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The Media Apple News

iPad Getting a Subscription Infrastructure? 94

Posted by timothy
from the matter-of-time dept.
itwbennett writes "Peter Smith is blogging about an article in the San Jose Mercury News leaking news that Apple is 'almost ready to take the wraps off a new system to support subscriptions. The terms, if the leaks are accurate, sound less than ideal for publishers though. Apple will take 40% of advertising revenue, and 30% of subscription fees from participating publishers. In return, Apple will offer consumers the ability to opt-in to sharing their data with the publishers.' Apple isn't commenting on the speculation. 'In somewhat related news, Apple has released iOS 4.2 to developers. This is the version of iOS that will let iPads, iPhones and iPad Touches print to a WiFi-enabled or shared printer on a local network, via the new AirPrint service. It sounds like you'll be able to print articles from your digitally delivered newspaper before too long,' says Smith."
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iPad Getting a Subscription Infrastructure?

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  • by Peach Rings (1782482) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @07:26PM (#33605808) Homepage

    It's nice to see that Apple is charging a reasonable fee in proportion with the cost of the services they're actually rendering instead of taking advantage of their control over the platform and price gouging the hell out of their customers.

    • by causality (777677) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @07:37PM (#33605914)

      It's nice to see that Apple is charging a reasonable fee in proportion with the cost of the services they're actually rendering instead of taking advantage of their control over the platform and price gouging the hell out of their customers.

      They still have competition. You can get other devices that use other platforms. That's true for iPhones and it's also true for iPads, especially if the tasks for which you would use a tablet can be done on a netbook. In any case, there is a market here that they could price themselves out of. They don't wish to shoot themselves in the foot, that's all. At this point it's not evidence of some kind of benevolence, though it doesn't rule that out either. It's merely consistent with the business practices that have gotten them to where they are today.

      The equation doesn't change until and unless they obtain a monopoly on such a market that is comparable to the dominance of Windows on the desktop.

      Additionally I'm not sure if it would be "price gouging" when it's a luxury item and the customers knew or could easily have informed themselves that they were investing in a platform that is not open and is under the control of a single vendor. Those who really care about this possibility tend to insist on open platforms that are not subject to vendorlock.

    • by icebike (68054)

      40% of advertising revenue implies revenue for clicks on in-app adds will be down substantially. Apple is going to start milking the App Developers.

      30% Subscription revenue says they are planning to continue to milk the subscription content sellers.

      It sounds to me like apple has decided its easier to fleece the flock of developers than actually charge the end user for what their services cost.

      Boy, I wonder why Google hasn't thought about that.....

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BradleyUffner (103496)

        30% Subscription revenue says they are planning to continue to milk the subscription content sellers.

        It sounds to me like apple has decided its easier to fleece the flock of developers than actually charge the end user for what their services cost.

        Boy, I wonder why Google hasn't thought about that.....

        30% is the same cut google takes on android market applications.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cryptoluddite (658517)

      It's nice to see that Apple is charging a reasonable fee

      Why is that marked funny? Last I checked Google is making huge profits even despite massive spending, so they're basically doing the same thing. If anything Google is taking significantly more profit percentage-wise from actual content producers than Apple is.

    • It's nice to see that Apple is charging a reasonable fee in proportion with the cost of the services they're actually rendering instead of taking advantage of their control over the platform and price gouging the hell out of their customers.

      That's only funny or insightful if you think of the "customers" as the PUBLISHERS.

      What about us, the users? Apple isn't charging us anything.

      Who is the real customer here? I know who I prefer to think of as the customer when I am one...

    • The company that I work for runs an online game called TibiaME for mobile phones. Naturally it makes sense to use premium SMS for payments. The downside:
      - You need to have agreements with each an every provider separately, world wide!
      - Most provider charge an arm and a leg for their service, partly more than 50%

      Now compare that to Apple's offer where you have exactly 1 company to talk to and that's charging 30-40%. It's still a lot of money - but far better than what the others charge you.

      (I know this artic

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    From the article:

      "If you can put animation and multimedia into ads, that will greatly enhance reader views. I am certain of that."

    hmm...

    • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Thursday September 16, 2010 @08:02PM (#33606112) Homepage Journal
      Rrrrrrrrgh.

      Nothing is more annoying than sites like CNN.com (in before sheeple), in which compelling-looking links to stories direct the viewer to just a video(usually along with a mandatory ad that can do tricky stuff like pause automatically when the window loses focus).

      Yeah, I know they started putting the "TV" icon next to the links. It's still infuriating that the text versions are not offered or are so hidden that you might as well just google it and go somewhere else.

      Gadgets and the internet are all about instant gratification. Many of us can read much faster than we can sit through a video and an ad.
    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      If there are enough newspapers, and at least some of them realize that making blinking purple crap move around the screen while the user is trying to focus to read the content (you know, the thing the user is paying the subscription for) then I guess the market will give them credit.

      If not, newspapers will die.

  • Printers? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mark72005 (1233572) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @07:37PM (#33605912)
    Huh? Printers?

    I haven't had one of those in 5+ years.

    Ink always dried out from lack of use.
    • Re:Printers? (Score:4, Informative)

      by guruevi (827432) <evi@smokingcCOFFEEube.be minus caffeine> on Thursday September 16, 2010 @07:46PM (#33605986) Homepage

      Try a laser printer. You can get those from $50 (B&W) to $150 these days, don't come with empty cartridges and the cartridges last anywhere from 2000-6000 pages (for some this will last ~5 years). The ink doesn't dry out and can be used practically forever. I have HP LaserJet II cartridges that expired in 2004 which still work.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by dissy (172727)

        The ink doesn't dry out and can be used practically forever.

        Toner wouldn't work too well if it wasn't dried out ;}

        Kidding aside, my HP 4mv is still going like a champ, and it was made back in 1995.

        When I first got it, it was used to print billing invoices, somewhere around 6000 sheets a month.
        This ate through about 2-3 toner cartridges a year.
        In it's later life as my personal printer, seeing very low page counts, a toner cartridge easily lasted 5+ years.

        Most printers of this type either have built in or can

        • > I could never recommend an inkjet to anyone, period.

          No kidding. And Brother inkjets are worse than any other inkjets due to actively abusive software.

          Seriously.

          My brother MFC-5440-CNZ lies in pieces on my floor, and deserves it for the behaviour it most recently exhibited: refusing to send a fax because I was out of yellow ink!

          To make matters worse, if you don't use it often enough, you have to "purge" the ink, sometimes several times, to get it going again. Of course, this uses vast quantities of in

      • by TeamSPAM (166583)
        I also suggest checking what toner cartridge the laser printer uses. Try to buy one that uses the cartridge that staples/office depot seem to have a decent stock of. That said, most of the cartridges I've bought have been for printers that I got from someone and not bought new. Honestly, I think I've only bought toner 3 times in the last 15 years. Ink is for suckers.
  • Printing from these things is fine and dandy, but I really need to send a fax from one. That's a technology we just can't live without.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Here in france you just have to send an email to your telephone provider (properly formatted) and the PDF attached gets sent to the fax number in the subject of your mail. Can't get any simpler than that. You then receive an ACK mail when the fax is sent out (or not).

      Let's face it, fax is a horrendous way of doing things, and gateways exist to do it in a much less annoying way, mostly for free.

    • I need a current loop serial interface. The new-fangled RS-232c thing won't do.

  • Three words (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ls -la (937805) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @07:47PM (#33605994) Journal
    About Fucking Time. I was printing wirelessly off my Palm Pilot 15 years ago.
    • I had a Palm Pilot too. I'd gladly give up printing for a far more powerful and flexible device, which the iPad and iPhone are.

      Apple doesn't add every feature under the sun at first launch, but over time they do add them. So what if some features come a little later? I'd rather have the features delivered well thought out from an application developer perspective rather than having to support multiple iterations of an API because they had to rush it out the door to please people who complained the could

      • by initdeep (1073290)

        they do however REQUIRE you to purchase a new device to utilize MANY of these new features they benevolently add......

        • they do however REQUIRE you to purchase a new device to utilize MANY of these new features they benevolently add......

          All of the features in iOS4.2 are supported back to the iPhone 3G, EXCEPT for multitasking. How does this equate to "REQUIRE MANY" as you posit?

          Simple fact: It does not, and like all Apple Haters you transpose the unusual with the common.

    • by DrYak (748999)

      interrestingly enough "About Fucking Time" is exactly what all the SPAMers and virus writers are thinking. Un-like your PalmPilot which used a highly directionnal IrDA beam to print (or the short ranged Bluetooth that modern wireless printers offer), this uses wireless *networking*. And in a standard fashion.

      so this opens up a whole new world of SPAM possibilities and exploits. *Paper*-SPAM possibilities. It's the SPAM-over-Fax era all-over again !

  • Content providers somewhat have to agree on whatever pricing policy Apple forces them. Apple have been so successful for the last ten years that companies don't think they can afford losing its platform to sell their product or service. If Steve Jobs suggested something similar to music companies in 2000 for iTunes and iPod they would have kicked him out of their offices.
    • by jo_ham (604554) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (999mahoj)> on Thursday September 16, 2010 @08:25PM (#33606258)

      Remember this is wild speculation from a supposed leak. It's not an Apple press release.

      Apple know they have the market controlled (on their device) but they're not stupid. Consider the revenue sharing on the app store itself - it's not set up to gouge the developers. I wouldn't imagine this one will be either - but that's just my opinion. YMMV.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by able1234au (995975)
      and basically Apple was the one getting screwed by the music companies as they got the bulk of the revenue from iTunes. They had a better percentage deal than they give to music retailers. If the deal was fair it would be more like this one. Working at a software company, when we sell through retailers we give up 50% of the revenue and we have to pay for manufacture, marketing, development etc. A deal like this Apple one is perfectly reasonable. Does everyone think Apple should do it for free?
  • I run the website for a local newspaper and the major part of our website is the subscription archive system. I got a bit excited when I first read the title because lately I've noticed that more people have been using iPads and iPhones to access the site. Then I read the article. 40% of advertising revenue and 30% of subscription fees to go to Apple? That's bloody ridiculous!
  • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @10:26PM (#33606816)

    This is how Jobs and Murdoch start to get money for previously free new info. Murdoch just needs to come up with a newspaper delivery metaphor for iPad owners and they'll walk right in, subscribe to the app and start what uncle rupert has been fantasising about - the return to paid news.

    It won't matter that we on /. won't participate. It'll just be another area that the general public perceive us geeks to be weird or even cheap about, as they go around paying for shit we get fro free, at the same time taking their ad-driven revenue generation stats away from non-Steve approved media, killing it.

    Yeah, that's probably paranoid.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It'll just be another area that the general public perceive us geeks to be weird or even cheap about, as they go around paying for shit we get fro free, at the same time taking their ad-driven revenue generation stats away from non-Steve approved media, killing it.

      Doesn't help matters that we all use Ad-Block Pro (or similar), does it?

      (FYI, "all" is a synecdoche derived from prevailing opinions posted on /. and other places (y'know, mainly the condescending "what ads? do people still not use ABP? It's not '96 anymore..." sort; does that make it a synecdouche?), though I myself don't use it. I don't consider it theft to block ads as some do, but if I can help support the sites I frequent by burning a little bandwidth, why the hell not?)

      • by Nursie (632944)

        I feel similarly about the ads - I have adblock installed but I only use it in a manual fashion to block really annoying stuff. It's not so much of a moral thing as a "ok, you went to far, I can't even use your site now" reaction.

        But no, it probably doesn't help!

  • So, does this mean that you'll have to replace an iPad every month or so?

  • Yet another feature that I've been able to do on my BlackBerry for several years now. Thanks for catching up Apple!

  • The future is now! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by apparently (756613) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @10:42PM (#33606886)
    I mean, holy shit, forget hoverboards and auto-drying jackets:

    It sounds like you'll be able to print articles from your digitally delivered newspaper before too long,' says Smith.

    Printing!?? From a digital source??!??!?!?!? HOLY FUCKING SHIT BOSS, I've had a computer since I was a tyke, and now I get to live in the new modern world in which we can print! YES!

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      So I understand you mock the iPad because it cannot print.

      Well, given the success of the damn thing as of today, I guess it has several other qualities that appeal to the general public. Imagine what it will become with printing !!

      • i guess the GP is mocking the fact that some people (especially the people in TFA) think printing news articles from an ipad is usefull in any way.

        I agree that printing news articles from an ipad for personal use it pretty ridiculous (pretty much like zeroxing your actual news paper, and reading the copy), but for quick sharing/duplication with people who dont actually have an i/e-gadget, it might serve some purpose.

        anyway, personal opinion time, apple is completely ridiculous only adding printing NOW, and

  • And soon people will be wondering why digital copys are not much cheaper than print versions of magazines. Sadly in this case they will be blaming the magazines when fault really lays with apple being greedy

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