Google 'spring cleaning' targets mobile
Google on Friday detailed another round of sweeping consolidation that would drop even more of the servers it no longer considers vital. One Pass, its digital publication payment system, has been shuttered and its users transitioned to "other platforms." The implementation was intended to compete with Apple's own App Store publication rules and gave publishers as much as a 90 percent cut as well as access to subscriber details.
Conde Nast credits iOS 5 to surge in reading
Condé Nast suggested on Tuesday that tablet magazines might have turned a corner with the launch of iOS 5. Since the iPad received access to Newsstand, subscriptions across titles like GQ and The New Yorker climbed 268 percent. Single issues reaped their own rewards and spiked 142 percent, the publisher said.
French publishers refuse to bow to Apple terms
French publishers took a shot at challenging Apple's control over publishing terms on the iPad Wednesday with the launch of a new portal. Eight competitors, including L'Équipe and Le Figaro, are now using a common web hub, e-presse.fr, to offer at first individual issues and later subscriptions. The alliance told Reuters that they were also negotiating as a group with Apple in hopes of forcing it to change terms on the App Store and the upcoming iOS 5 Newsstand.
iTunes publisher logjam cleared by frequent opt-in
Apple on Wednesday confirmed that the sudden flood of iTunes magazine subscriptions available in recent days was due to a change of heart by publishers. Internet services VP Eddy Cue told tablet magazine publisher Nomad Editions' Mark Edmiston that publishers had found about 50 percent of all readers voluntarily providing their names and e-mail addresses when asked. The "insurmountable obstacle" of a lack of automatic access to subscriber info turned out to be a non-issue, Edmiston explained to Forbes.
New Yorker goes iTunes subscriptions
Rumors of Condé Nast using iTunes subscriptions proved true on Monday as the feature came to the iPad version of The New Yorker (free, App Store). While individual issues still cost $5, readers can pay $6 per month for four issues or $60 for a year's worth. The discount is a possible first for an iTunes subscription as it costs $10 less than the print equivalent.
Geared toward publishing on iOS, Android, RIM
Adobe has announced an Enterprise Edition of its Digital Publishing Suite, aimed at larger media companies. The tools will allow corporations to create, distribute and analyze digital versions of their publications for iOS, RIM and Android. Subscription support is built-in, compatible with the iOS App Store and Google One Pass.
FT publisher Pearson threatens iPad exit
The Financial Times' publisher Pearson late Monday warned it might leave the iPad and iPhone if it couldn't get reader information. CEO Marjorie Scardino was adamant on an investors' call that Pearson was "still talking" to Apple but was concerned that its iTunes subscription rules wouldn't let her newspaper get demographic information to target ads. If it couldn't get what it wanted, it might jump ship to Android tablets and other platforms where that information was readily available.
Apple justifies in-app subscriptions at meeting
Apple during its shareholder meeting on Wednesday was put on the defensive and asked to justify its toughened in-app subscription rules. The company insisted it had to maintain the 30 percent cut since the App Store was run at "break even." Google's claimed advantage with One Pass was deceptive as the more favorable 10 percent cut only affected web subscriptions; Android subscriptions and in-app purchases still faced a 30 percent cut, Apple insisted.
Google One Pass subs arrive as Apple clamps down
Google provided a possible out for publishers critical of iTunes subscription rules today by introducing One Pass at a Berlin event today. The subscription system gives readers a single sign-on to get access to digital magazines and newspapers while also deliberately loosening the restrictions on publishers. Unlike on Apple's store, publishers will still have the option of giving away free digital access with print subscriptions or using more varied options like metered access and "freemium" where the content is a mix of both free and paid.