Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Subscription Friction: Time Inc bumping up against Apple Restrictions.

Peter Kafka writes about the magazine industry (Time) struggling to figure out what to do about iPad.

Charge for an app and you get paid but get no customer data (Apple keeps it) and Apple has rejected their sign in app where the model would be similar to the WSJ where you pay Rupert and get a sign-on that gives you access to the paper/Magazine. Magazines want to be able to sell subscriptions and get data about their buyers so that they can market themselves to advertisers. Paying a 30% vig to Apple and not getting any subscription data sows not sound like a winning combination. There are plenty of examples of apps that receive revenue and data about their customers but are still applications in the app store. Just not magazines.

Think about this: Noe Apples point of view. What is the question Apple is trying to answer/control?  lets assume for a moment that Apple is OK with magazines external sales then comes the question... What is a magazine?  What is effectively different about buying a subscription to Time and buying a subscription to Angry Birds? Every addition step into the structure of the marketplace they are building has huge implications for iPad,Apple and the entire competitive landscape being build around portable connections.

Brave New World

iPad apps/ magazines / media are not going to look like their real world counterparts for very long. We are going to invent (royal we) new ways to consume information that could be radically different from the way we do today

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