The Associated Press Announces Subscription App for iPad

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The APThe Associated Press has announced plans for a paid subscription app for Apple's iPad platform, an app that will deliver AP content directly to consumers. The project will be one of the first products rolled out under a new business division at called AP Gateway that targets Web and mobile delivery of AP content.

"AP Gateway will serve as the launching pad for new products and services from AP and other interested news publishers," Tom Curley, president and CEO of The Associated Press, said in a statement. "It will allow the news industry to deliver the news directly to the consumer in a variety of exciting new ways."

Apple has reportedly been trying to land newspapers to be in its iBooks Store or otherwise deliver paid content on the iPad, but only a few have so far come on board, in part due to concerns about revenue sharing and issues over who has access to and controls subscriber information.

As one of the world's largest news gathering organizations, the AP would be the largest news outfit to announce plans for or otherwise come on board Apple's iPad platform.

The AP's traditional business model has been to syndicate its content out to individual newspapers and other media outlets around the world. The AP itself has not, therefore, been a publisher of its own material. AP Gateway would mark at least a slight shift in that model, though company execs said this was not the main goal of AP Gateway.

"This is not primarily to develop direct-to-consumer products, but that's one of the things we will be doing," Jane Seagrave, Chief Revenue Officer of The AP, told The Financial Times of London. She also said that The AP would be working with its local affiliates in the new business unit, though it is not clear if the organization will be offering content from those affiliates in its iPad app.

It is also unclear if The AP accepted Apple's public terms of a 70/30 revenue split with Apple maintaining control over the customer relationship, or if it was able to negotiate a separate deal with different terms with Apple. The above-mentioned terms have been Apple's standard terms for developers since launching the App Store, and it is the deal with which Apple has approached publishers for iBooks and the iPad.

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Comments

Lee Dronick

There are some unanswered questions, or perhaps I am missing them in the press release.

1. What will it cost?

2. Can we republish the articles? If “republish” is correct term for taking an article and say posting it on a web page.

Bryan Chaffin

Sir Harry, as described, this app is aimed at consumers, not newspapers. Republishing an article is handled through syndication agreements between publishers.

For question #1, cost hasn’t been announced yet. Today’s announcement was more of a declaration of intent than a layout of business model.

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