Apple logo
Apple's new app subscription policy "is a reversal of the spirit of creative cooperation" with news publishers that helped launch the iPad, the CEO of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association said this week.

Earl Wilkinson issued a statement following confirmation from Apple on Tuesday that publishers would be obliged to offer "in-app" subscriptions that allow the technology firm to take 30 per cent of the revenue.

The INMA is holding a roundtable today in London on tablet subscriptions, and Wilkinson said Apple's decision will be "central" to the discussion.

"The policy doesn't allow the prioritized capture of customer data for publishers that is crucial to the customer relationship, and it significantly slows down publishers' evolution from news-on-paper to multi-media."

"What concerns us the most is the additive effect of the Apple policy. News publishers are being asked to swallow a 30 per cent for Apple and give up ownership of the customer relationship and how they price and promote their apps. If you combine these three elements, the Apple policy suddenly impacts the newspaper business model beyond tablets.

"INMA is confident that continued discussions with Apple and other industry suppliers will yield a more flexible policy that addresses these key issues."

In a release from Apple on Tuesday the firm said publishers would be able to set the price and length of subscription, but must now ensure that any subscription offer made outside an app is also made within it.

Following Apple's announcement on Tuesday, Google revealed its own online payment service yesterday. Google One Pass provides a single point of payment for access to content from a variety of publishers.

The INMA said it was "cautiously optimistic" that Google's service "embraces, conceptually, the principles of news publishers managing the customer relationship and being able to operate across platforms in a multi-media environment.

"Of course, the devil is in the details, and we look forward to diving into those details."

Image courtesy of Wikimedia. Some rights reserved.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).