Financial Times App Pulled from App Store Over Subscription Policy

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The Financial Times has pulled its self-named app from the App Store for failing to comply with Apple’s in-app subscription policy. The publication wasn’t interested in Apple’s subscription service that took a 30 percent cut and didn’t share subscriber data — a policy that’s been in place for about two months.

Apple’s current in-app subscription policy states:

Apps can read or play approved content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video) that is sold outside of the app, for which Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues, provided that the same content is also offered in the app using IAP at the same price or less than it is offered outside the app. This applies to both purchased content and subscriptions.

The policy prohibits companies from offering an in-app subscription service that bypasses the App Store.

Financial Times on the iPadThe Financial Times app on the iPad

Pulling the iPad app could have an impact on the publication’s bottom line, according to paidContent. 10 percent of FT subscribers came from the iPad last year, which could be upwards of 10,000 users.

Without a native app available for the iPad, FT is now pushing a new mobile Website design.

“The FT iPad and iPhone apps will no longer be available to new users through iTunes,” an FT spokesperson said. “We are directing readers to the FT’s new web app available at app.ft.com.”

The publication hasn’t said whether or not it will require users of its app to switch over to the new Web-based interface. The company is, however, urging subscribers to try the Web version with in-app alerts.

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Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Kudos to the Financial Times. These silly policies are what is entirely wrong with the whole widget model. If you have to create a policy to become a paid intermediary, you’re providing zero value to either customer or supplier. Zero.

jfbiii

Zero ? 10,000

mhikl

Zero ? 10,000

Astute point, jfbiii.

Public interest in magazines and newspapers is in such a state of change it is difficult to see how and even if subscriptions through device apps or web apps are going to be very appealing. Will those forms of information even continue to matter to a society whose interests are becoming more fragmented? Specific interest groups (political, religious, socially concerned, consumer interest) have to address a continuum of villages. If collective information services and products can?t meet the needs of consumers far greater than 10 000, does the answer shift to more relevant individual information gatherers and reporters. How do they pay, get paid? Indiscriminate mass advertising doesn?t work anymore and targeting specific interests without invading personal information is a problem to many individuals and some enterprises, i.e., Apple.

This could be a quagmire that has so little foundation, nothing is going to fit. Who has time to read a general purpose publication anymore? It would take an Apple genius to figure new roads through this morass.

Now, remember: Be kind and smart. Don?t support the Troll and Apple Hater. Send it back to its bridge.

Ethan

http://allthingsd.com/20110831/times-up-the-financial-times-heads-out-of-itunes/?mod=socialflow

“Glover says the Web app now has 550,000 users, a number he says ?has overtaken users on our native Apple iOS apps combined, and it?s now delivering the largest share of subscriptions from our mobile channels.”

Based on those numbers I’d say that FT would rather lose the 10k app users and pocket the 30% fee that would go to Apple with the other web app users. From the FT’s point of view Apple is pretty much a middle man. They rolled an app, got 10k users, then when Apple tried to extract profit, FT said “thanks but will roll our own web app.” So they got the initial boost of having an app on the ipad and now will try to get those 10k users to bounce over to the web app with continuing feature enhancement beyond what the discontinued native app offers.

In this example I’m not sure Apple got what it was hoping with it’s policy changes.  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, the Wall Street Journal all opted to skip the in app requirement and removed functionality. I suppose that does meet SJ’s goal of simplicity for the user-just not the way he expected.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  Is it silly for Google and Amazon to also require in-app purchases where they take a healthy cut of subscription and paid content, for that is exactly what they both do?  Or I suppose that it would be the essence of sagacity and fairness for Apple, Google, and Amazon to run their various online stores for publishers and vendors of products for free.

The 30% commission that Apple charges for its online stores (App Store, iTunes Store, etc., hereinafter iTunes) pays the great costs of operating iTunes.  It costs Apple approximately $1.3 billion to run it various iTunes store (App Store, iTunes, etc.).  See http://www.asymco.com/2011/06/13/itunes-now-costs-1-3-billionyr-to-run/.  Apple has among the most efficient operations for its online stores, and it runs them at about breakeven with its 30% commission.  So, for iTunes 30% commission, Apple is providing the servers, bandwidth, marketing, payment and accounting system, and access to the most desirable demographic in all of retail at an exceptional, bargain-basement value to both vendors selling subscriptions and paid content. 

And all online vendors have Apple to thank for this great deal, because before iTunes, Amazon was charging various vendors a lot more on much worst terms.  And going back even further, the carriers often charged 40% or 50% or more for apps on their services, and at those commissions subscriptions weren’t even viable.  Apple’s iTunes changed all of that giving almost every vendor of both subscription and paid content a the much better deal of its 70% for vendors and 30% for Apple split.  So iTunes commission structure is a great deal for what vendors get.

It isn’t the costs of iTunes that is the problem for publishers, and several of them have admitted as much.  The problem is that under Apple’s privacy policy publishers don’t have access to users’ personal data, unless and until they ask for and receive the user’s informed consent for that personal data.  The publishers don’t like that.  They want Apple to be like Google and Amazon, which require in their privacy policies that users consent to the collection and use of their personal data, including distribution to developers of an app—for which Amazon and Google charge a handsome consideration—pretty much as Amazon and Google see fit, with very little restriction on their discretion.

So Google and Amazon have agreed to force us to surrender our personal data to them in return for using their services, which they then provide to developers of apps for a handsome consideration.  Apple won’t do that, because it respects our privacy.  That also means that out of respect for our privacy, Apple forgoes a lucrative opportunity for revenue that Amazon and Google receive. 

What do Google and Amazon do with all that money, which they’ve earned from pimping us?  They certainly aren’t sharing much of it with developers, because they charge about the same commission that Apple does for vending content on iTunes.  And they sure as hell aren’t sharing any of it with us.

So if the Financial Times and others believe that they can do better with their own services on the Web, go to it.  But they will have to pay the costs of their own operations, and their users will almost certainly have to surrender their privacy to be on their respective web apps.  And the value of our compromised private data is the only way that the FT and others running their own services makes any economic sense.  If you don’t believe me just read, for once, their privacy policies.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Nemo: We have been through this before where I directed you to specific language of the Android Marketplace developer agreement and specifically refuted your contention that Google takes 30% (or any percent) of subscriptions or other content products like Apple expects to take.

Based on your repeated faulty assumption, you’ve written an additional 5 paragraphs of extreme irrelevancy. I’d expect this from the likes of mhikl or RonMacGuy. You can do better.

ethan

“So iTunes commission structure is a great deal for what vendors get.”

Nemo I think the point is that if you go with a website as the FT did-you control your own destiny as long as there is a standard compliant browser on the device. FT avoids all costs from all the HD vendors.

Free to FT is better than a 30% cut (to anyone) and based on the AllThingsD article they are getting a lot of traction with the web app (550k vs 10k).

Nemo

Bosco:  Reading fundamental.  I said, supra, that:  “What do Google and Amazon do with all that money, which they?ve earned from pimping us?  They certainly aren?t sharing much of it with developers, because they charge about the same commission that Apple does for vending content on iTunes.”  About means not the same.  However in our prior discussions, I directed you to express language in Google’s developer agreement where it says that it charges 30% for sales and requires in-app purchasing.  I heard some talk that Google was going to charge the publishers somewhat less of a commission, which it would have subsidized from it fat revenue stream from our personal data, but I couldn’t find that concession in Google’s contract documents with its developers.

Ethan:  Reading is fundamental.  First, as I point out, supra, and as no publisher/developer denies, once a developers has it own website and web app, it must pay all of the costs that Apple bore, and since Apple operation is more efficient, those costs will be greater.  So why do it?  As I point out, supra, they do it because they have access to the revenue stream of our personal data without the restrictions that Apple places on the use and acquisition of a user’s personal data.  That is worth huge money to the FT and other publishers, which is why they think that they can do better on their own, not because they can avoid all costs, which they must now bear themselves.

The only parties to bear a sacrifice or not, depending on how one values one’s privacy, are the users.  Who must give a global and often effectively perpetual consent to the collection and use of their personal data by the developer of the web app. 

Apple is different.  It requires developers to get a user’s informed consent to collect and user his personal data and further requires that the publisher/developers destroy that data or sequester it, if the law prohibits its destruction, once the user terminates its business relationship with the developer.

So the FT et al. believe that they can afford the greater costs of running their own web operations, not because they avoid any costs, because they don’t, but because they exploit their users’ personal data with very little restriction, which is potentially very lucrative.

Valuing my privacy as highly as I do, Google, Facebook, the FT, et al.‘s deals are unacceptably bad deals for me.  Perhaps, you and Bosco value your privacy less, so that what the FT et al. offer is at least a good deal for you. 

But there is no free lunch, not for developers setting up their own websites and web apps, who must now bear the costs that Apple formerly bore, and not for users of those web apps, who must sacrifice privacy and the control of their personal information.

vanax

FT resents Apple’s “opt-in” policy which offers the consumer/citizen the power to make the choice of whether or not to reveal personal info. FT employs the “opt-out” policy so it’s behaving like a petulant little girl. People hate Apple for empowering the user.

ethan

“once a developers has it own website and web app, it must pay all of the costs that Apple bore, and since Apple operation is more efficient, those costs will be greater. “

“So the FT et al. believe that they can afford the greater costs of running their own web operations”

Nemo, I think you overestimate the diff in costs of FT running their own site vs having to have all the support in place to manage the iOS app backend. You stated that as fact which I’d disagree with. In my experience as a developer for front end and backend hosting I’d say: They still needed infrastructure/processes to deliver content to put in the iOS app (or pull down if they had webview instances defined in their native app that pulled content from their site) and execute updates for the app along with any other platform they chose to roll out. They can also lean on the resources already in place supporting their existing web presence (the already have those things). It’s not as if they are starting from zero. A central web browser app will always give you better support/maintenance ROI compared to native app rollouts for FT’s type of app (not talking 3d accelerated games here). You can update on your terms and do not need to worry about new terms from companies, add new platforms and devices without needing native code developers for each etc.

As for your privacy, that is a personal choice-550k users are okay with it so it’s working for FT. In the end the net result of Apple’s stance is that FT has a web app that is more successful than their iPad app is for them so they left the store and dumped the app.  I suppose you can argue this whole thing as a privacy issue but it really comes down to money and it is more lucrative for the FT to roll their own web app once Apple changed their rules. I did some math: standard FT sub is $5 per week. So FT would be giving up $825,000 per week or $42,900,000 a year to Apple, if all of them decided to subscribe. That’s a lot of money to leave on the table by accepting Apple’s stance vs building your own web app.

mhikl

People hate Apple for empowering the user.

Point taken. But does hate always have to have a reason?

To those who have good intentions. To lecture is to admit defeat. Hate has no weakness that logic can rout.

Feed the troll and envy keeps its voice. You know the answer to such vexation.

Ethan

“People hate Apple for empowering the user.”

I’d say that many who dislike Apple feel that Apple is exceptionally good at taking choice away to those who enter the garden. What side you fall on has a lot to do with power user vs consumer level user.

I see both sides-Apple gives you some things and at other points drops the iron gate on you. The level of irritation has to do with the rate at which you run into those issues.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Nemo: You asked: “Is it silly for Google and Amazon to also require in-app purchases where they take a healthy cut of subscription and paid content, for that is exactly what they both do?”

Again, that is not what both do. When you get this fact correct, there might be a discussion to be had with you. We could discuss how on Android, a publisher or developer can use an alternative app store if they don’t like the T&Cs; of the Marketplace. Or they can self-publish an app on their web site. We could discuss how this arrangement has provided the correct incentive to Larry Page and his minions not to be delta bravos with Marketplace policies, like banning apps with controversial but entirely legal views. I recall you getting your tie all caught in the shredder over the Manhattan Declaration app, for example.

mhikl

It would seem that he who espouses choice so loudly from a sea of choice can’t stand that others have their choice, so rails accordingly. Hate has its crusader who speaks from the same tongue.

Nemo

Dear Ethan:  All that a developer needs is MacBook Pro or at most a Mac Pro to upload files to Apple or some other hosting agents servers.  I have clients who upload changes and content to large websites, using nothing more than a MacPro and, if they chose to store their own content, storage from a storage vendor.  However, many don’t chose to store their own content, which the likes of Amazon, Apple, et al. can do for them.  So the costs for what you’re talking about, as opposed to the cost of running vast server farms, data security, bandwidth, vast payment and accounting systems, vast data indexing systems, etc. is trivial and does not even approach a fraction of the costs of what an Apple, Amazon, or Google provides.

However, it is true that some, such as FT or the Economist, do already maintain their own websites, but their costs are much greater than say Apple, Google, Amazon, or firms with similarly vast cloud capacity.  Why?  The answer is found in an economic concept, which is also taught in business schools, called minimum efficient scale.  The economies of scale for a Google or Apple are vast and arise from principally two factors:  (1) They make purchases on a scale to provisions a vast base of users, which gives them much better pricing, and (2)and this is the big one—they can distribute their costs of operations over that vast base of revenue generating users. 

While I don’t have cost data, data on scale, or data on revenue and costs per user for FT or any of the others going it on their own, it is highly unlikely that they have the scale of operations to have reached minimum efficient scale, as have the likes of Google, Apple, and Amazon, nor is it likely that they generate the revenues per users that an Apple or Amazon does.  For example, the FT, though it sells other services, it basically sells one thing to generate revenues per user, that is, the subscription plans to the FT, while Apple, for example, sells media content, books, apps, mobile services, and that list is likely to grow.  So the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google have both much greater economies of scale and much greater and more varied streams of revenue.

As for privacy, it is something that most only begin to value once they’ve lost it and then discovered that they need it.  Having had to deal with some criminal inquiries, where government subpoenas will be directed to the likes of Google and Facebook, I am in a unique position to attest to that fact.  I’ve also seen some young people and some people not so young chagrined to have what they thought were their private indiscretions on the Internet revealed, often will damaging consequences.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

A choice is only tenable in the marketplace if it is workable for all parties involved. This includes both app providers and consumers in the app store model. Giving up 30% and being bound to opt-in was not tenable for FT. And guess what? They’re no longer offering a native app for iOS.

Nemo

Dear Bosoc let me quote from Section 3.2 of the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement, which provides:

“3.2 The price you set for Products will determine the amount of payment you will receive. A Transaction Fee, as defined below, will be charged on the sales price and apportioned to the Payment Processor and, if one exists, the Authorized Carrier. The remainder (sales price less Transaction Fee) will be remitted to you. The “Transaction Fee” is set forth at http://market.android.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=112622 and may be revised by Google from time to time. Developer is responsible for determining if a Product is taxable and the applicable tax rate for the Payment Processor to collect for each taxing jurisdiction where Products are sold. Developer is responsible for remitting taxes to the appropriate taxing authority.”

And when quick on the link in Section 3.2, it provides in relevant part:

“Transaction Fees

For applications that you choose to sell in Android Market, the transaction fee is equivalent to 30% of the application price. For example, if you sell your application at a price of $10.00, the fee will be $3.00, and you will receive $7.00 in payment.”

Now, do I have my facts straight, Bosco?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

You do not have your facts straight Nemo. You don’t even have the context straight. The context is in-app purchases. I found all these details for you before, which refute your claim supra (I think that means “above” in English).

Keep reading. You might find the relevant portions.

Nemo

And Bosco:  Apple’s privacy policy permits the individual user to decide for himself whether the transaction is acceptable to him, while Amazon and Google effectively deprive the user of that choice by forcing the user to accept once and for all time privacy terms that permit Google and Amazon respectively to do as they wish, with very little restriction, with his personal information.  Apple doesn’t deprive any developer of the information that is substantially similar for commercial purposes to what Google and Amazon require, on the terms that they require it.  Apple’s difference is that it makes the developer go to directly to the user to get the user’s informed consent for the user’s personal information. 

Why are the FT and others so afraid to negotiate directly with the user, if they are offering him a fair and attractive deal?  They would simply offer a standard form in their respective apps, which provides for informed consent in plain and understandable language, as Apple also requires, about what personal information they want and how they will use it, and then the user then says yes or no.  I think that they are afraid of having to state the terms of their privacy policies in public, because those policies are morally indecent.  And they may even be afraid that, once users are informed of the terms of those privacy policies, more of them with say no.

Nemo

Bosco:  I’ve read Google’s damnable agreement once before, but I haven’t read it recently.  That Agreement requires in-app purchases, I believe, for everything sold in the Market, including subscriptions.  If there are terms to the contrary or that modify the in-app and/or the 30% commission requirements, please be kind enough to point them out to me.

Nemo

And Bosco: This is the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement’s definition for Product:  Products: Software, content and digital materials created for Devices in accordance with the Android SDK and distributed via the Market.  That definition on its plain and express terms seems to include subscriptions.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Here we go again. Read section 4.5 carefully. Read the definition of “Product” at the top. Read section 4.5 very carefully.

Then if you still have doubts that you are completely off base in your assertion, get an Android phone, download the Amazon MP3 app from the Market, and consider whether Amazon is chipping off 30% to Google for each purchase, or even using Google’s in-app payment system.

Then, re-read section 4.5 very carefully.

Ethan

Nemo, that content is already going through an internal process to be deployed on FT’s website/services. Which for all we know could already be deployed on Amazon’s s3 platform. If that’s the case why pay Apple 30% to duplicate the service to just support the iPad app when they can run their own web app which has more users? I was not arguing that they were doing everything completely themselves. I was saying that they already have people in place to perform their business processes/services. They have a complete workflow. They have developers already fot the website who can handle the web app as well-no need for objC programmers on the payroll (or an outside contract to some iOS dev company).  They already have hosting in place, load balancing, a subscription backend, a CMS, payment gateway, backup and redundancy etc. Apple’s policy just forced them to retool their app to sit on top of this already existing internal (w/possible external vendors like Amazon’s s3) platform (that they are paying for) vs maintaining this third party controlled app for 10k users.

Your acting like they had to go build all of this in the last few months as a response to the new policy enforcement looming by Apple this past June. That stuff was in place before and the FT app became uneconomic when they would be forced to give 30% because Apple was forcing them to use Apple’s backend services.

mhikl

Keep feeding the Trolls, Nemo. Keep feeding them. It seems to be an obsession.

Ethan

“Keep feeding the Trolls”

It’s fascinating that many readers here have expressed how they want intelligent debates vs what gets posted on other sites. Yet that’s not what I see.

My first post was simply pointing out that FT has 550k users of their new iPad web app and only 10k of the app store app. I also included a link to the article that gave the numbers as this article did not include that information. Based on those numbers they felt that the app store app was not offering enough value to maintain it. Then Nemo wanted to draw the debate back to the privacy policy of Apple.

Is it trollish to view 10k to be of low value when you have 550k on another competing product of yours or is that equal to saying “Apple sucks!”

Nemo

Section 4.5:  “4.5 Non-Compete. You may not use the Market to distribute or make available any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of Products outside of the Market.”

And as I said before that does not take a subscription outside the scope of Section 3.2’s 30% requirement or outside of the in-app purchase requirement.  In fact, it would expressly prohibit an app that took an Android user outside of in-app to sell anything, including subscriptions.  In other words, Section 4.5 reinforces the in-app purchase requirement by requiring that any distribution or the availability of any product, using the Agreement’s definition of product, must occur in the Market, where Google collects its 30% commission.

So I don’t think Section 4.5 will not work for you Bosco.  Keep reading.  I’ll check back later.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

“Primary purpose” Nemo. And you also need to watch closely how strictly Google interprets (or does not interpret) its rules. Amazon MP3, Kindle, etc. cause no problems for Google. Kongregate (Flash game distribution) did cause problems, and they resolved them amicably. Amazon has not put its app store on Android Market, understandably. You’re just demonstrably wrong by several examples and counter-examples of how this term comes into play in practice. You were last time, you are this time, and I’m sure there will be a next time.

Nemo

And Ethan:  I agree that some vendor already have all of that, and, as I explained, supra, it almost certainly costs them a lot more to do it than it costs Apple, Google, or Amazon.

And no, it wouldn’t duplicate costs for FT or anyone to also put their stuff on Apple or other servers, unless you assume that they are not getting new customer, that is, customer A is both on the Amazon and Apple website.  Which is almost certainly not true, because who would pay two subscriptions for the same content?

Now, perhaps you can make the argument that n number of customers will abandon the App Store for, for example, FT’s website and web app, but, as I said, those n number of customers will costs FT more, and that additional costs is only justified by the additional revenue from exploiting those customers’ personal data.

So the potential driving FT and others is the potential for greater profitable revenue from exploiting users’ personal data, because on the costs side, the Apple, Amazon, and Google’s of the world, of which there are very few, have them beat by quite a bit.

Nemo

Bosco:  If a developer/vendor’s purpose is to sell anything, even a fraction of 1% of his sales, through an Android Market app but off the Market, then, for that percentage of sales, his primary purpose is to distribute or make content or goods available off the Market, in which case he is violating Section 4.5.

Now, your second argument depends on an assumption that you are highly unlikely to have any information about.  To wit:  That Google does not consistently enforce the express terms of its Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement or that Google has some secret policy for when it will modify enforcement of its Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement.  I certainly don’t have any information on that point, so I am left with the express terms of the Agreement.

However, if you have any information about Google modifying enforcement of its policy that you can share with us, do so, and I will consider it. 

And while you are at it, I would like to know how Google intends to handle the Lindholm email to Rubin, which shows Google knew that it probably needed a license for Oracle’s Java, but then went ahead without a license.  The magistrate judge has already ruled that email has to come in, and Judge Alsup will almost certainly affirm her ruling. So while you and Larry are chatting, if you don’t mind, we at TMO would love to know Google’s strategy for dealing with the Lindholm email at depositions, on motions for summary judgment, and at trial.

Ethan

Nemo-new users via their already in place infrastructure will not cost them anything close to what they lose to Apple’s fee. Maybe if the iPad native app had 250k users it would be a different story but 550k vs 10k is 1st grade math easy. This is not even a general purpose web app-it’s targeted directly at iOS users. So we aren’t including the cost of all the users/subscribers accessing the standard website or the straight mobile site: http://m.ft.com (different from the iOS web app). If you add all those up I doubt that 10k is a substantial hit on the per/cost meter. Also with their web app they get to keep all the ad revenue vs having to use Apple’s iAds platform and lose another 30%.

Plus why have the headache of maintaining a custom native app if you have to fork over 30% of the subscription on top of that? It’s just extra PM for not a lot of value when you look at the web app metrics.

I think you and I will have to simply disagree unless you have some insider knowledge to FT’s financials you’d like to share?

Nemo

No inside information, Ethan.  Just the knowledge that Apple has tens of millions of users for just its App Store, while I doubt that the FT has more than two or three million total subscribers.  Google probably has an even larger base of users.  There is no way that the scalar economies of most of publisher going their own way come anywhere to Apple’s scalar economies.  Go talk to a local professor of micro-economics;  he or she will help you with these concepts.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Bosco:? If a developer/vendor?s purpose is to sell anything, even a fraction of 1% of his sales, through an Android Market app but off the Market, then, for that percentage of sales, his primary purpose is to distribute or make content or goods available off the Market, in which case he is violating Section 4.5.

You’d fail the LSAT with that logistical leep, Nemo. A book reader app that allows users to purchase books does not run afoul of section 4.5. A music player app that allows users to purchase music does not run afoul of section 4.5. That’s why Amazon doesn’t have to modify their Kindle app for Android and why Amazon MP3 exists in the Market without problem.

To really understand what Google is doing, you should participate. You would get a better grasp of the practical limitations on what Google can do without violating the spirit of openness, which is Android’s primary distinguishing user value that has helped it catapult to market leadership in such a short time.

Nemo

Bosco:  Now, that we have from you the official statement of Google’s real policy for commissions and in-app purchases, as opposed to the one it put in writing, and the official statement that “primary purpose” means the overall purpose of the app and not the purpose of each transaction, could I trouble you for the rule that Google use to determine the overall purpose of an app?

I also don’t need to joint Google to understand its spirit of openness, because Google doesn’t have any spirit of openness.  It only seems to have spirit of openness for the ignorant or the gullible.  Google’s real spirit is that of all being sacrificed for the sake of its profits, and I already understand that.

And I did pretty well on the LSAT, though now I understand that they take it with computers.  I am from the No. 2 lead pencil generation.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Nemo, you could just look at examples for guidance, as I suggested supra. You can look at Google’s track record, where they haven’t been ridiculous about excluding apps from the Market, unlike Apple, as you have pointed out on at least one occasion. And you can look at the incentive for Google to stay the course, and its consistency on staying the course despite calls from many quarters to do things like Apple. I remember you making such calls on these comment boards.

As you know, this contract serves two purposes. (1) It guides developers as to what Google feels is appropriate and what isn’t. (2) It reserves a right for Google to exclude apps as needed. The contract does not require Google to have strictly enforced rules.

The point here Nemo, is that Google takes a very laissez-faire approach to its Market. It gives plenty of leeway in its guidelines to specifically allow the kids of apps that Apple is excluding from its app store for bypassing Apple’s cut. And if Google were to change its approach to a more restrictive one, it would violate market expectations and likely suffer. That is entirely different than your claim that, for example, the Amazon MP3 app for Android would be violating the agreement by bypassing Google’s in-app sales mechanism.

Ethan

Nemo, FT doesn’t need the per new user sign up cost for the 10k to be less than Apple or Google, just less than the the 30% the lose to them which could top out at $825,000 per week. That’s a big difference. The cost that Apple causes is in addition to the rest of the cost to FT already has for users who are not using the iPad Native app.

Say your 2 million subscriber base is true-you seriously think 10k is going to shift the needle so much that they lose money by pulling those 10k onto their web app? Really?

“Go talk to a local professor of micro-economics;  he or she will help you with these concepts.”  ooooh, I’m so hurt by your sarcasm I can’t go on. Off hand when was the last time you actually implemented backend/frontend subscription website services where you broke down per user cost as part of your job?

Lancashire-Witch

From the BBC -  “An FT spokesman said the disagreement with Apple was “amicable”, and the newspaper still intended to offer other apps via the App Store, including one for its weekend luxuries magazine How to Spend It.

However, any future App Store offerings would be funded via advertising, not subscriptions, thereby avoiding a repeat of its dispute with Apple. ... “
Here’s the full story

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

BTW, Andrew Orlowski at El Reg basically agrees with my longstanding take on this. The 30% Apple fee is a tax that publishers will do just fine avoiding. FYI, Orlowski has great business sense for a writer. He recognizes that Pearson’s already has the infrastructure in place to serve and charge for content, and would laugh Nemo’s micro-econ instructor who suggests otherwise out of the local ju-co. grin

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