Thursday, February 10, 2011

ENPA’s arguments against Apple’s new in-app subscription system

ENPA’s arguments against Apple’s new in-app subscription systemClose on the heels of its last-week announcement, disallowing Sony from selling content via its Sony Reader Store app on the iPad, Apple is now sparring with publications, by looking to confine consumers as well as publications to one single purchasing site - the iTunes store.

While the move clearly reflects Apple’s attempts to benefit from consumer information and commission for periodical sales, the European Newspaper Publishers' Association (ENPA) has expressed the opinion that subscriptions should largely be left to the publishers, not the platform providers.

Appreciating the iPad for the platform it provides, ENPA – which represents 5,200 newspapers in the European Union – has voiced its concern over what it considers is a restraining condition inherent in Apple’s new in-app subscription system in its iOS 4.3 beta.

According to the arguments put forth by ENPA, Apple’s in-app subscriptions roll out to users may not only eviscerate user choice, but also upturn the business models of publishers. 

Noting that Apple is tightening its control over newspaper publishers so that it can cream off the profits – Apple has a 30-percent cut for every dollar made when selling a publication -, ENPA said: “In future, consumers may only have access to the newspaper of their choice via the iTunes store, where the transaction would be subject to commission.”

In addition, as per ENPA, the changes introduced by Apple imply that “newspaper publishers would no longer have access to important information about the readers of their digital publications.”

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