Periodical publishers ‘need’ customer data from Apple | iLounge News


Periodical publishers ‘need’ customer data from Apple

A number of newspaper and magazine publishers are expressing concerns over potential deals with Apple due to fears that the company will not be as forthcoming with customer data as the publications would like. The Financial Times reports that Apple’s history of sharing little customer data beyond sales volume information could prove to be a “deal breaker,” said one senior media executive in discussions with Apple. “We have for many years relied on subscriptions to be able to communicate with our readers,” Sara Öhrvall, senior vice-president of research at Swedish publisher Bonnier, told FT. “It is absolutely crucial to keep the data. That’s something that our advertisers need. It is something that we need.” Also a concern is the ability to identify current print subscribers to offer them discounts or free access to digital versions. Customers “will be really upset if we try to charge [them] again,” Ms Öhrvall said. Regardless of the device, she added that “it’s a deal killer.”

Publishers are also said to be wary of Apple’s revenue model, which would see the publisher paid 70 percent of the selling price, with Apple keeping the rest. While the plan makes sense for books, publishers said, it makes less sense for recurring charges like subscriptions, adding that giving away close to a third of subscription sales over an indefinite period of time would be hard to accept.

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Looks like those rose tinted goggles Jobs put on publishers is starting to fall off.

Posted by Doce on February 16, 2010 at 9:44 AM (CST)


I don’t like the idea of sharing my personal information and would prefer Apple not to do so as well.

I’m sure in-app purchases or using a web service that subscribers have to logon to can address the concerns.

Posted by Brian on February 16, 2010 at 10:58 AM (CST)


Don’t agree with the publishers here. Unless Apple locks them into some sort of exclusive distribution contract, nothing is stopping them from developing their own open format and selling their electronic editions for platforms beyond the iPad. So, for the sheep, I mean people who enjoy locked down content from the iTunes store, how is a 30% fee to Apple for them handling the storefront, DRM, storage, and electronic distribution of *one* platform something hard to accept? It’s a higher revenue than they would get from any other delivery platform, including home delivery of a physical product.

The truth is that the expect the iTunes mediated sales front to be more successful than other sales channels and they are trying to figure out how to maximize their profits.

I don’t want to see Apple gain *any* sway in the publishing industry - I’d much prefer media goes back to only open formats where Apple is merely one distribution channel, but the percentage cut they take, particularly considering Apple is also eating the billing costs, the most costly part of the whole deal after the e-Magazine is completed, makes every bit as much sense for these electronic periodicals as for a book or music.

If I were the publishing industry, my worry would not be Apple’s 30% cut of their sales, but how you guarantee you don’t repeat the same stupid mistakes the music industry did by locking everything down to individual platforms so that Apple did gain the power they have today. Let them take their 30%, and when there are color Kindles, let them take their 30%, and then make sure there are Linux, Windows, and OSX readers so anybody with a computer, netbook, or laptop can also read them at a fair cost, get them on the Nook store, get them on the Sony reader store, sell direct in open formats that can be used on ALL these devices in platforms.

In short, make sure electronic magazines are compelling and ubiquitous and don’t complain at forces helping you to do that making money.

Posted by Code Monkey on February 16, 2010 at 11:12 AM (CST)


Why is there a greater need for the publisher to collect personal info from the customer just because the product is in a digital format? If I also subscribe to the physical version, I’m sure the publisher has some sort of account number for me in their system. All they need to do is allow me to enter that number at a sign-in prompt within the app. If I’m not a subscriber to the physical format, then I should be treated the same way as if I had purchased a copy of the magazine from a newsstand.

Posted by Paul on February 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM (CST)

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