Audible Launches a Web-Based Store to Bypass Apple’s Rules

Audible Launches a Web-Based Store to Bypass Apple’s RulesRather than complying with Apple’s App Store terms and throwing the Cupertino company 30% of every sale it makes, Audible has launched an iPhone-friendly web app that allows users to add a bookmark to their home screen for quick and easy purchasing.

The Audible app is still available in the App Store, but the company has been forced to remove the ‘Shop’ button in order to prevent the app from being banned. However, rather than sell content through Apple’s ecosystem and give the company a 30% cut, Audible has launched an awesome new web app instead.

iOS users can navigate to the Audible mobile website (mobile.audible.com) using a mobile browser to purchase content on their device. For quick and easy access, users can choose to save the site as a bookmark on their home screen, as detailed by the company in the images above.

Amazon, Audible’s parent company, took the same steps with its Kindle app for iOS.

Have you tried Audible’s web-based store?

  • FriarNurgle

    Never really got into Audio books. I know the guys on Macbreak Weekly plug it frequently. Good for them for circumventing the 30% rule. Stuff like this just makes it noncompetitive.  

  • prof_peabody

    You might want to have included in the article a description of what the heck “Audible” actually is.  I don’t think I’m going to bother going to their website to find out.  

  • Uhyesthatsme

    I’ve been using audible for over a year now and I don’t see why this is a big deal. They just removed a button. The app is fairly useless anyway. It crashes constantly. I’ve had a bookmark on my homepage ever since I bought my iPad. All they did was remove a button. Nothing else.

  • gareth edwards

    Killian – do a poll on what % cut Apple should take – be interesting to see what people think – I for one am on the 30% is too much side. Maybe 20%.

  • Parvanit

    Good for them, for circumventing the apple store?

    Let’s apply your logic to real world, shall we?

    Ever gone to a resturant?

    You went there because of the food, the atmosphere,
    Advertising, and staff, along with the location, right?

    With your meal, you ordered a pop at some point.

    I guarantee it didn’t cost you what it does in the grocery store.
    Do you rage against the resturant owner using it as part of how he pays for the restaurant?

    Should coke and pepsi ignore that the only reason you are there drinking glass after glass of unlimited refill pop is because of that resturant? Would you cheer if they just refused to sell pop inside the resturant, instead setting up shop outside?

    After all, if they would just refuse to be part of the resturant ecosystem,
    They could rake in quadruple the profits and sell you a single container of pop.

    At least they wouldn’t be giving in to “the man”, right?

  • Jdsonice

    I get audio books for free from the library. Why pay Amazon or anyone else for that. I pay taxes which pays for my local library. I see no value in the likes of Audible, Kindle etc. Waste of money.

  • FriarNurgle

    Your soda analogy is interesting. Business is business, You make something, sell it and make a profit. Sometimes you pay for the use of business avenues to get your product exposed to more people. I get it. There is no argument there. I also love Apple…

    My point is that selling audio books is a low profit business. There is no way a 30% cut into profits is sustainable. sure they lose the convenience and exposure of having an app. But that’s the true questions these businesses have to ask themselves; Do we go it alone with a nice mobile web version of our site and keep all the profit or pay Apple 30% for having an app that has the potential to bring in more customers?

    I’m sure Audible crunched the numbers and decided against the app. Was it the right decision? Time will tell.

  • Cubs Fan Ron

    That “30% cut into profits” is far worse than you imply. That 30% is off the top.

    Take two cases, in both I sell a book for $1.00 that costs 0.50. Those numbers are made up, but they’re illustrative. 

    Case 1: sell outside the app store. We sold the book for $1.00 with a cost of 0.50, leaving a profit of 0.50 (wow, that’s pretty good, right?) How would you like to compute profit margin – for now, let’s say it’s either profit/revenue or profit/cost. For the former, it’s 0.5/1.0 = 50%; for the latter it’s 0.5/0.5 = 100%. 

    Case 2: sell through the app store. Again, we sold the book for $1.00 and the book cost 0.50. Now Apple takes 0.30 (30% of the price) making the net cost 0.80. Suddenly, we’re left with 0.20 profit, with a margin of either 20% or 25% based on your method of calculating, but that’s a 60% reduction in net profit $’s!

    Maybe your business operates differnetly than mine, but I don’t make %’s, I make $’s. If I only made 0.20 per book, that 0.30 that Apple just took makes my business unprofitable. If I make 0.80 per book, then they just got 37.5% of my profit. 

    Audible (and others) are not doing anything that the App Store tax hasn’t forced them into doing in the same way the US tax code forces corporations to shelter their money overseas to avoid paying overly high taxes. 

  • Samuel Brock

    This potentially be something that sets the tone for other apps, further causing apple to crack down and keep it’s revenue up

  • CharliK

    It’s worth pointing something out. Especially for those arguing that Audible doesn’t want to give Apple 30% of the sale. 

    This came for the iTunes store this morning. See something ‘odd’ for a company that doesn’t want to share

  • EyeBurn

    many audiobooks have said “presented by audible” since the beginning, this isn’t new.

    also, audible’s app did process purchases through the native app…the “shop” link just kicked you over to your mobile safari browser. I don’t see what the hype is about. again…nothing new to see here folks~

  • EyeBurn

    I typo’d, I mean to say audible’s app “did NOT” have a shop feature or process natively, the shop link takes you to safari browser.

    my bad…

  • EyeBurn

    I’ve actually never had the audible app crash, I use it about 2 hours per day (5 days per week) during my daily commute. I like it enough that I use the audible player to play audiobooks I’ve acquired from elsewhere (meaning that I didn’t purchase them from audible.com). I use a 32GB iPhone 4 on AT&T, formerly running iOS 4.x but have been running iOS 5.x beta for a few months. I live in Houston, TX

  • Jeff

    I don’t know how everyone else feels. But the way I see it, the in-App purchase restrictions Apple have set up are destroying the user experience! It is one thing for them to ask for such a huge cut on Apps that they host, support, certify, promote and provide the merchant interface for. It is something entirely different when the add-on content is not being hosted by them (example: Audible or Kindle content). That is just plain extrortion. The only benefit to the end user is having all the purchases go thru their AppleID… but unless you have been living under a rock and have never used any of these services before outside the “protective” fortress of Apple’s AppStore… really, who cares? Solutions: Either Apple does Hosted In-App content for a much smaller, nominal fee and externally hosted content for free. Or they do all in-app purchases for free to the developers as a way to smooth over the user interface and end-user experience, rather than destroy it. If there is one thing all of us have learned about Steve Jobs, it’s that everything comes down to creating a refined user experience… Think Different and do the right thing Apple!

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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