or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPad › Sports Illustrated says unfair iPad subscription terms led to cut features
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sports Illustrated says unfair iPad subscription terms led to cut features

post #1 of 136
Thread Starter 
The latest issue of Sports Illustrated only supports viewing in "landscape" mode, as the publication has said that they were forced to cut costs because Apple does not allow iPad subscriptions at "a reasonable price."

As noted by Peter Kafka of MediaMemo, the SI application previously supported viewing in portrait mode, but the latest issue doesn't rotate like it used to. Instead, users are met with an error message that reads "This page is intended to be viewed in landscape mode. (There's nothing wrong with your iPad -- just turn it horizontally.)"

The magazine decided to do this in part because it believes that photo-driven magazines are best viewed horizontally. In addition, only offering the magazine in landscape mode cut down on the file size by 30 percent, making the latest issue download faster for users.

But Josh Quittner, an editor with Time magazine, revealed that the change was also done as a cost-cutting measure. Because designers must only create the magazine in one format, it cuts their work by at least a third.

He also went on to suggest the company will concentrate its efforts on other platforms where it sees growth potential, because Apple does not currently allow publications to offer iPad subscriptions "at a reasonable price."

"Why not add more designers?" Quittner said. "Well, if we were able to build a real business, with subscriptions that offered our iPad versions to readers at a reasonable price, that would be a no brainer. But we can't yet, so the best approach for us is to experiment with the format, marshal our (human) resources and start building products on other platforms that will allow us to scale up as our business grows."



He went on to say that if readers do not like the change, Sports Illustrated can always go back and support portrait mode again. He said that's the "beauty of the current market," as content providers have room to experiment without committing "fatal mistakes."

In August, another Time publication, People, began offering free access to its iPad application for existing subscribers. But publishers apparently remain unsatisfied with Apple's business model for new subscriptions.

Last week, it was rumored that Apple is working on a subscription plan for print publications, which would include a revenue sharing model similar to the one used for applications sold on the App Store. The purported program would offer an opt-in function which would allow subscribers to share their personal information with publications -- information considered imperative for advertising.

That new subscription model could be tied to a standalone application that would serve as a separate digital newsstand for magazines and newspapers. The application, said to be in the early stages, is expected to offer access to magazine and newspaper content in a manner similar to how the iBooks application sells digital versions of print books.
post #2 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"This page is intended to be viewed in landscape mode. (There's nothing wrong with your iPad -- just turn it horizontally.)"



He also went on to suggest the company will concentrate its efforts on other platforms where it sees growth potential, because Apple does not currently allow publications to offer iPad subscriptions "at a reasonable price."



Simple. Just don't hold it like that!

But seriously, I thought Apple was going to single-handedly save the publishing industry. Har!
post #3 of 136
So SI doesn't want to spend a little extra cash to make its app viewable in portrait mode? Super.
iPad News, App Reviews, and More: iPadNewsUpdates.com
Reply
iPad News, App Reviews, and More: iPadNewsUpdates.com
Reply
post #4 of 136
We as consumers have access to vast amounts of content that is available merely by maintaining an Internet connection. This cannot be ignored and it seems to me Apple gets that. The content providers, not so much. They are in denial and if they remain so, they are doomed.
post #5 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

We as consumers have access to vast amounts of content that is available merely by maintaining an Internet connection. This cannot be ignored and it seems to me Apple gets that. The content providers, not so much. They are in denial and if they remain so, they are doomed.

Let me restate what appears to lie just beneath your post (and the previous one as well). . . if the content providers don't agree to Apple's demands, including pricing . . . they are in denial and they are doomed.

Nice.
post #6 of 136
SI,

Are you really serious about this? Do you really want to be in the digital business or don't you? As has been said, hire a designer. This is a long term investment, not a one shot thing. Are you looking to the future or to the past? Your magazine gets thinner and thinner. Think about it.
rfrmac
Reply
rfrmac
Reply
post #7 of 136
Content providers are a little over impressed with their work - and the value of it to the internet using public.

Go to a doctor's office to see the long term value of the dead tree version of a magazine. The subscriber used it as long as they wanted. Then the office staff had their turn and then the patients - for the next year.

Te electronic version doesn't approach that. But it does eliminate a lot of the costs associated with the dead tree version.

Personally I can see looking at some magazines far less if their pricing goes higher than a tiken payment.
Ken
Reply
Ken
Reply
post #8 of 136
By the way. If there is a model that could work it would be a subscription service that for a single monthly fee, let's say $10, gave one access to whatever publication agreed to sign up. Kind of like how the cable model works for television. I think that paying one relatively small amount for unlimited access is something a lot of consumers would be fine with provided there was enough premium content offered.

It's not the way that publications are accustomed to operating but it's a whole new landscape. Time to adjust or perish.
post #9 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

Let me restate what appears to lie just beneath your post (and the previous one as well). . . if the content providers don't agree to Apple's demands, including pricing . . . they are in denial and they are doomed.

Nice.

It sounds like you have a better plan and/or solution.

Please elaborate.
Hmmmmmm...
Reply
Hmmmmmm...
Reply
post #10 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

Let me restate what appears to lie just beneath your post (and the previous one as well). . . if the content providers don't agree to Apple's demands, including pricing . . . they are in denial and they are doomed.

Nice.

I'm not saying that the providers have to work with Apple. But they can't operate as if this is 1973 only now content is delivered electronically.
post #11 of 136
Anyone know how the Dev process works for this? I am shocked that this isn't simply HTML5 or PDF based. Why should you have to create a "portrait" version and a "landscape" version? I would think this would be handled in the viewing software.
post #12 of 136
I'm not an expert (nor do I play one on TV), but this seems very simple. As a publisher, if you want to provide digital content, you're either in, or you're out. I've seen some truly half-assed attempts at this. But with the economy in the shape that it's in, if you're going digital, you'd better be offering something unique and different.
post #13 of 136
"reasonable price" the content providers and Apple have vastly different ideas about what is reasonable. They probably want to charge like $4.00 per issue and Apple doesn't think it's worth that much money. None of the content providers have really figured out the electronic publishing issue.
post #14 of 136
Please elaborate, SI, what other tablet/reader platforms you're moving to that will make you more money.
post #15 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by huntercr View Post

Anyone know how the Dev process works for this? I am shocked that this isn't simply HTML5 or PDF based. Why should you have to create a "portrait" version and a "landscape" version? I would think this would be handled in the viewing software.

Yeah I read somwhere (don't have the link sorry, think it was on Ars Technica) that they use some crappy Flash to IPad converter, that basically packages all images in a iOS container. The worst part is that they have blown up versions of each files for different Zoom levels. Turns out it makes the "apps" huge compared to the content.

This is why cutting costs results in not generating 100 different images for the orientations + zoom levels.

Another fine example of not wanting to invest. Build a real HTML5 version already!
post #16 of 136
If Apple keeps this up, these publishers will take their business elsewhere. The iPad is the only game in town so far but next year could be different.

I don't want to pay for $5 an issue and so does everyone else. I have been blaming the publishers for not offering subscriptions but if it's true that Apple is preventing it then that's just a disappointment.
post #17 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post

"reasonable price" the content providers and Apple have vastly different ideas about what is reasonable. They probably want to charge like $4.00 per issue and Apple doesn't think it's worth that much money. None of the content providers have really figured out the electronic publishing issue.

It likely has less to do with the actual price than Apple's cut of each subscription.
post #18 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by huntercr View Post

Anyone know how the Dev process works for this? I am shocked that this isn't simply HTML5 or PDF based. Why should you have to create a "portrait" version and a "landscape" version? I would think this would be handled in the viewing software.

A key part of the 'magazine' experience over the standard web is that each page is designed by hand. Text is carefully flowed around pictures, and each page designed as a whole. With the web you don't get that - you get some good attempts.

Portrait and landscape are quite different - the example screenshot from the article shows this quite well - imagine how that might be laid out of it was portrait - I think it'd be pretty different, if you'd want a similar effect.
post #19 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by huntercr View Post

Anyone know how the Dev process works for this? I am shocked that this isn't simply HTML5 or PDF based. Why should you have to create a "portrait" version and a "landscape" version? I would think this would be handled in the viewing software.

The magazine will be laid out in quark or indesign for a tabloid size spread, which is landscape. The content needs repurposing for portrait/landscape orientation, or one of two things happens when turning the pad to a portrait orientation: you lose half the content and need to scroll horizontally to view the other half of the spread, or you scale down and end up with letterboxing top and bottom. So you need to repurpose the content twice - a landscape (spreads) view and a portrait (single page) view.

It's just about taking the time to design these. Print designers are more fussy (quite rightly) about content being properly typeset and repurposed depending on how it's being displayed - simply squashing and scaling as you could do with html would horrify most print designers. Basically, SI need to employ designers full time for their digital versions.

EDIT: I find it funny that those users who were previously demanding that apple keep the prices for these subscriptions low are now the same people berating Apple for forcing SI to have a lower price for their digital subscriptions. You can't have it both ways apple haters.
post #20 of 136
Hmm I don't understand, when I go to the homepage of SI I can get all info that I might be interested in for free. So of course I can see the benefit of an app on a tablet device once I am out of WIFI range, but the pricing for this in app or "iNews"-subscription has to be very moderate. I agree that it will be a different thing if they would provide high level content and user experience, but please what they upload on the internet looks very cheap.
post #21 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

It likely has less to do with the actual price than Apple's cut of each subscription.

Assuming Apple are aiming for a 70/30 split as the app store has, you'd have thought that publisher's current costs on top of producing the actual content must be close to 30% as it is? That's the printing, delivery, collection of unsold issues, pulping and chasing payments from retailers etc.
post #22 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

. I have been blaming the publishers for not offering subscriptions but if it's true that Apple is preventing it then that's just a disappointment.



Apple is prone to giving consumers two choices: Our way or the highway.

My guess is that the use the same attitude with their B2B customers too. But those guys are hardnosed and hardheaded, and are unlikely to accept bullshit.
post #23 of 136
Is it me or:
1-SI is publicly announcing that they have a rubbish app because they want to concentrate on other businesses (whatever that means)
2- These other potential businesses have no name!

Is this story right?
post #24 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

By the way. If there is a model that could work it would be a subscription service that for a single monthly fee, let's say $10, gave one access to whatever publication agreed to sign up. Kind of like how the cable model works for television. I think that paying one relatively small amount for unlimited access is something a lot of consumers would be fine with provided there was enough premium content offered.

It's not the way that publications are accustomed to operating but it's a whole new landscape. Time to adjust or perish.

so you think i should pay $10 a month for access to any publication? who gets what % of the money [other than Apple taking 30%... kinda like record labels do from musicians]? would content providers all get an equal share to encourage choice, or would those who get more downloads get more money [putting the little guys out of business and ending up with no choices]?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post

So SI doesn't want to spend a little extra cash to make its app viewable in portrait mode? Super.

Yes it's that simple. it has nothing to do with how much they HAVE to spend, or if they're losing money by creating a portrait version, they should just spend more so you can rotate your iPad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

We as consumers have access to vast amounts of content that is available merely by maintaining an Internet connection. This cannot be ignored and it seems to me Apple gets that. The content providers, not so much. They are in denial and if they remain so, they are doomed.

...so you think every content provider should do this for free? great business model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rfrmac View Post

SI,

Are you really serious about this? Do you really want to be in the digital business or don't you? As has been said, hire a designer. This is a long term investment, not a one shot thing. Are you looking to the future or to the past? Your magazine gets thinner and thinner. Think about it.

SI is far ahead of practically every other publication in this new market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamiltonrrwatch View Post

I'm not an expert (nor do I play one on TV), but this seems very simple. As a publisher, if you want to provide digital content, you're either in, or you're out. I've seen some truly half-assed attempts at this. But with the economy in the shape that it's in, if you're going digital, you'd better be offering something unique and different.

i agree, and SI offers videos, the ability to organize the publication they way you want to, and dozens of other features not available in a "dead tree" version.
post #25 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

If Apple keeps this up, these publishers will take their business elsewhere. The iPad is the only game in town so far but next year could be different.

I don't want to pay for $5 an issue and so does everyone else. I have been blaming the publishers for not offering subscriptions but if it's true that Apple is preventing it then that's just a disappointment.

As far as I could follow this process, in average they both are equally responsible for the hold up. Apple as I can understand want's to have a share of the revenue and want's to maximize the revenue which is understandable as well. Since this kind of electronic magazine subscription is pretty new apple will not want to scare away possible subscribers with to high prices to start with. With moderate pricing they will reach a wider audience willing to pay rather than to pirate. But maybe they went to far this time. I don't think so but this is what we will see in the coming months (I hope). The publishers on the other hand seem to stick to print issue pricing, which is in most cases to high for electronic media consumers.
post #26 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Apple is prone to giving consumers two choices: Our way or the highway.

My guess is that the use the same attitude with their B2B customers too. But those guys are hardnosed and hardheaded, and are unlikely to accept bullshit.

That's rubbish - sorry.

Every company that provide a product or service do so using their own company ethics, guidelines and business model. Every single company on the planet. Why single Apple out for being any different?

If someone wishes to use Apple to distribute their product, then of course apple will negotiate the best possible deal for themselves and for their customers.

There's nothing unique, unusual or conspiratorial about Apple's policies.

All consumers and producers are faced with the same two options - use the products and services of a company, or don't.

It really is that simple.
post #27 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Apple is prone to giving consumers two choices: Our way or the highway.

My guess is that the use the same attitude with their B2B customers too. But those guys are hardnosed and hardheaded, and are unlikely to accept bullshit.

Why would Apple care if SI went elsewhere? For Apple revenue from such content delivery would represent pocket change.
post #28 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

As far as I could follow this process, in average they both are equally responsible for the hold up. Apple as I can understand want's to have a share of the revenue and want's to maximize the revenue which is understandable as well. Since this kind of electronic magazine subscription is pretty new apple will not want to scare away possible subscribers with to high prices to start with. With moderate pricing they will reach a wider audience willing to pay rather than to pirate. But maybe they went to far this time. I don't think so but this is what we will see in the coming months (I hope).

If the publishers offer too high of a subscription price then the consumer should be the one to decide if it's worth it and not Apple. If it's too expensive then no right minded person would subscribe and they'll learn a lesson the hard way and eventually bring down the price. If this is an issue with revenue sharing then that's for Apple and the publishers to settle but they need to figure it out fast as consumers are the ones affected more. I understand business is business but they need to settle this stalemate for the consumer's sake.
post #29 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Why would Apple care if SI went elsewhere?

Because they are counting on SI, and other companies like SI, to sell iPads for them and to create a recurring revenue stream from content subscriptions for them.

That's why.
post #30 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

I understand business is business but they need to settle this stalemate for the consumer's sake.


Apple does nothing for the consumer's sake.

Everything is done for the shareholder's sake. That is the same at SI as well.
post #31 of 136
More strange than deciding to support only landscape is the fact that they say that supporting portrait increased the file size by 30%. It's a layout with photos and print - I get hints for the different modes, but what in the world are they doing? Or is this that Flash magazine tool crud where text is pngs and you have landscape and portrait 'text'? Ugh.
post #32 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Because they are counting on SI, and other companies like SI, to sell iPads for them and to create a recurring revenue stream from content subscriptions for them.

That's why.

I missed the part where Apple was having trouble selling iPads.
post #33 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

If the publishers offer too high of a subscription price then the consumer should be the one to decide if it's worth it and not Apple. If it's too expensive then no right minded person would subscribe and they'll learn a lesson the hard way and eventually bring down the price. If this is an issue with revenue sharing then that's for Apple and the publishers to settle but they need to figure it out fast as consumers are the ones affected more. I understand business is business but they need to settle this stalemate for the consumer's sake.

With the hurry up part I completely agree. The marketing strategy however I think apples clear cut pricing system has worked out pretty well with iTunes music download service. Probably most producers saw an incline in revenue once they agreed to apples terms, and got their music uploaded. A pretty example how everybody may have some benefit.
post #34 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

I missed the part where Apple was having trouble selling iPads.

I bought my iPad specifically so that I can read SI.

That's it! The iPad is going up on Ebay this morning!
Hmmmmmm...
Reply
Hmmmmmm...
Reply
post #35 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

I missed the part where Apple was having trouble selling iPads.

Likely because that was never claimed by anybody. It is OK to forgive yourself. You can make mistakes without publicly announcing them.
post #36 of 136
To Sports Illustrated:

Way to publicly admit that you cut features and delivered less value than you thought was appropriate for the price. I'd like a refund please. If you're admitting that you purposely remove what people are paying for, then I'm no longer supporting you, and I want my money back.

I don't care what your issues are with Apple, you're lucky enough to be in front me, because you're ON the platform. How about we take you off the platform and see how relevant you remain over the next year?

Have you even read the SDK and App Store guidelines, SI? It says quite clearly that those who bitch and moan to the press, don't suddenly have an easier time negotiating with Apple.

Fools.
post #37 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Likely because that was never claimed by anybody. It is OK to forgive yourself. You can make mistakes without publicly announcing them.

Do you have to make a condescending personal remark everytime you post on these forums?
post #38 of 136
"Sports Illustrated says unfair iPad subscription terms led to cut features"

It is a completely misleading story title.

Seems like SI dosen't want to go out on a limb and add designers wait till they meet the different flavors of the "other" tablet Os's. Send out your recruiting teams now!!
jgb
Reply
jgb
Reply
post #39 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Do you have to make a condescending personal remark everytime you post on these forums?

Naw. I usually reserve those for when people try to put words in my mouth. I object to that.

And besides, the post I responded to was a nasty accusation disguised as sarcasm. I responded as if the idiotic viewpoint were sincere. I too used sarcasm.
post #40 of 136
"But publishers apparently remain unsatisfied with Apple's business model for new subscriptions."

You could add to this that 'Customers also apparently remain unsatisfied with Apple's business model for new subscriptions'.

Because everyone knows it can be done better and cheaper.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPad
  • Sports Illustrated says unfair iPad subscription terms led to cut features
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPad › Sports Illustrated says unfair iPad subscription terms led to cut features