Originally Posted by cmf2
Subscriptions are recurring until you cancel them. While I have other options, is Apple really entitled to 30% of my subscription fee forever because I used the iPhone app to sign up for the service? The recurring subscription could still be going through iTunes even if I switched to an Android phone at some point, or used the service on my computer most of the time.
That was the point I was trying to make. I understand them charging that kind of money for iOS only subscriptions as that's the going rate for anything iOS, but they seem to be extending the policy to cross platform subscriptions and putting rules in place that make it extremely likely that customers will go through the App Store to activate those subscriptions. I have a major issue with that.
I won't argue that some people will just click in the App Store. Of course that will happen. But it doesn't have to, and that's an important point.
But then, there are other considerations as well. I was involved heavily in publishing through my company, as we did a lot of work for some of them, as well as from my advertising background.
This whole 30% thing is really annoying from the publishers side. If you're paying $5 at the magazine store for a copy, and you buy all of your issues there as many people actually do, you're paying $60 a year for your "subscription". If you actually get a sub, you may be paying $20 instead. Now what does that mean to the publisher? It means that they make more from the magazine store then from your sub. But it also means that you will be forced into getting a copy every month from the sub. No such guarantees from the mag store.
So, what about their costs? Well, it will cost a certain amount to mail those issues to you. Anywhere from $5 a year to almost $20 a year. It also costs to print them. In actuality, many publishers make nothing from their subs directly, or even lose money. Of course, there are other expenses from mag stores as well, such as truck delivery, returns, etc.
But it's the Ad dollars that keeps most magazines afloat, not sub pricing. So really, what they pay a company to handle their subs, as most do (very few do it themselves) also comes out of that sub price. The only advantage they get out of subs is a number they can give for guaranteed circulation, and that determines Ad pricing.
Therefor, this whole argument about Apple's 30% isn't as big a deal as some here think it is. If, and it's a big if, these publishers were successful at selling magazine subs directly electronically, something almost none do as yet, then they MIGHT have something to scream about when it comes to this. But almost none do, and fewer do so successfully. So there's really no way to compare what will happen here vs what's already happening, because nothing is happening now.
I do have Zinio, and I do subscribe to a couple of mags there. But it's not much to write about. It's ok, but not much more than the electronic galleys sent to the printer. Prices are sometimes VERY cheap. Much cheaper than a regular sub for paper. Two examples. One is Harpers Bazaar for $10 a year. Stereophile for $7.50 or so. These are well under the normal paper prices. So what is the argument with Apple then? If they charge the same as the paper sub, or even a couple of bucks less, including Apple's 30% cut, they would be still getting more than they get from Zinio.
This is a made up issue over pricing that doesn't really exist on a business level.