Paranoid Publishers Admit They Were Wrong About iOS Subscriptions

Paranoid Publishers Admit They Were Wrong About iOS Subscriptions

For years, publishers have been fighting Apple for the ability to collect user data from iOS subscribers without their consent. It turns out, though, they don’t have to: over half of all subscribers give up their personal details willingly.

Although the idea of giving iPad owners a choice of whether or not to divulge their name, email and zipcode sent chills through some publishers, a report finds nearly 50 percent of people click the “allow” button. For some time, Apple and publishers have been at loggerheads over who will control the flow of subscriber information. The finding that most people are willing to give up some personal data in exchange for their favorite magazine on the iPad may explain why more publishers are agreeing to Apple’s terms.

“The publishers’ fear that Apple’s policies would deny them the consumer data they need to do business was unfounded,” Forbes writes. The large percent of subscription approvals is “the surprising reason publishers are finally saying yes to Apple,” according to writer Jeff Bercovici. The company’s Internet guru Eddy Cue confirmed the magazine’s numbers.

Of course, solving this worry does not bring complete peace of mind to both parties. Some publishers are still upset about Apple requiring a 30 percent cut of all subscription sales made via iTunes. This so-called “Apple Tax” likely was the reason Time Inc. – which publishes Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated – opted to avoid iTunes, instead handling subscriptions at its own website.

While publishers may be happy about the turn of events on subscription info, Apple still has problems with small developers who feel squeezed by the 30 percent rule. Wednesday, maker of the iFlow Reader app announced it was shutting down, telling customers “Apple screwed us.”

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  • Wikileaks is Democracy

    Management at iFlow Reader app failed to convince customers of the app’s value. If its run by management that believes in the value market forces to control success or failure and the destruction of competition, instead of operating for the greater good (the renewed paradigm) and working on the basis of cooperation, I have no sympathy for its failure.

  • John Marshall

    No, ebook resellers have to sell at 30% profit margin, as dictated by the agency model. When Apple takes 30%, all resellers automatically break even.

  • Cheater

    Less than break even!  30% is their gross profit; they also have those pesky buisness expenses (rent, saleries,etc) 

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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