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Apple Impasse With Magazines Over Subscriber Data

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the users-stuck-wondering-what-magazines-are dept.

Businesses 243

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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243 comments

Credit Card data? (5, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34463880)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (3, Insightful)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#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"

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464088)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464898)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (2)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464134)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464272)

>how are they gonna charge you if you don't give them your CC?

iTunes gift card?

Re:Credit Card data? (2)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465040)

>how are they gonna charge you if you don't give them your CC?

iTunes gift card?

That is another payment methods but I prefer to pay for the exact amount rather than having a prepaid card that I cannot even use fully since I will likely be left with a balance that is too small to make another 99 cent purchase once the taxes are added on.

I hate the Xbox "points" and the PSN store charging me in 5 dollar increments instead of just charging me for the actual purchase price.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464288)

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

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464810)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464256)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (3, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464580)

Just because you can't work at home doesn't mean you have to wear pants.

Re:Credit Card data? (2)

Lordrashmi (167121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464740)

In fact, not wearing pants in the office will most likely lead to you spending more time at home.

Of course if you will continue to be paid is a different matter

Re:Credit Card data? (2)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465078)

It does here. Our dress code is long pants or skirt, and if I am going to wear a kilt to the office, the dirk is going too, and they don't want that either.

Re:Credit Card data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464806)

Unfortunately it didn't fly.

That sounds like a fair compromise on the "No pants" concept.

Re:Credit Card data? (5, Insightful)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Credit Card data? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464932)

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

Re:Credit Card data? (2, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464988)

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 buy it. And if selling an app requires jailbreaking, most publishers know their subscription numbers hardly justify building out an app for it.

More to the point, what if I wanted to buy software and didn't want to use my Apple account for it? What if I wanted to use a different credit card, or wanted to go to a brick-and-mortar and pay cash to install something? Nope, Apple purchases go through the Apple store, and that's that.

I'm not saying that the model is inherently wrong - it's got its advantages and disadvantages that have been discussed to death already. But it does mean that you can't buy any software for your iOS-based device except exclusively from Apple, and they get to decide who they do business with.

The walls can protect you, and they can restrict your motion. You have to choose whether you accept the restrictions that go with the protections. If you can't, don't get locked into a multi-year contract with the thing.

I have an older iPod Touch, and for the most part if I had a choice, I'd PREFER software that is available in the Apple Store. It's been vetted out to an extent, I'm only giving payment information to one vendor (decreasing the likelihood of credit card breaches), and all that. But I think it would be nice (in a "I'm not going to be able to get this anyway, so I might as well dream" sort of way) to have a competitive marketplace for applications on the platform so I can stray from the path if I want.

It's not a deal-killer for the iPod because I won it in a contest, and I really only use it to listen to music (via my already-purchased library and imported CDs, not iTunes) and run a few free apps. It's not my phone or anything terribly important to me, and when the battery finally dies it'll get installed permanently in a music player docking station and I won't lament the loss of the other features too much.

But the point is, it's Apple's playground, and Steve hands out the marbles. There are other playgrounds if you don't like Steve's rules, but the point of these stories is to make those rules clear to people about to make a buying decision. Many people are very comfortable with the walled garden, and that's fine, just understand that the top of the walls have razor wire on them, and you aren't getting out.

Re:Credit Card data? (2)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465110)

This is what I call an epic derail.

Re:Credit Card data? (1, Flamebait)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465052)

I would bet that Apple is sharing the data, but only with those who pay them for the data.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465314)

They refuse to share it with these publications. That is not some sort of guarantee they refuse to share it.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465368)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (4, Insightful)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464874)

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? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464982)

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

I hope this isn't why you've been modded 'Insightful'...

Re:Credit Card data? (3, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#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

Re:Credit Card data? (-1, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464198)

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

You're an idiot.
Low circulation = no one will buy ads in your rag.
Circulation numbers and demographic data are the entire business model for magazines.

Re:Credit Card data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464310)

I love this. You calling the guy who clearly knows quite a bit about how the magazine publishing world actually works an idiot. Sexconker, can I ask you what your expertise in publishing is?

Re:Credit Card data? (2)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465106)

You're an idiot.
Low circulation = no one will buy ads in your rag.
Circulation numbers and demographic data are the entire business model for magazines.

And where do you think those circulations numbers come from?

Here's a news flash for ya: The majority of magazines that are sold on newsstands are sold on a returnable basis. That is, you ship the retailer a certain number of copies, and if the retailer doesn't sell the copies, it can return them for a refund (or without paying for them in the first place).

Furthermore, because most magazine content is timely, magazine publishers don't really want those unsold copies back (what are they going, to do, sell them three months from now?). So usually how you "return" magazines is you tear the covers off, throw the rest of the magazines in the trash, and just send the covers back to prove that you've returned them (saving some postage). So overall, figuring out how many copies are sold from newsstand sales takes some time, and even then is highly vulnerable to fraud. So most magazines don't really do it -- at least, not with any accuracy.

Circulation numbers are usually calculated from how many magazines the publisher printed, with some adjustments for how many copies are returned, but by and large the most accurate portion of the figure comes from subscription sales -- not newsstand sales.

Furthermore, circulation numbers and demographic data are closely related. Circulation costs money. For some magazines, it occasionally makes sense to reduce circulation -- that's right, out of the blue the magazine says "we used to sell 210,000 copies, now we sell 175,000" -- but to push the demographics as a way to increase ad rates. So the magazine says, "yes, we only sell 175,000 copies, but all of those 175,000 subscribers are exactly the people you want to reach as an advertiser." In other words, the magazine sells fewer copies but charges more for advertising than a competing magazine that sells more copies.

Bottom line: For Apple to refuse to share demographic information with magazine publishers pretty much cuts the business model off at the knees. The actual sales, as "from a kiosk," are far less important than building the demographic relationship with the buyer.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

IsaacD (1376213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464276)

Consumer Reports?

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464578)

Consumer Reports is published by the Consumers' Union, a non-profit organization. Comparing Consumer Reports to the likes of Time and Newsweek is like comparing apples and oranges.

Re:Credit Card data? (3, Insightful)

hymie! (95907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464676)

Consumer Reports is non-profit on purpose.

Re:Credit Card data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465216)

Insightful? Are there people on Slashdot so fucking stupid they thought Consumer Reports was non profit by accident? What would that even mean?

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

IsaacD (1376213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465254)

Comparing a periodical published on paper (and also available online) that is available for purchase at most newsstands to another periodical published on paper (and also available online) that is available for purchase at most newsstands is comparing apples and oranges? They're both fruit - I even find them together in that crappy fruit salad that my mother-in-law makes. My point is simply that a publication _can_ exist by subscription. Though, I do certainly recognize that there are fundamental differences in the content (But, I'm a CRO subscriber!).

So replace it (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465214)

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 else will. It's not like magazine subscriptions are going gangbusters. I've canceled some magazines I was getting for free because I got tired of the clutter and the ad overload that comes with a free magazine.

Apple's opt-in approach sounded pretty reasonable to me. Most people (including myself) would be happy to give a magazine we like some data about ourselves to get better content and ads.

Re:Credit Card data? (4, Insightful)

dfm3 (830843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464054)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464278)

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) to read them electronically, and I don't want to spend the extra money. It's the equivalent of buying a second copy at the newsstand, price-wise. Since I'm already a subscriber, I'd prefer a free or even low-cost electronic option, at least until I give up paper magazines entirely - at that point my current subscription payment would be for the electronic version instead.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464282)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (5, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

Frankenshteen (1355339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465174)

One could argue that magazines exist solely for targeted marketing. Just like TV. Programming is geared at a particular demographic to facilitate marketing particular products. Cable's taken it to the next level with whole channels aimed at a tribal demographic, and then refined to the markets within that demo. Very much like a magazine is aimed at a tribe, with articles geared to particular interests surrounded by ads targeting the sort of folks who read such articles.

Re:Credit Card data? (3, Insightful)

wiggles (30088) | more than 3 years ago | (#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?

Re:Credit Card data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464232)

That's been their business model for eons.

Time changes, maybe their business model need to change too?

Re:Credit Card data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464958)

That's been their business model for eons.

Time changes, maybe their business model need to change too?

Hey, it worked for the Newspapers, right?

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464100)

If he doesn't sell it he returns it to the publisher (or distributor) for a refund. So the publisher has some reasonably fine grain data about where its customers are, and also what type of shop they purchased the magazine from.

There's a lot of data if you know what you're looking for.

Is it just me? (1)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464128)

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.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464142)

I guess I should clarify, Apple's policies about sharing customer data seem reasonable

Re:Is it just me? (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465238)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (2)

puto (533470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464140)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (4, Funny)

IsaacD (1376213) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464920)

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.)

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464638)

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"

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464430)

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 people pay a higher price to remain anonymous, or a lower price if they allow their personal information to be sent to the publisher.

Re:Credit Card data? (3, Interesting)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464566)

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.

Re:Credit Card data? (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465034)

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

Music Industry (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34463898)

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.

Re:Music Industry (3, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34463996)

Yeah, they should totally sell your personal information for profit.

Re:Music Industry (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464028)

I didn't suggest Apple was in the right, or a good company. I suggested they have leverage.

Re:Music Industry (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464022)

"Apple wanted lock-in and total control with the music industry and got it"

Only because the music industry was busy fighting the Internet instead of innovating, while Apple did. I mean, seriously... shouldn't the music industry have come up with iTunes WAY before Apple?

Re:Music Industry (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464826)

Only because the music industry was busy fighting the Internet instead of innovating, while Apple did. I mean, seriously... shouldn't the music industry have come up with iTunes WAY before Apple?

They did, or rather, someone did back in 1999 or so, but the music industry shut them down. Mp3.com was one of the early online music distributors -- they had a great business model -- they kept your existing music library online (verified by making you load the original CD) and whenever you bought a physical CD from them you could download or stream it online instantly.

It was a great service, I bought dozens of albums from them, but I guess the music industry thought that DRM locked solutions were the way to maximize profits.

Re:Music Industry (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465204)

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.

Re:Music Industry (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465328)

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

F Steve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34463906)

F him

Re:F Steve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34463966)

Yeah, fuck him for taking away publishers' freedom to sell my info and deluge me with phone calls and mail ads I don't want (and which never have resulted in a single fucking sale to me; unwanted mail catalogs from online stores make you lose my business, MacWarehouse et al).

Good for Apple (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

21st Century Apple is sooo arrogant! (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 3 years ago | (#34463930)

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.

Re:21st Century Apple is sooo arrogant! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464270)

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.

Re:21st Century Apple is sooo arrogant! (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464584)

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?!

Re:21st Century Apple is sooo arrogant! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464722)

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 they caved?

now it's the turn of the publishing one.

Well, TFA doesn't seem to say they're caving to the publishing industry.

You make a couple of assertions, but you're not backing up anything.

Re:21st Century Apple is sooo arrogant! (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464692)

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?

Re:21st Century Apple is sooo arrogant! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464800)

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 it to Sony?

Do you see?

As a matter of fact, NO. You haven't said anything meaningful, and you haven't refuted anything I said. You merely switched some pronouns and decreed you've made a great coup of logic.

You haven't.

Re:21st Century Apple is sooo arrogant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465156)

You do not get it.

All transactions are between me, and the iTunes store.
The end.
I buy from the iTunes store, not the magazine.

The magazine let's apple sell subscriptions.
The magazine also sells subscriptions.
I bought mine from apple.

It's simple really... (2)

Itesh (1901146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34463942)

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.

Re:It's simple really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464536)

They aren't. They want to sell your name and address as someone who has money, has an address, and may have an interest. Even the ones who say, "we won't give out your address" will happily mail adverts on behalf of some other company willing to pay them. Aggregate data is certainly worth something to them, but it isn't what they really want.

Apple is an advertising company (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34463954)

Apple now sells ads.

bummer (5, Funny)

bigmo (181402) | more than 3 years ago | (#34463982)

I feel so dirty when I agree with Steve Jobs.

Re:bummer (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464214)

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.

Kafka?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464010)

Peter Kafka reports ....

So, is Apple in the process of Metamorphosis into an insect like company?

Maybe there should be a trial for these publishers?

Jobs really needs to come down from his Castle!

My advice, don't develop for the iphone. (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464014)

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.

Re:My advice, don't develop for the iphone. (4, Insightful)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464316)

You heard the man! If you don't like Apple protecting user data, go to a platform that does not!

Re:My advice, don't develop for the iphone. (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464330)

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.

Re:My advice, don't develop for the iphone. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464470)

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

Re:My advice, don't develop for the iphone. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465138)

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.

Not facebook? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464018)

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

Re:Not facebook? (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464406)

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

Re:Not facebook? (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464538)

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.

Apple gets a cut of subscriptions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464040)

I know they get a cut of the sale of the magazine app, but they also get a cut of any subscriptions?

Without any hyperbole and trying to remain calm in the face of what seems to be a direct assault on the entire model of computers/computing devices that has been so beneficial to society for the last 30 years, here is what I say to apple:

1. I like your hardware and the software environment is pretty great
2. I'll pay for your hardware and the software you develop
3. I'm not paying you a tax for software that other people spend their time developing, especially if you use that tax to pay people whose job is to review and restrict what software I can buy and use on the hardware I purchase
4. I'm certainly not paying you a tax to subscribe to content that you had absolutely nothing to do with creating

Re:Apple gets a cut of subscriptions? (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464112)

Yes, they get a cut of subscription revenue. Apple is handling the platform, billing, and content delivery, so they get paid for doing what would be printing, billing, and postage in a paper subscription. It's using Apple's merchant account and bandwidth, so that seems fair.

The apps will probably be free or include a "free" month's subscription to offset the purchase price.

Re:Apple gets a cut of subscriptions? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464400)

I know they get a cut of the sale of the magazine app, but they also get a cut of any subscriptions?

Well, turn it around a little bit ... Apple is essentially operating a retail store for use by anybody who wants to sell through it. Cut out distribution costs, costs of processing credit card transactions, cost of bandwidth, cost of fighting fraud, verifying people's ages ... and what Apple is doing cuts out a lot of traditional costs and overhead.

Apple is shouldering the work and cost of doing all of this ... I'm betting there's a lot of smaller entities who are jumping at the ability to have Apple to all of this. I think that 30% is actually quite reasonable for what Apple is providing. Judging by the number of games which rely on in-game purchases to generate revenue, I'm betting it is probably pretty lucrative if you make something people are interested in.

In this case, it's somewhat disruptive to the existing business practices, but it's not like Apple is ripping them off. I think they're getting fair compensation for providing a useful infrastructure that makes it easy for consumers to gets stuff, and for companies to throw something over the wall and then collect the revenues.

And, yes, I do have an iTunes account. And, no, I have never paid for a damned thing from it -- there are developers making all sorts of really good free software. And before someone throws out this old chestnut ... the MP3s I rip from CDs using iTunes are DRM free.

Re:Apple gets a cut of subscriptions? (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464542)

Well, for every one of you, there's one of me, and I will happily pay them to keep my private data private.

Maybe the reason that the "portal" or "middleman" business model has failed so often on the Internet is that they've failed to do their jobs. Apple, in this case, seems to be doing it--they make it easier to find what I want, shield me from what I don't want, and otherwise get out of the way. I'm happy to pay the premium.

Magazines? (1)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464300)

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

Re:Magazines? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464320)

It's part of a glock.

Now ask me about the Royale with cheese...

Deal with the devil (5, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Steve Jobs won't let them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464412)

Steve Jobs won't let them.

Remember the rule: SJ gets all the best coke.

Do Antitrust suits even happen any more? (1, Insightful)

jbeach (852844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464530)

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 best interest of consumer choice to *not* allow Apple to have this potential stranglehold on information. What if Apple becomes the default magazine-delivery platform, and they decided they don't want to host any magazines OR ads that say good things about Android? Or mention that the new iPhone (x) has a tendency to explode?

I sure hope Apple doesn't succeed in this. If they do, it sure was nice living in a world where the average citizen had something like a fair shot.

Why do these iPhone/iPad magazines exist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464602)

Am I the only one to think there is something wrong with the mobile web (or maybe just mobile web users) that people feel the need to release magazines through an Apple App? I don't publish magazines, but it just seems odd that I would need to pay apple 30% for something that should be able to be done on a web page.

And really - its not just magazines I guess. I see apps all the time that don't seem to be improvements on a web page link.

Ugh - I just realized this is another "95% of apps are crap and shouldn't really exist" post. Just the same - this is doubly true for magazine apps.

dead due to cost (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464684)

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.

pluS 4, Troll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464856)

prima donnas to NetBSD posts 0n [anti-slash.org] gone Romeo and of the founders o7 believe their consider that right

Apple could provide Aggregate Data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464878)

I am relatively sure that Apple could provided the aggregate demographic data for the subscribers. This would maintain user level privacy while providing the mags with the data they need for selling advertising space.

Drop the app model, embrace HTML (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464972)

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?

Duh! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465076)

Put the magazine on a web page instead of a dedicated app!

Re:Duh! (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465338)

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 don't care about YOU! (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465284)

"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 are merely content providers to Apple and hence to THEIR subscribers, who they DO know a lot about.

I'm heartened by this. Apple will be killing their revenue potential for iPad sales and then sales through the App Store and iTunes. Levels the playing field just a little bit.

Jobs does get it, this is just a fight for the customer. Should Apple start publishing its own e-magazines? will anyone care? Will Apple figure out who their customer REALLY is in iPad publication? Hint, it's NOT the iPad user.

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