can claim now that they didn't know, but that doesn't mean they didn't know.

Now you're working on wheels within wheels.
post #77 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by SendMe View Post

Do these subscriptions produce a continuing revenue stream for Apple? Or do these publishers think that they can come to the App Store, and sell stuff and not give a cut to Apple?

What are they, nuts?

Remember it was Apple that courted them not vice versa. They are probably willing to offer a nice discount to subs but if Apple then takes a chunk it might not be cost effective.
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"I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my brain got" a 7 yr old explaining his math HW
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #78 of 102
This shouldn't be news at all. Apple should be doing everything it possibly can to reach out to the publishing industry in the first year or two of the iPad. Whether Time and Apple should desk share, have a contact person or just work on better negotiations with a clause to review in 2 years they need to get this uncertainty off the minds of consumers.

The best way to deal with Kindle etc is to be able say this is the best publishing platform available for both customers and publishers and 'whatever you want is on there right now'.

How new products go in their first few years is critical. When you have major journalists say they're bypassing the App versions of newspapers and magazines to browse instead on the web version of the site on their iPad then something still isn't being done right.
post #79 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Just one example does not a trend make.

Btw, hasn't Time heard of Zinio?

Problem is that, as an agent, zinio takes a large cut of the money.
And when I say large cut, I mean almost all of it!
post #80 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Now you're working on wheels within wheels.

Perhaps, but that's often where the truth of the matter can be found.
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