updated 10:00 pm EST, Mon November 8, 2010
Amazon periodical rates may allow iPad deal
Amazon today negotiated a change in terms with magazine and newspaper publishers to give them more royalties for the Kindle and which could have implications for iPad periodicals. The new terms give them the same 70 percent cut of the retail price as publishers have had for books in recent months. Rules are light and only require that a publisher offers the content through every possible Kindle-supporting country and in the Kindle app on all platforms. The deal takes effect December 1.
Apple may take advantage of the agreement. Previously, Amazon's common requirement that Kindle publishers get no better deals at rival stores had precluded publication deals at the iBookstore or any other outlet. The iPad maker's insistence on a 70/30 split across its app, book, music and movie stores had immediately ruled out Apple periodical downloads for virtually every major publisher, many of whom have Kindle arrangements. Amazon's quick change opens a path without having to significantly rearrange plans.
Amazon has rarely voluntarily given larger portions of Kindle title revenue to publishers and only gave way to publishers after they threatened to jump ship entirely to what eventually became the iBookstore. Major publishers and some independents have secured Apple deals knowing that Amazon would either have to bend to their terms or risk losing the catalog size advantage.
Momentum has steadily been growing around rumors of an iPad-focused newsstand that would depend on access to a range of major periodicals to work. The approach described so far would automatically download new issues in the background, much like the Kindle, but would have the advantages inherent to the iPad, like full color touchscreens and enough performance to handle video. The store may be timed to arrive in sync with the next-generation iPad and could be a key selling point. [via Silicon Alley Insider]