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Bloomberg joins Elle, Maxim, PopSci with subscriptions on Apple's iPad

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
In contrast to publishers complaining about Apple's subscription pricing, Bloomberg says it is "pleased with Apple's terms," and that "iPad is the most important place to be right now, and thats where were focused."

The publisher has launched its new Bloomberg BusinessWeek app with a $2.99 monthly subscription, or free for existing subscribers of the print version, according to PaidContent.

The free app includes an initial free edition of the magazine to review, including a video on how the cover art was designed and audio of Tom Keenes Econochat and a Charlie Rose interview. New weekly editions will be published each Thursday evening.

Apple first released its in app subscription plans for iPad in February, resulting in a backlash of complaint from a variety of publishers. It was also widely reported that Google would take away Apple's subscription business with its cheaper, web-centric One Pass program.

While many reports suggested that publishers were refusing to pay Apple the same 30 percent cut it charges for other App Store transactions, the main sticking point for most publishers was the opt-in model Apple chose for subscribers, which only let publishers get the identity of subscribers if the subscriber elected to share their personal data.

Neither point was issue for Bloomberg mobile head Oke Okaro who stated in an interview "we are very pleased with Apples terms," while noting that he expects subscribers will willingly volunteer the personal information that publishers value.

The new BusinessWeek app is unique in a number of respects. Rather than being a giant graphic output like some previous attempts at iPad publications, the new app adds social links, virtual clippings for sharing, interactive media and graphics while remaining relatively slim at just 30MB per issue (less than a tenth the size of Wired).



The $2.99 per month pricing is also simple and affordable, compared to the oddly confusing and relatively expensive packages recently released by New York Times, which has separate tiers for iPhone and iPad use and range from $15 to $35 per month for its various digital plans.

Okaro said Bloomberg had been working to refresh its newly acquired BusinessWeek in print before building its iPad edition, but had no announcements to make about digital delivery on other non-iOS platforms. "The iPad is the most important place to be right now, and thats where were focused, he said.
post #2 of 22
Am I missing something? Apple announced all this in app subscription and purchase nonsense in February, but applications like NYTimes and Zinio continue to sell their subscriptions only through a link-out to safari. Is there a transition period that supposed to end at some point?
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eh270 View Post

Am I missing something? Apple announced all this in app subscription and purchase nonsense in February, but applications like NYTimes and Zinio continue to sell their subscriptions only through a link-out to safari. Is there a transition period that supposed to end at some point?

Yes, in June, at least that is was Apple had announced back then (plus new apps would have to follow the new rules or newly interpreted rules from the start).
post #4 of 22
I wish more publishers would do what The New Yorker, Triathlete Magazine, and a few others are doing -- a subscription-based, Safair-for-iPad-optimized version of the magazine. You give up some interactivity and UI, but it's basically what I want, which a flip-able PDF-like version of the magazine.

If the choice is between having an app that will only allow for purchase of $5 single issues and a subscription-based version that looks really good on iPad Safari, I'll go with the latter.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Bloomberg Businessweek is now available on the App Store for the iPad. The free application comes with one free issue of the magazine, and a four-issue digital subscription is just $2.99.

In addition, subscribers to the print edition of the magazine get each week's issue free after validating their print subscription.

So, does Bloomberg has to offer that one can subscribe to the print edition (+iPad version) via Apple's subscription service? Since you can order the print + iPad edition via their website, shouldn't Bloomberg have to match that offer via Apple's subscription service?

Or is it rather that Apple has come to its senses and is now allowing the bundled sale of print and iPad editions without demanding a cut?

I would guess it is the latter. As a lot of people have said, Apple is making things up as they go along. Which means they occasionally get things wrong but then correct it later. But it also means that your terms and conditions can change at any moment since Apple does not feel bound by what they said (or did) yesterday.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eh270 View Post

Am I missing something? Apple announced all this in app subscription and purchase nonsense in February, but applications like NYTimes and Zinio continue to sell their subscriptions only through a link-out to safari. Is there a transition period that supposed to end at some point?

June 30th is supposedly the time everyone will have to comply with the rule.
post #7 of 22
Does anyone know if these are different than what you can already get from Zinio?

I have the National Geographic app and was shocked to see that Zinio offers the same (I think they are the same) magazines for much cheaper if you get a yearly subscription.

I'm just curious if the ones from Zinio offer the same interactive elements that the native magazine apps provide.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

So, does Bloomberg has to offer that one can subscribe to the print edition (+iPad version) via Apple's subscription service? Since you can order the print + iPad edition via their website, shouldn't Bloomberg have to match that offer via Apple's subscription service?

Or is it rather that Apple has come to its senses and is now allowing the bundled sale of print and iPad editions without demanding a cut?

I would guess it is the latter. As a lot of people have said, Apple is making things up as they go along. Which means they occasionally get things wrong but then correct it later. But it also means that your terms and conditions can change at any moment since Apple does not feel bound by what they said (or did) yesterday.

The first rule for In App Purchase is that you cannot sell physical goods using it. This rule was there since day one and didn't change. Therefore, Bloomberg cannot sell physical media AND iPad addition together through IAP (they can do it on their website if they choose). They are only required to sell the iPad only part using In App Subscription in addition to their website and for the same price.
post #9 of 22
Maxim only has their Thai land version that uses apples in app subscription service.
They do have a zinio version but it does not use apples in app subs.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikelleigh View Post

Does anyone know if these are different than what you can already get from Zinio?

I have the National Geographic app and was shocked to see that Zinio offers the same (I think they are the same) magazines for much cheaper if you get a yearly subscription.

I'm just curious if the ones from Zinio offer the same interactive elements that the native magazine apps provide.

I've been using Zinio for Windows/Mac since late 2003, and it was one of the first apps I installed on my first iPad last year.

Though Zinio offers much better pricing for a subscriptions, these dedicated magazine apps tend to include more interactivity/multi-media features/eye-candy.

Personally, I prefer Zinio since it affords a one app solution for all of my favorite magazines, better prices, and enough interactivity to keep thing interesting without seeming too gimmicky.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

I've been using Zinio for Windows/Mac since late 2003, and it was one of the first apps I installed on my first iPad last year.

Though Zinio offers much better pricing for a subscriptions, these dedicated magazine apps tend to include more interactivity/multi-media features/eye-candy.

Personally, I prefer Zinio since it affords a one app solution for all of my favorite magazines, better prices, and enough interactivity to keep thing interesting without seeming too gimmicky.

Yeah, I agree about the one-app solution. It's nice to see the alerts when new issues are available and doesn't clutter up my app screen. Think I'll stick with Zinio.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

June 30th is supposedly the time everyone will have to comply with the rule.

I dont think Apple subscription model is going to hold until the end of june since lawsuits against it are spreading all over the world. I guess the FTC is being slow because Apple is an American co, but that thing is going to fall apart in the rest of the world.

And we will see if Apple have the balls the kick out Kindle, Zinio, netflix, ... the bad press is going to hit them pretty hard.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

The first rule for In App Purchase is that you cannot sell physical goods using it. This rule was there since day one and didn't change. Therefore, Bloomberg cannot sell physical media AND iPad addition together through IAP (they can do it on their website if they choose). They are only required to sell the iPad only part using In App Subscription in addition to their website and for the same price.

And they offer the iPad part for free to existing print subscribers through their webpage (not through the in-app purchasing option) shouldn't they be forced to match this via in-app purchasing? You are right about the rule about physical goods but there is also the rule that anything offered on their website must be matched via in-app purchasing options. The problem is that both rules cannot be adhered to at the same time. So, Apple ignores (does not enforce) the second rule in situations where it sees it would force a complete de-bundling of physical and digital goods. Which is a sensible idea, an even better idea would to formalise this. If your business depends on Apple ignoring its own rules that could make you somewhat nervous.

See, if Apple allows this, couldn't some sneaky bastard create a once per year printed newsletter and then say it comes with a free online subscription to this newsletter (with the online version containing much more and being much more frequent). And via this way get around the 30% cut?

The point is that Apple has been adjusting rules (and will keep doing so) simply because they have not figured out a rule yet that makes sense. As I said, they make things up as they go along. With actual enforced rules always lagging reality by several months. The problem with that is that you as a business never know when or if the rules might change your whole business model.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

I dont think Apple subscription model is going to hold until the end of june since lawsuits against it are spreading all over the world. I guess the FTC is being slow because Apple is an American co, but that thing is going to fall apart in the rest of the world.

And we will see if Apple have the balls the kick out Kindle, Zinio, netflix, ... the bad press is going to hit them pretty hard.

Why would Kindle have to get kicked out? eBooks are bought from Amazon a-la-carte, not via subscription, so the IAS stuff doesn't apply.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eh270 View Post

Why would Kindle have to get kicked out? eBooks are bought from Amazon a-la-carte, not via subscription, so the IAS stuff doesn't apply.

11.2: Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.

Does the Kindle app use a system other than the IAP to purchase content? Yes, it provides a link to a website where you purchase the content.

It does not matter what the rules are, it only matters how Apple interprets them at the moment.
post #16 of 22
Wish they would add a category "Magazines" to the AppStore drop down list to make it easier to find new content.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

And they offer the iPad part for free to existing print subscribers through their webpage (not through the in-app purchasing option) shouldn't they be forced to match this via in-app purchasing? You are right about the rule about physical goods but there is also the rule that anything offered on their website must be matched via in-app purchasing options. The problem is that both rules cannot be adhered to at the same time. So, Apple ignores (does not enforce) the second rule in situations where it sees it would force a complete de-bundling of physical and digital goods. Which is a sensible idea, an even better idea would to formalise this. If your business depends on Apple ignoring its own rules that could make you somewhat nervous.

Unless the offer is physical goods. This rule applies for digital media and digital subscription only.

Quote:
See, if Apple allows this, couldn't some sneaky bastard create a once per year printed newsletter and then say it comes with a free online subscription to this newsletter (with the online version containing much more and being much more frequent). And via this way get around the 30% cut?

If someone depends on iOS app store for income I doubt this will be worth the risk. The rules are clear and available for all developer. I am sure if many started doing this Apple will adjust the rules to avoid people cheating the system.

Quote:
The point is that Apple has been adjusting rules (and will keep doing so) simply because they have not figured out a rule yet that makes sense. As I said, they make things up as they go along. With actual enforced rules always lagging reality by several months. The problem with that is that you as a business never know when or if the rules might change your whole business model.

It is a new platform and businesses will adapt. Publishers can still use the web.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

I dont think Apple subscription model is going to hold until the end of june since lawsuits against it are spreading all over the world. I guess the FTC is being slow because Apple is an American co, but that thing is going to fall apart in the rest of the world.

And we will see if Apple have the balls the kick out Kindle, Zinio, netflix, ... the bad press is going to hit them pretty hard.

Links please.

If you are going to make outlandish statements like this would you care to back them up with evidence.
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post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

I've been using Zinio for Windows/Mac since late 2003, and it was one of the first apps I installed on my first iPad last year.

Another thumbs up for Zinio from me.

My only complaint is that they don't have certain magazines that my children want.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Unless the offer is physical goods. This rule applies for digital media and digital subscription only.

As it is apparently currently interpreted by Apple, nothing in the developer rules says that. And what you suggest is that you just have a attach something physical to anything digital and you can sell inside your apps bypassing Apple's IAP mechanism (and 30% cut).
Quote:
The rules are clear and available for all developer.

So, could you explain me whether storage space purchased from Dropbox will have to offered via IAP? I assume if the rules are clear that should be an easy question.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

As it is apparently currently interpreted by Apple, nothing in the developer rules says that. And what you suggest is that you just have a attach something physical to anything digital and you can sell inside your apps bypassing Apple's IAP mechanism (and 30% cut).

No physical Goods:

"11.3 Apps using IAP to purchase physical goods or goods and services used outside of the application will be rejected"

The below clause can't get any clearer. If you are are selling access to digital content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video) or selling digital content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video) AND this content is viewable within your app then your app MUST provide subscription to/sell this digital content using IAP. For your example, if you are selling something physical with digital content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video) attached to it then you MUST provide access to this digital content ONLY using IAP. This is not rocket science.

"11.13 Apps can read or play approved content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video) that is sold outside of the app, for which Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues, provided that the same content is also offered in the app using IAP at the same price or less than it is offered outside the app. This applies to both purchased content and subscriptions."

Quote:
So, could you explain me whether storage space purchased from Dropbox will have to offered via IAP? I assume if the rules are clear that should be an easy question.

From 11.13 above DropBox are not obligated to sell storage space using IAP. They can link to their website from the app for more storage. If they want to use IAP then they are subjected to revenue sharing with Apple. The clause only applies to magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video as it is clearly stated above. Like I said everything is clear in Apple Review Guidelines for most cases. However, just like any written law or rule there will be rare cases where more clarification is required.
post #22 of 22
[It's funny how Ireland's comment disappeared from this story. I mentioned the fact the the titleist of this post clearly read the Daring Fireball article before he post this. It was the first comment on this story. Now it's gone? There's not much worse than censorship.]
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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