Facebook not launching media and news subscription tool on iPhone because of Apple's 30% t...

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2017
Facebook is on the verge of launching a way to allow companies to sell subscriptions through the social media venue -- but a dispute over Apple's mandated 30 percent of revenue derived through apps distributed on its store appears to have scuttled the launch on the iPhone.




A report on Thursday from Recode notes that the debate has been going on between Apple and Facebook for months, according to sources familiar with both companies. The tool seeks to enforce paywalls associated with shared content in one of two ways.

The first, a metered index, prompts users to pay for the content after users have read 10 of the publisher's articles over a set period of time universally. A "freemium" version allows publishers to gate off certain content, and not require payments for everything.

Facebook claims that it will not take any revenue from the payments gathered, and reportedly Google will not take any funds generated from users who get the Facebook app through Google Play. However, Apple requires up to 30 percent of revenue generated from in-app purchases, including paywall funds generated as a result of the Facebook app.

Apple does not allow app developers to suggest that users pay for service outside of the app in question.

"We know subscriptions are an important business model for many in the news industry, that's why we've been working hand-in-hand with publishers to create a product that will drive real value for them," said a blog post penned by Facebook's Campbell Brown. "We're committed to this effort and optimistic that we'll launch a test on all mobile platforms soon."

The Facebook subscription feature is rolling out in the next few weeks with Hearst, Tronc, and the Washington Post involved. Specifically not participating in the rollout are the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    This decision can’t last forever. Just wait.

    I’m not sure why certain companies demand special privileges. Even if Apple were to give their whiny ass a privilege then that opens the floodgates for everyone else to demand lower fees and then lower fees....
    magman1979RacerhomieXleavingthebiggjbdragon[Deleted User]jony0
  • Reply 2 of 23
    RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    Screw you facecrack. .
    macseekeranton zuykovRobPalmer9[Deleted User]
  • Reply 3 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,969member
    Can’t wait for the uneducated anti-capitalists to start throwing the word “monopoly” around.
    anton zuykovjony0
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Hahahaha, won’t be reading news in FB here.
    As multiple apple products owner,,,,have a lots if free news resources.
    RacerhomieXjbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 23
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,836member
    The App Store isn't free for Apple to run and its more than just slap and bunch of servers together in a datacenter and it just magically works. Why do companies not realize this? FaceBook should know this of all companies. 
    StrangeDaysRacerhomieXmacseekercalijony0
  • Reply 6 of 23
    Non-issue. Another site wanting to sell me news?? If I click on a paid post on FB, it’s NEVER forgotten, shows up again and again.
    Apple, maybe take 50%, not 30.
    anton zuykov
  • Reply 7 of 23
    No fb, no problem. I only use fb very sparsely. 
    jbdragon[Deleted User]
  • Reply 8 of 23
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,586member
    Whatever will we do, oh that’s right, open safari and browse news etc without Facebook tracking everything.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 23
    FaceCrook always wants something for nothing: it's their business model.
    RacerhomieXanton zuykovmacseekerRobPalmer9
  • Reply 10 of 23
    NemWanNemWan Posts: 115member
    Facebook's loss. Who has more disposable income for content subscriptions as a percentage of users: iOS or Android?
    RobPalmer9cali
  • Reply 11 of 23
    Who wants to read Fake news on Faceholes anyways. They are currently selling ad space to a company that is ripping innocents people off. Free product with fake testimonials and giving free samples with a hidden disclaimer that you’re on a monthly subscription and automatically charges you over $400 the following month. Nobody helps you, credit card companies tell yoiu to castle their company knowing they’ll give you about 50% back to shut you up
    cali
  • Reply 12 of 23
    NemWan said:
    Facebook's loss. Who has more disposable income for content subscriptions as a percentage of users: iOS or Android?
    Read the article. Facebook gets no revenue from this. The content providers do. And it is the content providers - the newspapers - that do not wish to give 70% of their subscription revenue to Apple when they are already on tight margins because of declining subscriptions and declining online traffic. If it were their app, they might. But they aren't going to give up 30% of their cut for the privilege of being accessed through Facebook's app on Apple hardware. Apple's business model does not fit everybody. And it is not the job of everybody to accommodate Apple's business model. Why can't people just accept that and move on? There are still going to be a ton of great apps that are available only on iOS.
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 13 of 23
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,001member
    NemWan said:
    Facebook's loss. Who has more disposable income for content subscriptions as a percentage of users: iOS or Android?
    Read the article. Facebook gets no revenue from this. The content providers do. And it is the content providers - the newspapers - that do not wish to give 70% of their subscription revenue to Apple when they are already on tight margins because of declining subscriptions and declining online traffic. If it were their app, they might. But they aren't going to give up 30% of their cut for the privilege of being accessed through Facebook's app on Apple hardware. Apple's business model does not fit everybody. And it is not the job of everybody to accommodate Apple's business model. Why can't people just accept that and move on? There are still going to be a ton of great apps that are available only on iOS.
    And you believe Facebook gain nothing from this? I know content providers have their own apps in Appstore, some are free and some are subscribe based. Are you saying it is OKAY that 'these content providers' looking for a loophole to sell their services to iOS users for free?
    edited October 2017 cali
  • Reply 14 of 23
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,078member
    I see this as no great loss.  Don't want to pay Apple, there's the door, don't let it hit you on the way out.  I won't miss it as I rarely even go to Facebook.   That's a lot of less income from a group more willing to pay for stuff unlike Android users.  Darn,....not.

    edited October 2017
  • Reply 15 of 23
    focherfocher Posts: 640member
    Wait! What? Yet another thing I don’t have to use from Facebook? Oh, what ever will we do?

    Seriously, to say “no loss” isn’t accurate. It’s a total gain not to have Facebook. For anything.
    fotoformat
  • Reply 16 of 23
    And you believe Facebook gain nothing from this? I know content providers have their own apps in Appstore, some are free and some are subscribe based. Are you saying that 'these content providers' are looking for a loophole to sell their services to iOS users for free?
    Sigh :# . Let me answer your question with a question. Why are you so determined to blame this on Facebook instead of the providers? What did Facebook do to become Apple's enemy in your book before now?

    Now to get back at your question directly. Facebook has never had an issue with the App Store policies before. So why would they now? The answer. They don't. Facebook is like Google. They don't need App Store revenue. In fact they don't want it. Do you know why? Ads. Facebook makes far more on ads than they ever would from people buying subscriptions through the App Store. Now look. Open your mind here and realize that there are other business models than Apple's. Like the business model that allowed Google to surpass Yahoo and Microsoft and become the world's second biggest company by giving away Chrome, Android, the GSuite software and nearly all their other products and services for free

    Now please be willing to actually understand instead of doing the fanboy "I am closing my mind now because this information flies in the face of what I choose to believe about my favorite company" thing on purpose. Facebook doesn't want to use the subscription model for any of their services because they make less money that way. They can't make money by restricting themselves to 25% of the market and making a premium on hardware sales to that 25%. They make money off ads, and the way to make money off ads is to have as many users as possible engaging with their product as much as possible. The subscription model flies in the face of that because if they adopt that they will lose 50% to 75% of their customers off the bat. They don't want to write off those customers as "cheap", "uneducated", "unsophisticated", "moochers", "leeches", "no taste", "don't understand tech" etc. (The way that Apple fans view Android and Microsoft consumers.) They can make revenue off showing ads to those people too because their business model is volume not margin. To use a broadcast analogy, Google and Facebook are network TV where Apple is premium cable. Or Facebook is broadcast radio where Apple is satellite radio.

    That is why the only consumer services that Google charges for are YouTube Red, Google Play Movies/TV/Books/Music and cloud storage. Now the latter has real infrastructure costs and if Google gave away unlimited cloud storage for free you would have 1 billion people uploading 5 TB of data just because. But the former? The content providers own the content and they want to be paid for it. 

    The same is going on here. Hearst, Tronc, and the Washington Post are the ones who want - and need - this revenue. Facebook doesn't, and trust me if they could work out a way where they could provide this service for free they would. Yes, Facebook benefits. Why? Because right now Facebook serves up links and when you clink on a link you leave Facebook and go to the newspaper's site. This allows you to subscribe to the newspaper within the app, read the news content while staying in the app and still seeing Facebook ads. The paper gets the subscription revenue, Facebook gets the ad revenue and both win. But if there was some way for Facebook to get the ad revenue without the subscription component that is what they would do because that is what they do for every single other app that they have in the App Store. It would maximize the number of people who read the news content while staying in their app and in the process see their ads. Instead, 50%-75% fewer people will use this app than otherwise would. Facebook isn't happy with this, but they have no choice but to go along, because that way it makes the content providers their partners instead of their competitors and Facebook wants to keep their partnerships with the content providers in a way that maximizes the time that people stay on Facebook.

    But hey, you go ahead and blame Facebook for this because you choose to believe that every other company is an enemy of Apple out to take away Apple's hard earned money.
    edited October 2017 muthuk_vanalingamcropr
  • Reply 17 of 23
    You have to admit it's a clever move on Facebook's part. It allies itself with content providers big and small, it offers more reason for people to stay inside the Facebook ecosystem (while Facebook keeps track of what you read and builds its user profiles to sell you to advertisers on FB for more money). It also erodes benefits of other social networks.

    What's interesting to me is why Google would go along with charging nothing. Surely Google didn't do this out of the goodness of their hearts. Did they work out a side deal for data-sharing, or some agreement for integration of the Google Display ad system? 

    Or is it just a 'make-nice' gesture to get newspapers to back off demands for antitrust investigations of the two companies?
  • Reply 18 of 23
    NemWan said:
    Facebook's loss. Who has more disposable income for content subscriptions as a percentage of users: iOS or Android?
    Read the article. Facebook gets no revenue from this. The content providers do. And it is the content providers - the newspapers - that do not wish to give 70% of their subscription revenue to Apple when they are already on tight margins because of declining subscriptions and declining online traffic. If it were their app, they might. But they aren't going to give up 30% of their cut for the privilege of being accessed through Facebook's app on Apple hardware. Apple's business model does not fit everybody. And it is not the job of everybody to accommodate Apple's business model. Why can't people just accept that and move on? There are still going to be a ton of great apps that are available only on iOS.

    Because 0% (no subscribers) is somehow better than 70%?
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 19 of 23
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,296member
    And this is a great loss how?
  • Reply 20 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,026member
    Facebook is like an infected tick. The less presence Facebook has on Apple platforms, the better. 
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