Thursday, 10 February 2011

Apple Makes Clear Their Intentions Concerning Magazine Subscriptions

In an article posted Feb 8 on TechCrunch, Apple released additional information on how they will work with magazine subscriptions.  Essentially, Apple will REQUIRE all publishers that sell subscriptions to include an ability for subscribers to buy subscriptions via iTunes.  A publisher is not precluded from providing their own direct subscription capability -- but the Apple option will be mandatory.  What are the implications for Publishers?
Most obvious is the handing over of 30% of their subscription revenue to Apple, but even more importantly, publishers are giving up the customer data that publishers have relied on for years in positioning their knowledge of their readership with advertisers.  Historically, publishers have shared single issue Newwstand revenue, but often these single issue sales, led to subscriptions that continued for years - with publishers earning all future revenue.  With Apple in the drivers seat, it is likey that most readers will opt to buy and renew through iTunes.  While Apple has indicated that readers can opt to give them permission to share their data with the Publishers, most readers will not opt in to do this and publishers will begin to lose touch with their readership.
At Advanced Publishing, we offer publishers the ability to provide an interactive Web App version of their magazine - with the ability to set and control pricing, manage subscriptions, and access all reader data so that Publishers don't lose touch with their key asset -- their readership.