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Businesses Handhelds The Almighty Buck The Media Apple

Apple Impasse With Magazines Over Subscriber Data 243

Posted by Soulskill
from the users-stuck-wondering-what-magazines-are dept.
Pickens writes "Peter Kafka reports at All Things Digital that Apple and the publishing industry haven't been able to come to terms over magazine app subscriptions. Publishers want the ability to sell the subscriptions themselves, or at least the opportunity to hang on to subscribers' personal data, and Steve Jobs won't let them. Publishers also don't like the 30 percent cut that Apple wants to take in the iTunes store, but their real hang-up is lack of access to credit card and personal data. It's valuable to them for marketing because the demographic data helps magazines sell advertising, and without it they can't offer print/digital bundles. All Apple is willing to offer is an opt-in form for subscribers that would ask them for a limited amount of information: name, mailing address, email address."
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Apple Impasse With Magazines Over Subscriber Data

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  • Credit Card data? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:03PM (#34463880) Homepage Journal

    They want access to the personnal and credit card data? If I buy a magazine at a kiosk, the guy takes my money, period. Apple is just a digital kiosk.

    If their business model requires both to sell me the magazine AND have access to my data to be able to get money from ads on top of that, too bad for them.

    • by Stregano (1285764) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:10PM (#34464002)
      Well Apple already has all of that data, so to get anti-corporation about your personal data is a little silly.

      Also, besides porn, who goes to magazine kiosks anyway? Even mentioning going to a kiosk here in /. is like telling me I have to put on pants to program: "It's not happening"
      • by hedwards (940851)
        The only time I ever do that is at the airport, and even then it's only been when I haven't though ahead to buy something at a cheaper store before heading out.
        • by Simon80 (874052)
          Depending on what you read and your willingness to read off of a screen, carrying around a mobile computer with a large enough screen and a reading (or video) backlog can eliminate the problem of not having something to read. I would say this is the main thing I use my N800 for, despite the multitude of other possible uses for it.
      • Well Apple already has all of that data

        Apple has a legitimate need for the data; how are they gonna charge you if you don't give them your CC?

        telling me I have to put on pants to program: "It's not happening"

        Amen, brother Stregano.

        • by yuhong (1378501)

          Yep, many confidential information is given only on a need-to-know basis.

        • by bhcompy (1877290)
          Giftcards and Paypal both allow you to buy things with credit without giving that merchant your CC. Visa also has(had?) an online program for doing that with one time use CCs tied to your account.
      • My boss was telling me the other week that he tried to convince his boss that the college's programmers should be able to work from home (regularly, we already do occasionally when there's a particular need). My first thought was, "Awesome. No pants."

        Unfortunately it didn't fly.

      • by Tharsman (1364603) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:30PM (#34464280)

        Well Apple already has all of that data, so to get anti-corporation about your personal data is a little silly.

        Here is the deal, though: most (sensible) anti-corporation people that complain about personal data do so precisely because they dislike their data being shared afterwards. Apple is doing precisely what I want any company I entrust with my data to do: refuse sharing it.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 06, 2010 @04:08PM (#34464932)

          This is why went droid, google is the best advertiser, they make sure companies get access to my data

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by natehoy (1608657)

          And while I agree, I think the whole argument slams smack-dab into the walls around the walled garden. If you want to have your software on an iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc, that software has to be sold through Apple (barring jailbreaking, which does not a viable business model make).

          What if I wanted to buy a subscription to Android Magazine for my iPad so I could read up on it? Apple can deny the publishers the right to sell their magazine for use on my device, and (without jailbreaking) there's no way I can b

          • by Tharsman (1364603)
            This is what I call an epic derail.
            • by natehoy (1608657)

              I don't think so - I think that your original post is missing the point of view of the publishers and the argument they are trying to make.

              First, Apple is being admirable at not selling your personal data to others for purchases made at the Apple Store, and I'll give them serious cool points for that. They would be in serious shit if they ever started selling off that information, because you are their customer.

              But that's not the core of the argument.

              The publishers are claiming that Apple should not be the

              • by Tharsman (1364603)

                The publishers are claiming that Apple should not be the sole people allowed to sell software for the platform.

                ...

                The publishers raise a valid point - they can't have you as a customer on iOS. No one can, other than Apple. The only people who can have customers who are buying iOS applications is Apple, because all software comes through one store, the Apple Store.

                And again you derail. You may have missed it, but the story in question is a rumor on magazine publishers wanting more from apple for their upcoming magazine subscription service than Apple is willing to give.

                We don't know much from this, as far as we know it may be an app like iBooks (or even just iBooks) with a Subscribe button.

                No publisher is complaining about anything in the context of this discussion, all we know is that supposedly they are holding back on the venue because Apple is not willing

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            The walls can protect you

            I didn't realize that Apple's walled garden was there for MY benefit.

            I suppose that as long as I have nothing to hide, there's no reason I should care if Apple collects my personal information. Especially since we all know that Apple has only our best interest at heart.

            I feel a lot better now.

        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by Nerdfest (867930)
          I would bet that Apple is sharing the data, but only with those who pay them for the data.
        • They refuse to share it with these publications. That is not some sort of guarantee they refuse to share it.
          • by Tharsman (1364603)
            Apple has been rather vocal about privacy. Or at least Steve Jobs has. I admit I am not confident of this staying so forever, but I feel safe as long as Steve Jobs is in charge.
        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          Apple is doing precisely what I want any company I entrust with my data to do: refuse sharing it.

          They didn't say they weren't going to share it, just that they weren't going to share it to magazines for free.

          • by Tharsman (1364603)

            And you seriously think magazines have not offered them money yet? I would not be shocked if magazines have already even offered Apple a larger cut in exchange.

        • "Apple is doing precisely what I want any company I entrust with my data to do: refuse sharing it."

          Right, any corp with brains at the helm would sell it. I have a hard time believing that Apple would actually do the right thing and lock it away, if they are, kudos to them.

        • by hrieke (126185)

          Bullshit. Apple is "saying" that they're doing it for personal data reasons, but the real reason is that they want to OWN the relationship between the consumer (you) and them (the company).

          • by Tharsman (1364603)
            Hmm, I don't think Apple is saying anything. This was not a press release by Apple, you know.
      • by Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) on Monday December 06, 2010 @04:05PM (#34464874) Homepage

        Well Apple already has all of that data, so to get anti-corporation about your personal data is a little silly.

        If I want $PUBLISHER to have my personal data, then I will buy directly from $PUBLISHER. If they're going to misuse my personal data to generate additional profits, then they can go fuck themselves. I think Apple's doing the right thing.

    • Re:Credit Card data? (Score:4, Informative)

      by bmo (77928) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:13PM (#34464034)

      People like you don't matter to the magazine publishers. Indeed, magazine publishers could do just fine without the newsstand vending because that's not where the bulk of their subscribers come from. The only thing newsstand vending does for them, really, is get new subscribers to sell ads for.

      Indeed, the vast bulk of the money they make is from advertisers, not from the subscriptions. The subscriptions are gravy.

      So yes, this is a very big deal for them to not get demographics. Without it, you'd see Newsweek, Time, etc., at 8 bucks/week to make up for the advertising loss.

      --
      BMO

      • Indeed, the vast bulk of the money they make is from advertisers, not from the subscriptions. The subscriptions are gravy.

        That's true. But magazines on an iPad could simply embed iAds, along with some other ad frameworks. iAds would deliver the most targeted ad (from which the magazine would see revenue) and the other ad frameworks could target ads for the demographics of the readership the magazine can otherwise figure out.

        The thing is, if the magazine people don't figure out this arrangement someone el

      • People like you don't matter to the magazine publishers. Indeed, magazine publishers could do just fine without the newsstand vending because that's not where the bulk of their subscribers come from. The only thing newsstand vending does for them, really, is get new subscribers to sell ads for.

        You obviously don't know the magazine business very well -- it could be your knowledge is only of the bigger magazines.

        Newsstand sales are vital to magazines, because it affects their advertising sales and the rates

    • by dfm3 (830843) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:14PM (#34464054) Journal

      They want access to the personnal and credit card data? If I buy a magazine at a kiosk, the guy takes my money, period.

      Well then you wouldn't exactly be a subscriber, would you?

      Ever wonder why most magazines cost $5-9 at a newsstand, but you can often get a year's subscription to the same magazine for $2-4 per issue? Hint: they're not just making money off of the subscription. The types of magazines a person is interested in can tell marketers quite a bit about their interests, and there's good money to be made in consumer profiling.

      • by Skater (41976)

        It always seemed to me like the specialized magazine apps weren't quite the right mechanism for handling repeating content like magazines. Apple and other companies would be smart to come up with something for the book reader app that lets people subscribe to magazines and read them through the app, if they don't have something like that already.

        Personally, I haven't tried the magazine apps; the one or two magazines I read that have them would charge me a second time (I already have a paper subscription)

      • by hedwards (940851)
        A large part of that has to do with the waste the comes from them not being able to accurately predict how many issues they're going to sell in a given month at the various news stands. Additionally, part of that extra charge goes to pay for the cost of the news stand staying in business.

        It's not that hard to believe that the extra costs associated would end up being in that range.
      • by sexconker (1179573) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:32PM (#34464306)

        Ever wonder why most magazines cost $5-9 at a newsstand, but you can often get a year's subscription to the same magazine for $2-4 per issue? Hint: they're not just making money off of the subscription. The types of magazines a person is interested in can tell marketers quite a bit about their interests, and there's good money to be made in consumer profiling.

        No. It's because 12 * 3 > 4 * 5 .
        Someone who buys at a newsstand will, on average, NOT buy anywhere near the full year's worth of issues. They'll buy, on average, 3 or 4 issues over the entire year.

        And when you buy from a newsstand, the newsstand makes a profit (shocking, I know!). And if you think that's a razor-thin profit, think again. At one point the Sunday Los Angeles Times cost me 37.5 cents a paper, while I turned around and sold it for the newsstand price of $1.50.

        And by "me" I mean "me". That is to say, I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about.

    • by wiggles (30088) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:15PM (#34464062)

      "If I buy a magazine at a kiosk, the guy takes my money, period." ...but if you get a subscription, you pay around 10% of the cost of purchasing each edition individually because the magazine gets your personal data (name, address, telephone number, personal interests) that they then sell to advertisers. That's been their business model for eons. How do you think they produce telemarketing lists?

    • Or does Apple actually seem reasonable in sharing customer data with third parties? You can be a fanboy or anti-fanboy on this, but when's the last time you've seen a major company take a stance on customer privacy? I feel like I've become jaded and just assume every corporation is trying to screw me over and I never expected that THIS would be the reason for the hangup in the negotiations.
      • I guess I should clarify, Apple's policies about sharing customer data seem reasonable
        • The main issue here is that Apple sells the same data that the Magazines want for free. That's right. Apple is doing exactly what the Magazines are doing. selling our personal information for a profit instead of the magazine getting that information for that can then be sold to the marketers.

    • by puto (533470)
      If you buy a magazine at a kiosk there is a trail of what distributor sold it to what kiosk. The magazinse knows how many of their copies sell where, and can pull demographic data by location. They can target local advertising then.
      • by IsaacD (1376213) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:37PM (#34464392)
        I (might?) live in Atlanta, but each month I hire nineteen different homeless people in nineteen different cities and give them each enough money to hire another homeless person that buys one random magazine and an envelope for it. I also give them nineteen different addresses that I have in a one time pad, but only one of those addresses is my neighbor's. When a magazine arrives, I steal it from my neighbor's mailbox, but only after disguising myself as the neighbor's sister. The bulge is hard to hide in a dress, the bums sometimes steal my money, and I never know what magazine I'll get - but damnit if I am going to let anyone target me in an advertisement!! Oh, and I chose nineteen because it's a prime number, but the government is working to fix that.
        • by Tanktalus (794810)

          I have mod points right now, but I can't find the "+1, WTF?" mod for this. Wow. Just wow.

          (Yes, I could use +1, Funny, but that doesn't get you any more karma than this reply.)

        • Put down the Dark Tower books already, you're scaring the kids!
      • by hawguy (1600213)

        While it's true they can find geographic sales data from distributors, Advertisers are willing to pay more money for "Small Business Owners earning > $200K/year with interests in technology and basket weaving living outside of mid-west small towns, driving a BMW or Mercedes as their primary car" than for "People who live in smaller towns that frequent mall book stores, primarily in the mid-west"

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      but you are paying full-price for the magazine, but when you subscribe, you're often paying 50 - 80% (up to 100%) off of newsstand prices. Magazines can do that because they can quantify you to advertisers, and can often provide demographic information to advertisers either from a survey that you fill out, or by correlating you with other marketing databases.

      Apple is not so much a "digital kiosk" as they are a digital "Publisher's Clearinghouse" that sells magazine subscriptions.

      Maybe publishers should let

    • Re:Credit Card data? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mcmonkey (96054) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:50PM (#34464566) Homepage

      I'm going to make the same argument, but in the opposite direction.

      If I call the magazine to purchase a subscription and have the magazine delivered by USPS, neither the phone company nor the post office needs my credit card data.

      The phone lines and postage need to be paid for, but those parties need no access to the particulars of my transaction with the magazine company.

      Likewise, Apple is just connecting one entity to another. If I've paid Apple for the iPad and paid AT&T for the bandwidth, why does either need to know which credit card I used for the magazine subscription?

      If Apple's business model depends on selling me the hardware and software and getting a kick back on all data passing through the device, too bad for them.

    • by Herkum01 (592704)

      As I recall, isn't it illegal to hold onto Credit Card numbers after a transaction has occurred?

    • They want access to the personnal and credit card data? If I buy a magazine at a kiosk, the guy takes my money, period. Apple is just a digital kiosk.

      If their business model requires both to sell me the magazine AND have access to my data to be able to get money from ads on top of that, too bad for them.

      This has nothing to do with the issue at hand. The article is referring to subscriptions while you're referring to a one-time sale. The reason they don't need your information is because when you buy from a kiosk you pay a huge premium compared to the subscription cost.

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:04PM (#34463898) Homepage Journal

    Apple wanted lock-in and total control with the music industry and got it. Now they're an industry leader and have all the leverage while the magazine industry is going in the toilet.

    • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:10PM (#34463996) Journal
      Yeah, they should totally sell your personal information for profit.
    • I think the music industry handed Apple lock-in on a silver platter.

      They demanded DRM. iTunes was the only good consumer oriented digital music store at the time and only iPods could play the DRM'd AAC files it sold.

    • by Duradin (1261418)

      Can you tell the one about how little Amazon forced the mean ol' Apple to stop using DRM? I like that fairy tale.

      • Don't presume to put words in my mouth.

        Thanks.

        • by Duradin (1261418)

          You did say Apple wanted lock in so I assumed you were okay with putting words in other people's mouths.

          Being forced to have DRM is very different from wanting DRM.

  • Good for Apple (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:06PM (#34463922)

    I cancelled my subscriptions to Make Magazine and Utne Reader for exactly that reason - the asshats couldn't stop themselves from selling my personal data to advertisers. Within two months, I was getting both paper and email spam from all over the place because of them. I know it was them because I always use custom email addresses and custom misspellings of my name to track how companies use my data.

  • But this is no news, I guess.

    I only hope these policies are not Apple's undoing because it would be a real shame. Steve Jobs is a genius, but he makes so many enemies in the industry. In the end everybody will make alliances just not to have to deal with Apple's policies.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I only hope these policies are not Apple's undoing because it would be a real shame.

      I applaud Apple for this stance. Why should someone have access to my damned credit card data if I make the purchase through a 3rd party? I don't give a flying fsck that your business model needs my personal information -- my business model says it's none of your *(%*# business.

      I don't understand why these companies feel entitled to this information, or why consumers shouldn't be asking why they need it in the first place.

      • by Kensai7 (1005287)

        No. You imply that Apple "protects us" from the "bad" magazine marketeers. It's not so. Apple simply wants to keep all the personal data for itself and as a leverage for every deal they make.

        They've already bowed the music industry, now it's the turn of the publishing one. What's next?!

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          No. You imply that Apple "protects us" from the "bad" magazine marketeers.

          No, I state outright that I don't think those companies need any of that %$@* information.

          Apple simply wants to keep all the personal data for itself and as a leverage for every deal they make.

          That may be true, but they're not giving it away that Facebook would happily do.

          They've already bowed the music industry

          In what way? As I recall, the tracks are still $0.99, and they managed to get the Beatles' library ... seriously, how have t

      • by mcmonkey (96054)

        I only hope these policies are not Apple's undoing because it would be a real shame.

        I applaud Apple for this stance. Why should someone have access to my damned credit card data if I make the purchase through a 3rd party? I don't give a flying fsck that your business model needs my personal information -- my business model says it's none of your *(%*# business.

        I don't understand why these companies feel entitled to this information, or why consumers shouldn't be asking why they need it in the first place. In a sane world, corporations would have limits on what they're allowed to retain of your personal information and what they can do with it, not this "we get everything and do whatever we please with it" crap where they get to sell it, archive it, cross reference it, and anything else they please.

        In the end everybody will make alliances just not to have to deal with Apple's policies.

        Well, whining and bitching about Apple's policies aside -- it's not like you can ignore the size of the market that is people with iPhones/iPads. Apple is doing more to protect their customers, as opposed to thinking that the people who buy their products are just the gateway drug to advertising revenue.

        Personally, I'd rather see companies who insist on getting my credit card data go out of business than see Apple cave to this.

        I think what you're missing in this case is you are the customer, the magazine is the business you're dealing with, and Apple is the 3rd party company insisting on having your credit card details.

        Let's look at your comment with some of the pronouns filled in.

        I applaud Apple for this stance. Why should Apple have access to my damned credit card data if I make the purchase through a 3rd party? I don't give a flying fsck that Apple's business model needs my personal information -- my business model says it's none of Apple's *(%*# business.

        I don't understand why Apple feel[s] entitled to this information, or why consumers shouldn't be asking why Apple need[s] it in the first place. In a sane world, Apple would have limits on what they're allowed to retain of your personal information and what they can do with it, not this "we get everything and do whatever we please with it" crap where they get to sell it, archive it, cross reference it, and anything else they please.

        In the end everybody will make alliances just not to have to deal with Apple's policies.

        Well, whining and bitching about Apple's policies aside -- it's not like you can ignore the size of the market that is people with iPhones/iPads. Apple is doing more to protect their customers, as opposed to thinking that the people who buy their products are just the gateway drug to advertising revenue.

        Personally, I'd rather see Apple who insist[s] on getting my credit card data go out of business than see Apple cave to this.

        Do you see?

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          I think what you're missing in this case is you are the customer, the magazine is the business you're dealing with, and Apple is the 3rd party company insisting on having your credit card details.

          I have a direct business relationship with Apple. I expected them to have my credit card, since I gave it to them.

          If I buy something from Apple, I sure as hell don't expect the company who made that thing to get any information on me.

          Do you expect that if you bought a Playstation from Wal Mart that they would send

  • We had problems like this at VeriSign, back before PayPal bought out Payment Services. So, what we did is provide access to the data in aggregate so that they could see what the demographics were without revealing the individuals behind the data. If all they are looking for is the ability to sell advertising based on demographics, aggregate data should suffice.
  • bummer (Score:5, Funny)

    by bigmo (181402) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:10PM (#34463982)

    I feel so dirty when I agree with Steve Jobs.

    • by boristdog (133725)

      I also don't like agreeing with Jobs. But as long as consumers still have choices, he can do what he wants.

      I won't do business with Apple, but as long as they don't have a monopoly or near-monopoly they can be dicks to whomever they want, charge whatever they want, put unreasonable restrictions on their own offerings, etc.

  • My advice is to simply not develop for the iphone. If you are not getting what you want, there are plenty of other phone markets to target.

    • by Tharsman (1364603) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:33PM (#34464316)
      You heard the man! If you don't like Apple protecting user data, go to a platform that does not!
    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      ya. Get it your way on some other platform, and consumers will make the choice if your product is worth being on a particular platform for, if it works out Apple will be forced into an agreement at the risk of losing subscribers to android/WP7. I'm not sure magazines are a killer app for slates, but they might be. I don't own one, and I don't read non technical magazines, so I'm not sure I can comment on how valuable this proposition is to the device sellers.

    • Better yet, just make a web app. For a magazine it should in fact be easier!

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      My advice is, if you can make money developing for the iPhone, go ahead and do it. Sure, it's akin to prostitution in that you need to bend over and scream "Oh, you're so good!" every time Apple demands it, but hey... it's a living! P.S. Don't forget the lube.
  • What, Apple doesn't want to come under the same fire as Facebook?
    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      Jobs has been very public about his distaste on personal data sharing.

    • by kellyb9 (954229)

      What, Apple doesn't want to come under the same fire as Facebook?

      Not a good comparison since Facebook's business model is based on the idea that people actually want to share personal information. Apple isn't going to do it because they want to control everything.

  • What is this term "magazine" that you speak of?

  • Deal with the devil (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Solandri (704621) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:38PM (#34464402)
    The publishing industry, being the sole supplier of many popular magazines and newspapers, refused to release those magazines and newspapers in ebook format until a hardware manufacturer agreed to all their onerous DRM requirements. Apple was the only one who took them up on the offer, and the iPad was the result. Now they're finding out some of the problems that come with having to deal with a sole supplier (in this case, for the hardware platform on which your electronic publications are distributed). Serves them right I say. Pot, meet kettle.
  • I thought Ticketmaster was bad. Apple now runs what's left of the music industry with iTunes, and wants to do the same with publishing. Apple wants to a) squeeze out magazine publishers from being able to shift subscribers OUT OF Apple's store if they later choose, and b) Apple wants to be put themselves completely in the driver's seat with any possible online-only ad revenue for these magazines.

    And it's completely their capitalistic right to do both - unless our regulated market realizes it's in the bes
    • a) squeeze out magazine publishers from being able to shift subscribers OUT OF Apple's store if they later choose

      How exactly is that true since anyone could just end a subscription when they felt like? Subscriptions were said to be monthly. Which is better than you can do right now with real magazines!

      A person could just drop the subscription and subscribe on another platform.

      b) Apple wants to be put themselves completely in the driver's seat with any possible online-only ad revenue for these magazines.

      W

  • dead due to cost (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Monday December 06, 2010 @03:56PM (#34464684) Homepage Journal
    To me the subscription model is dead due to cost and quality. I have one subscription through an app on the iOS, and that is pretty much a donation sort of thing. I would not mind having a subscription to a Linux magazine, but they want a huge amount of money. Ditto for Financial Times, WSJ, and most other subscriptions.

    To me the whole thing is silly. These people have been complaining for years that paper and distribution costs are killing them, and that circulation is in the decline. Here is a model in which they can keep the ads but increase the number of adds as there is no incremental costs for ads in terms of delivery and paper costs, while increasing distribution. While I get annoyed that Architectural Digest has the first third of the magazine as ads, it is still a deal at less than $2 an issue. OTOH, They could have many more ads on iOS, linked to the advertiser, sell it for a dollar, and I would not be annoyed.

    It seems this is second opportunity to traditional media to monetize on the web. Offer digital products, mostly supported by advertising, reduct traditional ineffecient infrastructure, and offer a product at a price that attracts new consumers.

    Apple might be a driver in the process, like they were with music. Or the media companies could resist, as they did with movies which lead to distribution companies like Netflix making the profits at the expense of the media companies. At this point it can go either way.

  • There is an easy way to fix the problem - disintermediate Apple. Develop their digital version for the web. They would get the side benefit of a much larger pool of potential customers.

    What fantastic value does the app format provide that makes publishers put up with these shenanigans?

  • Put the magazine on a web page instead of a dedicated app!
    • by boristdog (133725)

      Yeah, why they need a dedicated app has always confused me. Plenty of publications have paid web subscriptions, including different formats for mobile devices.

  • "They want access to the personnal and credit card data? If I buy a magazine at a kiosk, the guy takes my money, period. Apple is just a digital kiosk."

    First, most magazines don't care much about newsstand sales. They care about subscribers, with some exceptions. Mostly because they know where subscribers live, etc., and so they can tell advertisers somethign about their audience. Otherwise, why would anyone bother to advertise in, say, GQ?

    Second, Apple thinks they own the magazines, and the publishers a

  • Apple's Privacy Policy: [apple.com]

    At times Apple may make certain personal information available to strategic partners that work with Apple to provide products and services, or that help Apple market to customers. For example, when you purchase and activate your iPhone, you authorize Apple and its carrier to exchange the information you provide during the activation process to carry out service. If you are approved for service, your account will be governed by Apple and its carrier’s respective privacy policies.

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