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Apple pulls Financial Times iPhone, iPad app over subscription disagreement

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
Apple has removed from the App Store the iPhone and iPad apps from international business paper The Financial Times after the publication refused to comply with its terms for in-app subscription payments.

After drawing criticism for its rules regarding in-app subscriptions, Apple modified its terms ahead of a June 30 deadline to allow third-party subscriptions and purchases sold outside of the App Store to be offered at a lower price than those within an iOS app.

But, the changes weren't enough for FT, which disagreed with Apple's remaining rule forbidding external links within an app to purchase content.

The publication's apps remained in the App Store for two months after the deadline, but paidContent reports that they have now been removed. Interestingly enough, the company's app won an Apple Design Award last year.

FT asserts that its biggest issue with Apple is its control over subscriber data, not the 30 percent cut that the iPad maker insists on taking.

Given that the company saw 10 percent of roughly 100,000 new digital subscriptions come from the iPad last year, as many as 10,000 users could be affected by the change. The paper has seen its digital subscriptions nearly double since the original iPad was released in 2010.



The FT iPad and iPhone apps will no longer be available to new users through iTunes, said a spokesperson. We are directing readers to the FTs new web app available at app.ft.com. iTunes will remain an important channel for new and existing advertising based apps.

The newspaper launched a HTML5-based web app in June as a workaround to Apple's policies. The web app appears to have met with instant success, as FT already claims 550,000 users of the app, which is accessible through mobile Safari.



Meanwhile, other app makers such as The Wall Street Journal, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, have complied with Apple's rules by removing purchasing options from their applications.

The Chinese edition of the Financial Times, which is free, and Financial Times Deutschland, which is no longer run by the FT Group, will both remain on the App Store
post #2 of 56
Newspaper sites in particular should be using HTML5 apps and not cluttering up the App Store with stuff that is perfectly suited for HTML5. I agree with the decisions of both parties in this case.
post #3 of 56
apple's draconian in-app subscription policy is a mistake...
post #4 of 56
What a fantastic result for Apple!

Nothing quite says "win" like getting important applications pulled from your app store.

Maybe this will even spawn secondary cross-platform HTML5 app stores for subscription-based content. That will really prove Apple is sticking it to them.
post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

What a fantastic result for Apple!

Nothing quite says "win" like getting important applications pulled from your app store.

Maybe this will even spawn secondary cross-platform HTML5 app stores for subscription-based content. That will really prove Apple is sticking it to them.

You don't get it. They don't need to be in anyone's app store. It makes no sense at all. It's redundant. Just go to the website.
post #6 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

You don't get it. They don't need to be in anyone's app store. It makes no sense at all. It's redundant. Just go to the website.

I do get it. I was just being facetious.
post #7 of 56
Did Apple remove it or did FT?

Since app.ft.com is available it might as well could be removed by FT.
JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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post #8 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrocker27ka View Post

apple's draconian in-app subscription policy is a mistake...

Yes, because giving end users the choice of not sending data to the publisher is bad.
JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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post #9 of 56
Quote:
Apple has removed from the App Store the iPhone and iPad apps from international business paper The Financial Times after the publication refused to comply with its terms for in-app subscription payments.

What the heck, Is this sentence even grammatically correct?
post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLL View Post

Yes, because giving end users the choice of not sending data to the publisher is bad.

Nice doublespeak :-)

Yes, in a way it is bad. The cost of the content consumers get from publications like the FT is subsidised by advertising. Publications sell advertising based on subscriber/reader data. The provision of this data by readers is part of an implicit agreement between publishers and readers that enables the business model to exist.

If you break this business model (as Apple, sadly, appears to be trying to do) then advertisers don't advertise, the publisher can't generate content, and the readers can't read it. Apple wins in the short term, everyone loses in the long term.
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post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

Nice doublespeak :-)

Yes, in a way it is bad. The cost of the content consumers get from publications like the FT is subsidised by advertising. Publications sell advertising based on subscriber/reader data. The provision of this data by readers is part of an implicit agreement between publishers and readers that enables the business model to exist.

If you break this business model (as Apple, sadly, appears to be trying to do) then advertisers don't advertise, the publisher can't generate content, and the readers can't read it. Apple wins in the short term, everyone loses in the long term.

I love this rational.
When Apple gives a choice, it's bad. When it didn't give a choice, guess what.. it's evillllll.
post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLL View Post

Yes, because giving end users the choice of not sending data to the publisher is bad.

If laws require a ten year warranty in a given country and as a result some manufacturers stop selling their products in this country because it does not make commercial sense for them, is this good or bad for the consumer?

The issue here is the use of aggregate data of personal information like name, address and e-mail. When you subscribe via a webpage all this goes to the publisher but unless you agree to it, it will only be used to create aggregate data. Every decent newspaper already offers the option to prevent the usage of these data for direct marketing via a simple checkbox. What Apple offers as an option is complete anonymity, something which has never existed in the world of subscriptions (only when buying single issue and even then the person at the kiosk might remember your face after a while).
But then this anonymity is only towards the publisher, Apple can still use your subscription habits to target iAds [in other applications] to you.

post #13 of 56
I have to say that I am not a big fan of "selected partner" business model. If I give my information to Apple, then I expect it to remain with Apple and for that matter if I give it to Google or FT I expect it to remain there. They can provide further services based on that, like what Google does, but should not create a 2ndary market to sell and purchase the data. I do not want to sound doom&gloom but the advertising field is heading for a subprime market kind of crash (maybe in a few years!)

For the case of FT: check their website, you do not need their app as such!
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrocker27ka View Post

apple's draconian in-app subscription policy is a mistake...

We can only know in the long run.
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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post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

What Apple offers as an option is complete anonymity, something which has never existed in the world of subscriptions (only when buying single issue and even then the person at the kiosk might remember your face after a while).
But then this anonymity is only towards the publisher, Apple can still use your subscription habits to target iAds [in other applications] to you.

Except Apple won't do things like send you post and doesn't really make it money from Ads. Ads for papers on the other hand are a main revenue stream in some cases. These papers have no need for your data, on the other hand Apple only uses your App data and you can choose not to turn genius on. You only have compare Apple to Google for a clearer picture. Google are a shower of bastards who like Facebook benefit a lot from not caring about you. Apple has the reputation they have because they are the opposite.
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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post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

If laws require a ten year warranty in a given country and as a result some manufacturers stop selling their products in this country because it does not make commercial sense for them, is this good or bad for the consumer?


Depends if you cared about a 10 year warranty or not. Should it be a law to decide this is a requirement or should it just be left to competition. With car's there are a lot that advertise long warranty's while other's advertise nicer designs. People then have a decision of what's most important to them.

As long as the law makes companies make things clear about what their doing then consumers should have the right to buy what they wan't. If someone decides they don't care that a product only has a 3 month warranty, or they don't care how their data is used then that's there choice.
post #17 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrocker27ka View Post

apple's draconian in-app subscription policy is a mistake...

No, it isn't

Furthermore it is standard industry practice.

If I go to Walmart to buy a product, I pay the price in Walmart, the original manufacturer of the product isn't sat in Walmart saying "you can also buy from me and save a little money, don't bother going to the cashier here, i can take payment from you instead".

Consumers accept then when in a retail outlet/distribution model you pay the mark-up of the retail outlet/distributor selling the product. Sure - there are always ways to save money on your purchase, or alternative places to purchase, but when in the store, you buy from the store at the in-store price. If you want to purchase elsewhere, you leave the store.

I don't understand why people think Apple are doing anything new? They are protecting their business/profit model while giving a convenient distribution/purchase outlet for software.
post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFreeman View Post

I have to say that I am not a big fan of "selected partner" business model. If I give my information to Apple, then I expect it to remain with Apple and for that matter if I give it to Google or FT I expect it to remain there. They can provide further services based on that, like what Google does, but should not create a 2ndary market to sell and purchase the data. I do not want to sound doom&gloom but the advertising field is heading for a subprime market kind of crash (maybe in a few years!)

For the case of FT: check their website, you do not need their app as such!

That won't last forever http://www.nypost.com/
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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post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I do get it. I was just being facetious.

Sorry. I guess I didn't get it. lol!
post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

I love this rational.
When Apple gives a choice, it's bad. When it didn't give a choice, guess what.. it's evillllll.

Lol and then they had the nerve to tell someone else about double speak.
post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

As long as the law makes companies make things clear about what their doing then consumers should have the right to buy what they wan't. If someone decides they don't care that a product only has a 3 month warranty, or they don't care how their data is used then that's there choice.

Which would translate to iOS that Apple should only require a clear and public privacy policy from any app.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

No, it isn't

Furthermore it is standard industry practice.

If I go to Walmart to buy a product, I pay the price in Walmart, the original manufacturer of the product isn't sat in Walmart saying "you can also buy from me and save a little money, don't bother going to the cashier here, i can take payment from you instead".

Consumers accept then when in a retail outlet/distribution model you pay the mark-up of the retail outlet/distributor selling the product. Sure - there are always ways to save money on your purchase, or alternative places to purchase, but when in the store, you buy from the store at the in-store price. If you want to purchase elsewhere, you leave the store.

I don't understand why people think Apple are doing anything new? They are protecting their business/profit model while giving a convenient distribution/purchase outlet for software.

In fact, before Apple came alone Amazon was charging newspaper companies 70% to be on their kindle app and Amazon got to set the price of the subscription.
post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post


If I go to Walmart to buy a product, I pay the price in Walmart, the original manufacturer of the product isn't sat in Walmart saying "you can also buy from me and save a little money, don't bother going to the cashier here, i can take payment from you instead".


I'm not sure that is an apt analogy. What might be closer is if WalMart were to tear out the subscription cards from all the magazines it sells, or to prohibit the publishers from including them in the first place.
post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLL View Post

Yes, because giving end users the choice of not sending data to the publisher is bad.

Newspapers and magazines make their profits on advertisements. NO advertisements = NO profits = NO newspaper or magazine. HOW is this hard for people to understand. The same people who complain about their information being collected for advertisements then scratch their heads and complain when the newspaper or magazine goes under.

People are idiots.
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

Nice doublespeak :-)

Yes, in a way it is bad. The cost of the content consumers get from publications like the FT is subsidised by advertising. Publications sell advertising based on subscriber/reader data. The provision of this data by readers is part of an implicit agreement between publishers and readers that enables the business model to exist.

If you break this business model (as Apple, sadly, appears to be trying to do) then advertisers don't advertise, the publisher can't generate content, and the readers can't read it. Apple wins in the short term, everyone loses in the long term.

You said it so much more eloquently than I could have.
post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

In fact, before Apple came alone Amazon was charging newspaper companies 70% to be on their kindle app and Amazon got to set the price of the subscription.

This isn't about the company taking a percentage of the profits...it is about advertising. These papers and magazines need our info to allow for advertisements...plain and simple. This is how they stay in business. If you don't want to take part, don't complain when your magazine or newspaper folds (excuse the pun).
post #27 of 56
"That's a nice subscription-based app you have there... It would be a shame if something were to happen to it..."
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post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

This isn't about the company taking a percentage of the profits...it is about advertising. These papers and magazines need our info to allow for advertisements...plain and simple. This is how they stay in business. If you don't want to take part, don't complain when your magazine or newspaper folds (excuse the pun).

So what? The magazine has the option of including advertising in its app, as well. So they can get the same revenue stream without collecting data.

Or, they can sell the e-magazine for a different price than the print magazine and have fewer (or no) ads in the e-magazine.

There's nothing inconsistent between Apple's policy and the magazine's desire to sell ads.
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post #29 of 56
FT should just create a webapp, just like Amazon.

I look at this as a good thing, we shouldn't rely on apps to use the iPad, we should just be able to use webapps and then put all the links of the webapps on the home screen. That'd be the same as apps without going through Apple, which would make the iPad more like a computer in the long run. Apple will still make the money off hardware, people would still buy iPads but also gives users more flexibilities in terms of using webapps that Apple might not otherwise approve.
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

No, it isn't

Furthermore it is standard industry practice.

If I go to Walmart to buy a product, I pay the price in Walmart, the original manufacturer of the product isn't sat in Walmart saying "you can also buy from me and save a little money, don't bother going to the cashier here, i can take payment from you instead".

Consumers accept then when in a retail outlet/distribution model you pay the mark-up of the retail outlet/distributor selling the product. Sure - there are always ways to save money on your purchase, or alternative places to purchase, but when in the store, you buy from the store at the in-store price. If you want to purchase elsewhere, you leave the store.

I don't understand why people think Apple are doing anything new? They are protecting their business/profit model while giving a convenient distribution/purchase outlet for software.

But this is in app purchases, your not in an Apple Store your in the App manufacturers store, in this case the Financial Times. Apps on an iPhone are no more Apples than this website is when you look at it on an iPhone.

The correct comparison where Apple fit into this transaction is they are the service the retail outlet uses to process credit cards. Biggest difference here though is credit card processing is usually charged at around 2% and Apple are charging 30%.
post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Except Apple won't do things like send you post and doesn't really make it money from Ads. Ads for papers on the other hand are a main revenue stream in some cases. These papers have no need for your data, on the other hand Apple only uses your App data and you can choose not to turn genius on. You only have compare Apple to Google for a clearer picture. Google are a shower of bastards who like Facebook benefit a lot from not caring about you. Apple has the reputation they have because they are the opposite.

You really should read the privacy policy of both Apple and Google. IMHO, Apple is much more likely to share your personal details with a third party than Google is. And unlike Google who requires that you OPT-IN for any sharing of information, Apple requires you to OPT-OUT to avoid that.

So if you don't make the conscious effort to change your preferences, Apple, without further notice, reserves the right to ". . . make certain personal information available to strategic partners that work with Apple to provide products and services, or that help Apple market to customers". They might also share your personal information "with companies who provide services such as information processing, extending credit, fulfilling customer orders, delivering products to you, managing and enhancing customer data, providing customer service, assessing your interest in our products and services, and conducting customer research or satisfaction surveys" They may also "disclose information about you if we determine that disclosure is reasonably necessary to enforce our terms and conditions or protect our operations or users".

In reality you have no idea what Apple shares with others or what it does with the extensive information they've collected on you including browsing habits, credit report files, communications on forums, communications with "Apple partners", etc.

So while you may be more concerned about what Google knows about you, Apple is much less clear on what they've gathered and who it's shared with. That doesn't make one necessarily better than the other, but if you look objectively, it doesn't make Apple any less of a concern either, especially as they've become one of the most powerful companies on earth.
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post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

So what? The magazine has the option of including advertising in its app, as well. So they can get the same revenue stream without collecting data.

Or, they can sell the e-magazine for a different price than the print magazine and have fewer (or no) ads in the e-magazine.

There's nothing inconsistent between Apple's policy and the magazine's desire to sell ads.

So what? If they don't make enough money due to lack of advertising options they GO OUT OF BUSINESS and then, again, people scratch their heads and complain. HOW DIFFICULT is this to understand?

In the end wouldn't you rather get advertisements that focus on things you do want or need versus crap that simply doesn't apply to you in any way? I have found many interesting websites, stores, items, places to travel, etc. through directed advertisements.
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

So what? If they don't make enough money due to lack of advertising options they GO OUT OF BUSINESS and then, again, people scratch their heads and complain. HOW DIFFICULT is this to understand?

In the end wouldn't you rather get advertisements that focus on things you do want or need versus crap that simply doesn't apply to you in any way? I have found many interesting websites, stores, items, places to travel, etc. through directed advertisements.

If someone can't come up with a business model that allows them to stay in business, that's their problem, not Apple's.

No one is stopping them from selling subscriptions any way they wish. They can hire you to stand on the busiest street corner in Tokyo to try t convince people how great the ads are for all I care.

Apple is simply expecting them to follow the terms that they agreed to when signing up for an App. And those terms are not inconsistent with the desire to stay in business. It may simply require them to adjust their model.
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post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

So what? The magazine has the option of including advertising in its app, as well. So they can get the same revenue stream without collecting data.

I think their argument might be this:
If they collect aggregate data about their readers, then they can give targeted statistics about their readership demographic to their advertisers, which they believe would lead those advertisers to be more willing to place advertisements in the publication, and also make them willing to pay a higher premium to place those ads.

If they cannot present reliable demographics about their readership to their advertisers, they may fear that their traditional advertisers may begin to consider withdrawing their advertisements, or may start to demand lower prices to place their ads.

Quote:
Or, they can sell the e-magazine for a different price than the print magazine and have fewer (or no) ads in the e-magazine.

I think their response here would be that a significant majority of the revenue, on a per-reader basis, comes from advertising rather than from readers paying the magazine's cover price. If you separate out the advertising revenue, but wanted to maintain the same overall margins for an electronic issue as they'd always had for print issues, then the electronic edition would increase in price by (guesswork) tenfold or more. That would be counter intuitive for a customer who naturally thinks that electronic distribution, with no raw materials, no shipping costs, etc, should automatically be less expensive than physical distribution. And it would drive away customers.

Furthermore, they probably realize that their print edition is on its way out. Paper publications will play a less and less significant role in the publishing business very soon. So, if you were to take away the advertising from the electronic readership, the publishers would be left with increasingly smaller circulation numbers to present to their advertisers for inserting advertisements in the remaining print issues. This would tend to lead to advertisers choosing to pull out over time.

The publishers don't want any of they to happen -- they're comfortable with their present business model, and they want to continue to have advertising revenues that are just as lucrative with their electronic distribution model as they have traditionally been with their print distribution model.
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

So what? The magazine has the option of including advertising in its app, as well. So they can get the same revenue stream without collecting data.

Don't you get it that the main point here is that they do not get the same revenue stream without the demographic data?
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

If someone can't come up with a business model that allows them to stay in business, that's their problem, not Apple's.

No one is stopping them from selling subscriptions any way they wish. They can hire you to stand on the busiest street corner in Tokyo to try t convince people how great the ads are for all I care.

Apple is simply expecting them to follow the terms that they agreed to when signing up for an App. And those terms are not inconsistent with the desire to stay in business. It may simply require them to adjust their model.

You just don't get it. So many people these days act so entitled. You just expect things for free? I took a class last semester (an old man in a sea of young kids) and one day we discussed the legality and morality of illegal downloads of music, videos, games, books. We also talked about newspapers and how they stay in business via advertisements, etc. considering individual sales of papers and subscriptions simply are not enough of a revenue stream to say in business. Over 90% of my class (ages 18 - 23) though it was okay to illegally download and also EXPECTED their news to be FREE. It just doesn't work that way. Newspapers and magazines are a business that require income and there are only so many ways to do advertising so that you can make a profit and stay in business. Using directed advertisements is a reliable method AND you can choose to opt out if you want to.

You seem to be the type of person I just described. What do you do when your "free" downloads and "free" newspapers? Complain about the lack of news and/or the shoddy reporting of the remaining few news sources.

This is a simple idea. You have to pay for services and things. They simply are not free. There is no reason for this 30% fee other than greed. There is also no reason for Apple to withhold subscribers information from purchasers of newspapers and magazines that are provide through an app. So, it is okay for Apple to collect demographic data and make a profit off of it, but not for others to do so? Sounds rather one-sided, don't you think?
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

If someone can't come up with a business model that allows them to stay in business, that's their problem, not Apple's.

Apple has simply figured out a business model where it keeps all of the demographic data for themselves (and iAds).
And they try to sell this as being better than the publisher also getting the demographic data.
post #38 of 56
It is a disappointing situation. I can understand Apple wanting to get a percentage, it is a business after all, not a charity I think their charges are too inflexible, the FT is a very popular on line publication. Is this a case of Apple cut its nose off to spite its face? It looks as though the FT won't lose out it any event.
post #39 of 56
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post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Apple has simply figured out a business model where it keeps all of the demographic data for themselves (and iAds).
And they try to sell this as being better than the publisher also getting the demographic data.

Then it's simple. The publisher chooses not to use the App Store. Or they find another revenue stream. Apple doesn't owe them a living.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

You just don't get it. So many people these days act so entitled. You just expect things for free? I took a class last semester (an old man in a sea of young kids) and one day we discussed the legality and morality of illegal downloads of music, videos, games, books. We also talked about newspapers and how they stay in business via advertisements, etc. considering individual sales of papers and subscriptions simply are not enough of a revenue stream to say in business. Over 90% of my class (ages 18 - 23) though it was okay to illegally download and also EXPECTED their news to be FREE. It just doesn't work that way. Newspapers and magazines are a business that require income and there are only so many ways to do advertising so that you can make a profit and stay in business. Using directed advertisements is a reliable method AND you can choose to opt out if you want to.

You seem to be the type of person I just described. What do you do when your "free" downloads and "free" newspapers? Complain about the lack of news and/or the shoddy reporting of the remaining few news sources.

This is a simple idea. You have to pay for services and things. They simply are not free. There is no reason for this 30% fee other than greed. There is also no reason for Apple to withhold subscribers information from purchasers of newspapers and magazines that are provide through an app. So, it is okay for Apple to collect demographic data and make a profit off of it, but not for others to do so? Sounds rather one-sided, don't you think?

You've got it completely backwards. I have never (not even once) downloaded music or movies illegally. I am more than happy to pay for the things I use.

OTOH, you seem to be arguing that Apple somehow owes these publishers something. Your argument is that the publishers have the right to demand something that Apple doesn't want to sell. That is, of course, nonsense.
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