Originally Posted by Wiggin
I disagree. 30% for nothing more than processing the payment and passing the data? If the person purchased within the app, the iTunes UI/browser wasn't used. Apple didn't perform any marketing to get the attention of the subscriber since they purchased it in, not via the iTunes UI.
I was hoping an iPad could replace the stack of magazines on my table, but I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon. Since Apple won't let the publisher charge less on their own web site, all subscription prices are going to be pushed higher due to Apple's policies. Online subscriptions, if available at all, will probably cost more than the print copy mailed to my door.
I think you are looking at it only from one angle here though. For instance it would all work out fine with *lower* prices for consumers if the magazines split up their business and put *all* the digital content through the app store and only did the paper subscriptions themselves as they have always done. Arguably, this is what Apple is pushing them to do.
I also don't see how Apple could do it any other way. To do it your way (or let's call it the way the magazine publishers want), Apple would be providing a premium experience of reading digital subscriptions on iOS, yet allow all the publishers to undercut them on the web. It's not a viable business model to spend all the money on hosting and infrastructure, and then let the publishers sell subscriptions for cheap without paying Apple anything at all. For that to work, the publishers would have to give Apple a slice of it's physical subscription money as well.
Another aspect is that Apple, through the iTunes store, has it's own customer base and it's one of the best on the planet. To do it the publishers way, they would get the advantages of marketing to this new, exclusive group of folks (many who have never
subscribed to a paper magazine and are therefore absolute "gold" as subscribers), yet pay Apple essentially nothing.
I don't believe that any of this will put pressure on prices either because if the publishers are smart it would only put pressure on paper subscription prices, and those are already so high it's pretty ridiculous. Overall, I would expect that it will work just like software in that the pressure on prices would be downward, and would be made up for by a huge increase in volume.