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Apple rumored to announce newspaper subscription plan for iPad

post #1 of 43
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Apple will soon announce a newspaper subscription plan for the iPad, introducing a revenue sharing model similar to the one that has been employed for applications sold on the App Store, according to a new rumor.

According to the sources that spoke with the San Jose Mercury News, Apple has agreed to implement an opt-in function to allow subscribers to share their personal information with publications. Print publications rely on that information to share demographic data with advertisers.

Earlier this year, before the iPad was even released, publishers and Apple apparently struggled to reach a deal, as Apple was reluctant to share consumer data beyond sales volume. Advertisers and publishers, on the other hand, consider demographic data to be the "most valuable asset."

Author John Boudreau spoke with Roger Fidler, head of digital publishing at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute in Columbia, Mo., who said that the anticipated plan will likely resemble the current App Store model, which would give Apple a 30 percent cut of all subscriptions sold through the digital download service. In addition, Apple could take as much as 40 percent of the advertising revenue from those applications.

Fidler also indicated that publishers are not pleased with the deal, as they would rather pay Apple a fee than a cut of their subscription and advertising revenue.

"They had hoped to offer app editions as part of subscription bundles that include print versions of the paper," the report said. "Instead, they must use Apple as an intermediary with subscribers."

Publishers have struggled with Apple in bringing their content to the iPad. At first, the Cupertino, Calif., company did not allow subscriptions to magazines through the App Store. But that impasse was broken in August, when People magazine became the first publication to offer subscribers free access to its iPad application.
post #2 of 43
I like this approach better. I don't want a separate app for each subscription to a newspaper (or magazine for that matter).
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post #3 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... Publishers have struggled with Apple in bringing their content to the iPad. At first, the Cupertino, Calif., company did not allow subscriptions to magazines through the App Store. But that impasse was broken in August, when People magazine became the first publication to offer subscribers free access to its iPad application. ...

This is a bit misleading. The People (Weekly) app doesn't really handle subscriptions at all. All it does is allow current subscribers to access content through the app for free. It's not really any different than any of the other "news" apps that had already done this, and doesn't really represent a major change in App Store policies.
post #4 of 43
Waiting for the the first iPad rev, then I am a buyer. Too late in the first cycle for me to buy now.
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post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Waiting for the the first iPad rev, then I am a buyer. Too late in the first cycle for me to buy now.

Agree. I can't wait to see what goodies the iPad II will hold!
post #6 of 43
I hope they figure out a way to make newspapers and periodicals offer their content in a sensible and affordable way. When the iPad was announced, I was seriously excited about the thought of being able to subscribe to The Times (being a Brit in the US, being able to read a daily UK paper would be great!) but the price is ridiculous.

If they find a way to allow better integration of advertising, such that the price comes down, I would be very happy.
post #7 of 43
not. It says that Apple will allow users to opt-in so that newspapers can access the subscribers personal information for advertising purposes. Suppose there is an "accidental" bug that automatically opts you in when you subscribe? And the price will be so expensive it will not be worth it.

The newspapers would love it if you subscribe for the same as it costs now for the print edition, but you get less content than the print edition plus they can send your name and phone number to any advertiser when you click on an ad link.
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Earlier this year, before the iPad was even released, publishers and Apple apparently struggled to reach a deal, as Apple was reluctant to share consumer data beyond sales volume. Advertisers and publishers, on the other hand, consider demographic data to be the "most valuable asset."


Anything for a buck, eh?
post #9 of 43
This is nice, but I am still waiting for a great app for textbooks with an rich annotation capabilities. I had my doubts about EPUB in iBooks but they have slowly upped the capabilities of iBooks that it’s possible this could come out next year with the next iPad.
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post #10 of 43
This is going to sound weird, but when I page through my copy of the Sunday NYT, I'm as interested in the advertising as I am in the articles (in some cases, moreso). I'm curious if the model for iPad newspapers will better integrate the advertising for freaks like me
post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

its possible this could come out next year with the next iPad.

Didn't everybody say that last year, about the first iPad?

These breathless prognostications rarely show any sign of coming to pass.
post #12 of 43
I can feed this rumor a small but possibly significant morsel. The Los Angeles Times has suspended new signups for their e-edition pending some unspecified changes. You don't find this out unless you attempt to add the e-edition to your subscription, which as a current print subscriber, is supposed to be free. I tried to add the e-edition months ago, and when nothing happened, I followed up relentlessly with customer service, but got only vague answers about changes to a database. FWIW, the current e-edition is a clunky Flash-driven beast. Something better (and iPad compatible) might be in the works...
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post #13 of 43
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Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Didn't everybody say that last year, about the first iPad?

These breathless prognostications rarely show any sign of coming to pass.

Meanwhile, I really like the iPad I got on launch day. It is fun and useful. If I put off buying new technology while an update is coming, I'd be missing out on a lot of fun. That said, I do occasionally skip upgrades and cycles, simply because I don't need certain offered features. While Facetime looks cool, I don't "need" it in my iPad.

Like all tech, upgrade and adopt when you have a use. Otherwise...meh.
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This is nice, but I am still waiting for a great app for textbooks with an rich annotation capabilities. I had my doubts about EPUB in iBooks but they have slowly upped the capabilities of iBooks that its possible this could come out next year with the next iPad.

I don't think ePub is up to this task. Either Apple needs a new, more feature rich ebook format, or textbooks are going to be released as apps, like the Algebra textbook that's either out or coming out soon.
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

Like all tech, upgrade and adopt when you have a use. Otherwise...meh.

I agree. All these prior predictions of the iPad being great for periodicals never really panned out. Seemingly, Apple doesn't offer what most publishers want or need.
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I don't think ePub is up to this task. Either Apple needs a new, more feature rich ebook format, or textbooks are going to be released as apps, like the Algebra textbook that's either out or coming out soon.

Yet another failed prognostication.

Remember when the iPad was going to transform the college experience? Now it seems that there are no textbooks for it at all?
post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Yet another failed prognostication.

Remember when the iPad was going to transform the college experience? Now it seems that there are no textbooks for it at all?

It hasn't even been out a year. Let's see how things pan out. I know Houghton Mifflin has been doing some work in this area and I'm sure others are as well.
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post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I hope they figure out a way to make newspapers and periodicals offer their content in a sensible and affordable way. When the iPad was announced, I was seriously excited about the thought of being able to subscribe to The Times (being a Brit in the US, being able to read a daily UK paper would be great!) but the price is ridiculous.

If they find a way to allow better integration of advertising, such that the price comes down, I would be very happy.

The paper subscription of the NY Times, including the Sunday edition is $600 a year. What do you think the same content as a digital subscription is worth, giving that about 35% is printing and distribution?
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Yet another failed prognostication.

Remember when the iPad was going to transform the college experience? Now it seems that there are no textbooks for it at all?

You are totally wrong. In fact, a number of colleges are already giving out iPads with all the course work in various courses. This will continue.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ples_ipad.html

http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.ph...receive_ipads/

There's quite a lot more of this as you will find if you Google it.

What's amazing is just how much is being done for such a new device.
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

It hasn't even been out a year. Let's see how things pan out. I know Houghton Mifflin has been doing some work in this area and I'm sure others are as well.

Could be. But we heard all about that a looooonnnnngggggg time ago, and so far, we've seen nothing.
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Could be. But we heard all about that a looooonnnnngggggg time ago, and so far, we've seen nothing.

How do you qualify "looooonnnnngggggg". The iPad was revealed last January, wasn't available till April, and it's now September.

I'm sure there was a measure of "wait and see" by many parties so they didn't jump on development as soon as it was announced. Now that it's been proven that the iPad is a viable product/platform things should get progressively better.
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post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

How do you qualify "looooonnnnngggggg".

"Well prior to the release of the iPad" is what I meant.
post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Anything for a buck, eh?

And if *I* had a buck for every useless post you make...
post #24 of 43
Well they don't need to use iAd. The other 30% cut is a good deal when it includes distribution, but for in-app purchases, the periodical needs to handle their own distribution. It would make sense to do a slight discount for that. The hard part is making it so developers don't take advantage of such a discount.
post #25 of 43
Good to see you guys can bicker without me.

I'm curious what kind of experience I might have reading the paper on the iPad. What will be the difference? The iPad has to offer something more to be truly magical and revolutionary. Otherwise I'm doing the same thing I always have without killing a tree, which isn't a bad thing.
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

I like this approach better. I don't want a separate app for each subscription to a newspaper (or magazine for that matter).

Where are you getting that?
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazy-i.com View Post

This is going to sound weird, but when I page through my copy of the Sunday NYT, I'm as interested in the advertising as I am in the articles (in some cases, moreso). I'm curious if the model for iPad newspapers will better integrate the advertising for freaks like me

Why would that sound weird? People get paid a lot of money to make you interested in their ads.
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post #28 of 43
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Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I don't think ePub is up to this task. Either Apple needs a new, more feature rich ebook format, or textbooks are going to be released as apps, like the Algebra textbook that's either out or coming out soon.

I would have thought so, but they are building atop it nicely. Apple has added quite a few multimedia and annotation enhancements to iBooks since its unveiling.

Who knows, maybe this new rumoured app in iLife X is a way of making your own ePUB based texts with that multimedia flare that is right up Apples alley, and will help secure their iBookstore as the premier eBook store on the market.
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post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I would have thought so, but they are building atop it nicely. Apple has added quite a few multimedia and annotation enhancements to iBooks since its unveiling.

Who knows, maybe this new rumoured app in iLife X is a way of making your own ePUB based texts with that multimedia flare that is right up Apples alley, and will help secure their iBookstore as the premier eBook store on the market.

Well, then it's not ePub, it's some new format, ePub+, if you will.

On the other hand, some textbooks might be better off as a standalone app. For example the HMH Fuse: Algebra 1 app, which apparently includes calculators, scratchpads, etc. For paper textbook content in ebook format, it's probably OK, but ebook formats will probably always limit the possibilities of what can be done with textbooks.

BTW, they've already added ePub support to Pages, so I doubt they'll create a whole new app for that, just extend what Pages can do with ePub documents.
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The paper subscription of the NY Times, including the Sunday edition is $600 a year. What do you think the same content as a digital subscription is worth, giving that about 35% is printing and distribution?

Actually I think my problem is with the fact that you have to subscribe (my initial comment was not very clear on this matter).

I used to take The Times during the week only if I was taking a train journey, and I'd take the Saturday Times most weeks and the Sunday Times occasionally. When I look at what I was spending and looking at the $17 per month the app is, it actually doesn't seem that bad, given I would have been spending about GBP5 per week (so about $7.50 per week). That said, the app doesn't include the Sunday edition.

I guess really it becomes a mindset issue for me. Even though it would probably cost me more, I'm happier with the idea of being able to buy the newspaper for a fair daily rate, and given electronically they don't have print and distribution costs and they should be able to provide much more targeted (and hence more lucrative ads), I'd like to see the option to be able to buy the daily paper for $1 per issue and the weekend editions for $2.

I know my issues aren't consistent, since the subscription actually works out a lot cheaper than that, but as I say, it's a mindset I'm going to struggle to overcome.
post #31 of 43
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Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

Where are you getting that?

From the article:
"They had hoped to offer app editions as part of subscription bundles that include print versions of the paper," the report said. "Instead, they must use Apple as an intermediary with subscribers."

I assume they all wanted to offer a separate app for their specific product. Having to have separate apps for each newspaper/magazine I want to subscribe to offers a poor experience and excessive clutter. I'm hoping that with Apple as an intermediary, the user experience can be improved/standardized.

If I'm misreading this then I apologize.
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post #32 of 43
Why buy a subscription when a lot of newspapers have their content for free on their site?
post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

From the article:
"They had hoped to offer app editions as part of subscription bundles that include print versions of the paper," the report said. "Instead, they must use Apple as an intermediary with subscribers."

I assume they all wanted to offer a separate app for their specific product. Having to have separate apps for each newspaper/magazine I want to subscribe to offers a poor experience and excessive clutter. I'm hoping that with Apple as an intermediary, the user experience can be improved/standardized.

If I'm misreading this then I apologize.

I have no problem with separate apps per journal. I have a lot now, and it works out fine. When we get folders in November, it will be easy to put all the new related apps inside. We will still have access to many of the news sites through the browser as well, so it seems fine to me.

The problem with it all being in one app is that they will likely all look the same. While that may seem to be a good idea, it isn't. The only way we'll see advances in the way these are presented, is if they all do what they think is best, and over time, as what happened to the internet itself, it will settle out. Competition will ensure an evolution rather quickly.

We saw this with internet stores. The early ones were very bad. but over time, they became very good. Now there is a rare site that doesn't work pretty well. But if at the beginning, one format and methodology was decided upon for all, it would still be pretty bad, as everyone would squabble over the slightest change.
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post

Why buy a subscription when a lot of newspapers have their content for free on their site?

A lot don't, and more are talking about going the subscription way. The WSJ has done it for years, and the NY Times will be doing it soon. Others have also said that they are working on it.

It's a matter of whether you will want them or not. Some will, and some won't.
post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Well, then it's not ePub, it's some new format, ePub+, if you will.

Maybe i wasnt clear. Apple used EPUB for the base of iBooks, but they added to it, have continually added to it. Not to EPUB, but to their own format that is built atop EPUB.
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post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I have no problem with separate apps per journal. I have a lot now, and it works out fine. When we get folders in November, it will be easy to put all the new related apps inside. We will still have access to many of the news sites through the browser as well, so it seems fine to me.

The problem with it all being in one app is that they will likely all look the same. While that may seem to be a good idea, it isn't. The only way we'll see advances in the way these are presented, is if they all do what they think is best, and over time, as what happened to the internet itself, it will settle out. Competition will ensure an evolution rather quickly.

We saw this with internet stores. The early ones were very bad. but over time, they became very good. Now there is a rare site that doesn't work pretty well. But if at the beginning, one format and methodology was decided upon for all, it would still be pretty bad, as everyone would squabble over the slightest change.

I guess it depends. I'm used to using news reader apps now and I like what they offer. A single purpose app for delivering content from a single source will need to be really well done to lure me in.
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post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Actually I think my problem is with the fact that you have to subscribe (my initial comment was not very clear on this matter).

I used to take The Times during the week only if I was taking a train journey, and I'd take the Saturday Times most weeks and the Sunday Times occasionally. When I look at what I was spending and looking at the $17 per month the app is, it actually doesn't seem that bad, given I would have been spending about GBP5 per week (so about $7.50 per week). That said, the app doesn't include the Sunday edition.

I guess really it becomes a mindset issue for me. Even though it would probably cost me more, I'm happier with the idea of being able to buy the newspaper for a fair daily rate, and given electronically they don't have print and distribution costs and they should be able to provide much more targeted (and hence more lucrative ads), I'd like to see the option to be able to buy the daily paper for $1 per issue and the weekend editions for $2.

I know my issues aren't consistent, since the subscription actually works out a lot cheaper than that, but as I say, it's a mindset I'm going to struggle to overcome.

No printing and little distribution costs, true, but transaction costs for certain. The newspapers aren't going to want to pay the banking costs for millions of tiny transactions every day (yes, I realize Apple does this in the iTMS). The newsstand price of my daily paper is $0.75 ($24.00 a month delivered). The e-edition should arguably be significantly less expensive or risk not being very appealing.
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post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

No printing and little distribution costs, true, but transaction costs for certain. The newspapers aren't going to want to pay the banking costs for millions of tiny transactions every day (yes, I realize Apple does this in the iTMS). The newsstand price of my daily paper is $0.75 ($24.00 a month delivered). The e-edition should arguably be significantly less expensive or risk not being very appealing.

The problem for the papers is that so far, the digital editions have far advertising as well. The biggest source of Ads come from local stores, want ads, and co-op ads. That's all missing. That's got to be paid for. With Apple demanding 40% of the Ad money, it's going to be tough.
post #39 of 43
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Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Maybe i wasnt clear. Apple used EPUB for the base of iBooks, but they added to it, have continually added to it. Not to EPUB, but to their own format that is built atop EPUB.

Yeah, they can always build on the format to add new things, but there will still be cases where a textbook is better as an app, I think, because then you are free to add features that go beyond whatever the format is. If it's just convert this textbook to an ebook, ePub is fine, but, if you want to make it more than that, I'm not so sure.
post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The problem for the papers is that so far, the digital editions have far advertising as well. The biggest source of Ads come from local stores, want ads, and co-op ads. That's all missing. That's got to be paid for. With Apple demanding 40% of the Ad money, it's going to be tough.

That's the rate through iAd, correct? I don't see iAd working for newspapers, for the reasons you state. Frankly I'd be pretty happy with a PDF facsimile of the print edition, ads and all, and I'd imagine that the newspapers would be happy delivering this as well.
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