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Publishers, Apple remain in a stalemate over iPad subscriptions

post #1 of 63
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Apple and magazine publishers have still not been able to reach a deal for selling subscriptions on the iPad, as publications reportedly want extensive subscriber data, but Apple is unwilling to give it.

Peter Kafka at MediaMemo reported Friday that Apple and publishers are "still miles apart" on the prospect of subscriptions for iPad content in the App Store. The two sides remain at odds over the same issue they've allegedly been debating since early this year: Publishers want personal data about subscribers to provide to advertisers, and Apple doesn't want to allow it.

Apple is reportedly offering publishers the option of an opt-in form, which would allow subscribers to grant publications the ability to access a "limited amount of information" about them, such as their name, physical mailing address, and e-mail address.

They've also proposed the same revenue sharing plans used to great success on the App Store, where Apple keeps a 30 percent cut of all transactions.

"The offer has been on the table for a 'couple months,' I'm told, and so far none of the big publishers have gone for it," Kafka wrote. "They don't like the 30 percent cut Apple wants to take, but their real hang-up is the lack of access to credit card data: It's valuable to them for marketing, and without it they can't offer print/digital bundles, either."

As a result, he said publishers are now looking toward Google and tablets running the Android mobile operating system, in hopes of finding some success on that platform instead.

However, the anticipated tablet-only daily publication from News Corp, called The Daily, doesn't have many the same issues, because it's a new product that's doesn't have existing customers on the print side of the business. One rumor has suggested that The Daily will be formally announced, along with Apple's subscription plans, at an event on Dec. 9 or soon after.

For months, reports have claimed that Apple is unwilling to share consumer data beyond sales volume to publishers who are interested in putting their publications on the App Store. It has been said that Apple has pitched an opt-in function that would allow consumers to willingly share some information, but according to Kafka's sources, Apple still refuses to give more detailed demographic information.

Print publishers view demographic data from readers as their most valuable asset, as they rely on that information to sell advertisements.
post #2 of 63
I think the solution to this is easier than anyone is making it. Publishers can offer 12 issue subscriptions to customers for $15 with no data taken OR give them the option of a 15 issue subscription for the same price if they fill out a voluntary survey. If the information is valuable, the publishers will in effect be paying for it. And Apple won't have to protect anyone. All can go in with their eyes wide open.

Everybody wins and no one has to hassle.
post #3 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by anwerman View Post

I think the solution to this is easier than anyone is making it. Publishers can offer 12 issue subscriptions to customers for $15 with no data taken OR give them the option of a 15 issue subscription for the same price if they fill out a voluntary survey. If the information is valuable, the publishers will in effect be paying for it. And Apple won't have to protect anyone. All can go in with their eyes wide open.

Everybody wins and no one has to hassle.

But heres an easier one. When you subscribe, select the option share my info or something similar. You then fill in all the info about you that you want to share.
post #4 of 63
For protecting my privacy... shame on you publishers for wanting my information without letting me know about it.
post #5 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayInHou View Post

For protecting my privacy... shame on you publishers for wanting my information without letting me know about it.

Yup, longer this drags out worse it looks for the publishers.
post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayInHou View Post

For protecting my privacy... shame on you publishers for wanting my information without letting me know about it.

Happy to hear someone is looking out for my privacy!
post #7 of 63
Quote:
Print publishers view demographic data from readers as their most valuable asset, as they rely on that information to sell advertisements.

How much purchaser data to print publishers get when someone buys a printed newspaper? None.
post #8 of 63
Hate to break it to you all, but about 80% or more of magazine revenues come from advertising. Digital ads are worth FAR less money than the equivalent hard copies, which means publishers need to recoup the lost money somehow.

Funny how, just to plug my iphone into my computer to sync, etc., I had to create an iTunes account, give my full personal details including cc number and 3-digit security, etc, and then Apple tries to jam Ping down my throat to further gather customer data; most apple fans are fine with that, but if Conde Nast wants to do the same, its a big deal...

It's not like they're asking for your criminal record and dental history, they basically just want your postal code and email address, the same shit you'd give them if you wanted to subscribe to their print editions... They don't even want your credit card number/date of expiry/3 digit security, which apple happens to collect and store, and they don't want a list of every song app and film you've ever bought either, which Apple also happens to store. What's the big deal?
post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayInHou View Post

For protecting my privacy... shame on you publishers for wanting my information without letting me know about it.

My thoughts exactly. It's astounding that publishers expect to know everything about all their readers. Make this an opt in thing or else I'm not on board. When I pay for an app on the iTunes App Store it's a transaction with Apple. Apple needs my credit card info not the publisher of the app. They have no right to it. None.
post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

How much purchaser data to print publishers get when someone buys a printed newspaper? None.

When somebody subscribes, they get the purchaser's name, address, sometimes email, and credit card number (and CC company). If someone buys single copies at a newsstand, they usually pay about double the subscription rate, which reflects the loss - although they still get sales data from the newsstand and can in turn use that to sell more ads as well.
post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Hate to break it to you all, but about 80% or more of magazine revenues come from advertising. Digital ads are worth FAR less money than the equivalent hard copies, which means publishers need to recoup the lost money somehow.

Funny how, just to plug my iphone into my computer to sync, etc., I had to create an iTunes account, give my full personal details including cc number and 3-digit security, etc, and then Apple tries to jam Ping down my throat to further gather customer data; most apple fans are fine with that, but if Conde Nast wants to do the same, its a big deal...

It's not like they're asking for your criminal record and dental history, they basically just want your postal code and email address, the same shit you'd give them if you wanted to subscribe to their print editions... They don't even want your credit card number/date of expiry/3 digit security, which apple happens to collect and store, and they don't want a list of every song app and film you've ever bought either, which Apple also happens to store. What's the big deal?

You are completely misrepresenting the facts here.

- The difference between the publishers and Apple is that Apple is opt in, and the publishers want the same information from everyone regardless of whether the people want to opt in or not.

- The publishers *aren't* just asking for your name and address, that's the whole point and is explained at length in the article that you apparently didn't bother to read carefully before posting.
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"They don't like the 30 percent cut Apple wants to take, but their real hang-up is the lack of access to credit card data: It's valuable to them for marketing, and without it they can't offer print/digital bundles, either."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

They don't even want your credit card number/date of expiry/3 digit security...

Seriously?
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post #13 of 63
I don't know so am going to take a stab at listing what they're haggling over. I would imagine it would start with names and potentially demographic data. In addition magazines want control over subscriber lists so they could rent/sell/trade subscriber lists. Finally I would imagine they'll want control over advertisement.

I'm willing to put up with some marketing especially and understand they also *should* honor opt out requests for sharing your address with third parties. Subscription costs have *never* paid for the magazines (all the wages for original content, branding, development, distribution, printing, etc). The roles of publisher and distributor are a bit blurred at the least. It's clearly not going to be simply I can see that there are going to be tough negotiations and a lot of gray area.
post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

I had to create an iTunes account, give my full personal details including cc number and 3-digit security, etc, and then Apple tries to jam Ping down my throat...

apple is hardly forcing ping down my throat. i merely opted not to enable it and it's forgotten.
you must have just wanted something to complain about.
post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

It's not like they're asking for your criminal record and dental history, they basically just want your postal code and email address, the same shit you'd give them if you wanted to subscribe to their print editions.

No, the publishers want more than basic info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

They don't even want your credit card number/date of expiry/3 digit security, which apple happens to collect and store...

Um, yes they do. Did you not read the original post?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is reportedly offering publishers the option of an opt-in form, which would allow subscribers to grant publications the ability to access a "limited amount of information" about them, such as their name, physical mailing address, and e-mail address...

"The offer has been on the table for a 'couple months,' I'm told, and so far none of the big publishers have gone for it," Kafka wrote. "They don't like the 30 percent cut Apple wants to take, but their real hang-up is the lack of access to credit card data: It's valuable to them for marketing, and without it they can't offer print/digital bundles, either."

And BTW, Apple requires the information they do because you are buying something from them. EVERY business you buy merchandise from with a credit card gets your credit card number, name and location. If not, the transaction would not happen.

If publishers need my personal information from an iTunes App Store purchase they need to ASK for it because I'm not buying from them.
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post

Yup, longer this drags out worse it looks for the publishers.

Yup. Thankfully, AI is helping by putting this story out in front of the public. We need other media outlets to start reporting this out as well. Spread the word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

It's not like they're asking for your criminal record and dental history, they basically just want your postal code and email address .... What's the big deal?

The big deal is that they want to require this against the users' preferences. Apple is offering an opt-in, which is perfectly reasonable. By definition, if the publishers are pushing to get this user data via non opt-in methods when opt-in is available, then they are explicitly pushing for rules that run counter to what users want? What good could possibly come from that?

The question is: Why would ANYONE think this is okay?!
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post #17 of 63
These publishers become more irrelevant with every passing day. They will finally agree to Apple's terms when they can afford no longer to be part of the iTunes ecosystem.

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post #18 of 63
"Print publishers view demographic data from readers as their most valuable asset, as they rely on that information to sell advertisements."

I would think that a women's fashion magazine would be focused on advertisers selling products to....women. Unfortunately too many people willingly give too much personal info to consumer product corporations. I applaud Apple's stance on this one unless it is a giant bargaining chip that is.
post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmythe00 View Post

But heres an easier one. When you subscribe, select the option share my info or something similar. You then fill in all the info about you that you want to share.

I doubt the publishers would agree to even that sensible approach.
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post #20 of 63
For once in my life I'm cheering for Rupert. I hope his product eats their lunch and other publishers have to come groveling.
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post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Yup. Thankfully, AI is helping by putting this story out in front of the public. We need other media outlets to start reporting this out as well. Spread the word.

Exactly. The timing is perfect as the government is taking up the whole matter of snooping on people's browsing without their knowledge. This is just the right time for Apple to hold the line. Before much longer it may not even be legal to do what the publishers are holding out for.

Soooo, maybe Apple should "cave" knowing that the Feds will cut off these shenanigans anyway?
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post #22 of 63
Hopefully they can figure something out. Subscriptions are needed on the iPad, and they are needed NOw. In fact they should have been here yesterday.
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post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Funny how, just to plug my iphone into my computer to sync, etc., I had to create an iTunes account, give my full personal details including cc number and 3-digit security, etc,

I don't know what iTunes account you're talking about, but in my account Apple has no cc info and a user name and password I created ..... a hell of a lot different than what you're claiming ..... get your facts straight.
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post #24 of 63
I do not see the problem. I get my magazines through Zino. The app is a great viewer and they have all of the magazines I like....
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

For once in my life I'm cheering for Rupert. I hope his product eats their lunch and other publishers have to come groveling.

Lets hope to god Murdoch isnt following Bransons Virgin Publishing, Wired Magazine or Conde Nast with their use of InDesign for their iPad magazines.
http://daringfireball.net/linked/2010/12/01/project A year ago, before the iPad was out I had stated that Apple needs to address and attack many areas with the iPad at launch if they want it to over take other areas. One of those areas was print publishing which means a robust tool for creating periodicals and newspapers in a manner that is easy for publishers and usable for consumers. To me, this means a Mac app for publishers. I also stated they need a method of delivery (just like you can get magazines and newspapers delivered to your home) that would have subscribed materials waiting for you, without the user first having to go through the rigamarole of accessing an app, going to the store, choosing the content, and inputing their password. this is fine for the iBookstore*, but I dont think it works for a viable subscription service.


PS: I dont care if a magazine or newspaper can be rotated on mobile device. I dont see many publications being used in multiple rotations and having to code for these eventualities seems costly without increasing the user experience.


* What the hell is with the Kindle app on iDevices sending you to Safari to buy books from the Amazon site. I figure there is some in-app payment to Apple they are trying to avoid. Im fine with that, but why is the damn site so unfriendly to iDevice users. Ive never bought a book from Amazon on my iPhone or iPad because they made it a poor experience, yet I have bought plenty from the iBookstore that I have yet to read because they make it so simple. Unfortunately the IBookstore doesnt have as good of a selection as the Amazon Store.
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post #26 of 63
those newspapers and magazines better wake the f*** up!
The ipad is a phenomenon! And when things are done right on it all hell breaks loose. I'm going to start brain storming business opportunities for myself with the ipad.
post #27 of 63
It's about time someone said: "HELL NO!"

Thanks Steve!

Krreagan
post #28 of 63
I think that if more 'publishers' had the cajones of a Wikileaks, they would actually have a business model in today's world. One that might actually make money.

For what they (mostly) currently offer, their business model is finished.
post #29 of 63
If you are interested in subscribing to magazines check out Zinio. I get a half dozen magazines now and they appear automatically every month. Landscape it shows two pages at a time and portrait shows a page at a time. Squeeze works too.

So, as much as I like Steve protecting my privacy, I can already subscribe to just about any magazine for about $10-$20 a year.

Love it!
post #30 of 63
I don't get it. If the information is that important have you customers subscribe through your web site and offer an app that is free for subscribers. This way also has the advantage of being cross platform. You'd be able to view it on the computer and other tablets and phones.
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

How much purchaser data to print publishers get when someone buys a printed newspaper? None.

I was going to reply, but this post pretty much sums up what I was going to say...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

When somebody subscribes, they get the purchaser's name, address, sometimes email, and credit card number (and CC company). If someone buys single copies at a newsstand, they usually pay about double the subscription rate, which reflects the loss - although they still get sales data from the newsstand and can in turn use that to sell more ads as well.

And it's much, much more than double the price to purchase on the news stand. More like 3-4 times more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

You are completely misrepresenting the facts here.

- The difference between the publishers and Apple is that Apple is opt in, and the publishers want the same information from everyone regardless of whether the people want to opt in or not.

- The publishers *aren't* just asking for your name and address, that's the whole point and is explained at length in the article that you apparently didn't bother to read carefully before posting.

Actually, the post you replied to was pretty right-on. The "opt-in" you are referring to is for the info Apple would share. The original post talked about Apple collecting personal information for their own purposes, just like the magazines use subscription info for their business purposes.

I don't know why so many folks view Apple as the "white knight" in all this. You don't think they'll use your personal information to drive ads from their own mobile ad business? So many people think Apple is protecting your personal information for altruistic purposes. The truth is that Apple, like the publishers, sees your personal information as a very important asset, and Apple wants to keep it for themselves.

The data IS a valuable asset. Without it the publishes won't be able to charge as much to advertisers. That in turn means they will need to charge higher subscription prices. Given the choice, most folks would rather get their content free or at a reduced priced via advertising than pay for it outright.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_dog View Post

apple is hardly forcing ping down my throat. i merely opted not to enable it and it's forgotten.
you must have just wanted something to complain about.

Haven't made any purchase on iTunes lately, have you. Practically every time I download a song from iTunes Apple detects that I haven't turned on Ping and nags me about joining their social network.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

These publishers become more irrelevant with every passing day. They will finally agree to Apple's terms when they can afford no longer to be part of the iTunes ecosystem.

Or they will simply sell their content at subscription prices on Android devices and sell it on iOS at the higher newsstand prices. And that will become a major selling point for Android devices over iOS because, as I stated above, most people will care more about saving money than giving up the personal info. And let's face it, you are already giving up your personal info on a daily basis. Not letting the publishers have it is like using your finger to plug the hole in the Titanic.
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AI7R View Post

If you are interested in subscribing to magazines check out Zinio. I get a half dozen magazines now and they appear automatically every month. Landscape it shows two pages at a time and portrait shows a page at a time. Squeeze works too.

So, as much as I like Steve protecting my privacy, I can already subscribe to just about any magazine for about $10-$20 a year.

Love it!

What device are you viewing the magazines on? the iPad? how well have they been implemented?

thanks,
alan
post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Yup. Thankfully, AI is helping by putting this story out in front of the public. We need other media outlets to start reporting this out as well. Spread the word.



The big deal is that they want to require this against the users' preferences. Apple is offering an opt-in, which is perfectly reasonable. By definition, if the publishers are pushing to get this user data via non opt-in methods when opt-in is available, then they are explicitly pushing for rules that run counter to what users want? What good could possibly come from that?

The question is: Why would ANYONE think this is okay?!

If the economics don't work for the publishers, they won't publish through Apple. Most of these magazines are marginally profitable anyway. The loss of demographic data which would lower the value of their ads, the cost of distribution through Apple, and who knows what else may be just enough to push them into other alternatives. I wonder what Zinio charges to distribute. From Wikipedia, they appear to be privately owned so no chance of getting that kind of data. Zinio's subscription prices are very competitive with what I pay for paper magazines on long term subscriptions. So the cost to the end user is about the same. I wonder what the cost is to print and mail a paper magazine vs 30% of the revenue? But if the value of the advertising is lower in the electronic version, then the the distribution cost savings, if there are any, better be more than 30%.
post #34 of 63
To be honest, this whole article is precisely why I am going almost exclusively Apple and trying to wean myself off of Google. Google has become the information whores of the internet and are willing (and do) snoop, store, and share all sorts of personal information from on anyone and are always more than willing to share information to others (especially advertisers).

I'm really glad Apple at least makes attempts to severally limit: 1. The amount of personal information they store about you and 2. Who they share that information with, generally keeping your personal information close; basically not sharing with every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

This is why I like Apple. Their tightly controlled ecosystem is more secure than just about any other platform out there, especially when compared to Android.
post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennywse View Post

To be honest, this whole article is precisely why I am going almost exclusively Apple and trying to wean myself off of Google. Google has become the information whores of the internet and are willing (and do) snoop, store, and share all sorts of personal information from on anyone and are always more than willing to share information to others (especially advertisers).

I'm really glad Apple at least makes attempts to severally limit: 1. The amount of personal information they store about you and 2. Who they share that information with, generally keeping your personal information close; basically not sharing with every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

This is why I like Apple. Their tightly controlled ecosystem is more secure than just about any other platform out there, especially when compared to Android.

No Google (and Google Ads) and no Apple Insider. It is the money that comes from advertisers make websites like this one possible.


Just something for you to think about.
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayInHou View Post

For protecting my privacy... shame on you publishers for wanting my information without letting me know about it.

There is no way these people should even have access to people's personal information in the first place.
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

No Google (and Google Ads) and no Apple Insider. It is the money that comes from advertisers make websites like this one possible.


Just something for you to think about.

Yeah but publishers want you to subscribe to it and be forced into advertising. Apple should be limiting people's credit card information going out to publishers when it's not needed to complete the sale.
post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by a1ang View Post

If the economics don't work for the publishers, they won't publish through Apple. Most of these magazines are marginally profitable anyway. The loss of demographic data which would lower the value of their ads, the cost of distribution through Apple, and who knows what else may be just enough to push them into other alternatives. I wonder what Zinio charges to distribute. From Wikipedia, they appear to be privately owned so no chance of getting that kind of data. Zinio's subscription prices are very competitive with what I pay for paper magazines on long term subscriptions. So the cost to the end user is about the same. I wonder what the cost is to print and mail a paper magazine vs 30% of the revenue? But if the value of the advertising is lower in the electronic version, then the the distribution cost savings, if there are any, better be more than 30%.

It's either that or die. People weren't scrambling around for these dying publications anyway.
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mynameisjoe View Post

I don't get it. If the information is that important have you customers subscribe through your web site and offer an app that is free for subscribers. This way also has the advantage of being cross platform. You'd be able to view it on the computer and other tablets and phones.

you don't need an app for that. safari works just fine. I actually wouldn't mind a google chrome browser for IPhone and IPad.
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I doubt the publishers would agree to even that sensible approach.

WSJ, FT, USA Today and NYT are likely to end up in this lot. All already have Ipad apps.
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