Revenue Sharing, Subscriber Data Disagreements Holding Back iNewspapers, iMagazines?
Financial Times is reporting that disagreements between Apple and major newspapers and magazine publishers over key issues such as revenue sharing and subscriber data are holding back that content from the upcoming iPad and its iBook app.
Publishers have spent decades collecting information about subscribers that influence marketing plans and, in some cases, the content of the publication itself. Apple’s policy would separate them from their most valuable asset, publishing executives said. “We must keep the relationship with our readers,” says Sara Öhrvall, senior vice-president of research at Swedish publisher Bonnier . “That’s the only way to make a good magazine.”
Some publishers are also griping about Apple’s compensation model. Although Apple won plaudits from the book publishing industry for offering it more control over pricing and a richer split of sales – publishers retain 70 per cent of sales and have control over the customer pricing of books – the revenue sharing plan makes less sense for recurring charges such as subscriptions, publishers said.
Talks continue, so here's hoping deals get made and iMagazines and iNewspapers get woven into Apple's content services by the iPad's March launch window.