Publishers, Apple remain in a stalemate over iPad subscriptions
Peter Kafka at MediaMemo reported Friday that Apple and publishers are "still miles apart" on the prospect of subscriptions for iPad content in the App Store. The two sides remain at odds over the same issue they've allegedly been debating since early this year: Publishers want personal data about subscribers to provide to advertisers, and Apple doesn't want to allow it.
Apple is reportedly offering publishers the option of an opt-in form, which would allow subscribers to grant publications the ability to access a "limited amount of information" about them, such as their name, physical mailing address, and e-mail address.
They've also proposed the same revenue sharing plans used to great success on the App Store, where Apple keeps a 30 percent cut of all transactions.
"The offer has been on the table for a 'couple months,' I'm told, and so far none of the big publishers have gone for it," Kafka wrote. "They don't like the 30 percent cut Apple wants to take, but their real hang-up is the lack of access to credit card data: It's valuable to them for marketing, and without it they can't offer print/digital bundles, either."
As a result, he said publishers are now looking toward Google and tablets running the Android mobile operating system, in hopes of finding some success on that platform instead.
However, the anticipated tablet-only daily publication from News Corp, called The Daily, doesn't have many the same issues, because it's a new product that's doesn't have existing customers on the print side of the business. One rumor has suggested that The Daily will be formally announced, along with Apple's subscription plans, at an event on Dec. 9 or soon after.
For months, reports have claimed that Apple is unwilling to share consumer data beyond sales volume to publishers who are interested in putting their publications on the App Store. It has been said that Apple has pitched an opt-in function that would allow consumers to willingly share some information, but according to Kafka's sources, Apple still refuses to give more detailed demographic information.
Print publishers view demographic data from readers as their most valuable asset, as they rely on that information to sell advertisements.
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