In media win, Apple to relax rules for publishers: report

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 09, 2011 10:48 AM
In media win, Apple to relax rules for publishers: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc appears to have reversed its guidelines for magazine and newspaper subscriptions purchased in its App Store, in a big victory for publishers who blanched at the original terms.

Apple has dropped its price requirement and the directive that external subscriptions must be offered in the App Store, according to MacRumors, which reported the change on Thursday.

Apple was not immediately available for a comment.

The move comes after Apple launched a subscription service for magazines, newspapers, videos and music in February with little support from major publishers such as Time Warner's Time Inc, Conde Nast and Hearst.

Under the launch terms, publishers were allowed to set the price and length of subscriptions. They could also offer subscriptions through their own existing websites, but would be required to offer those same terms to anyone signing up through Apple.

Apple keeps 30 percent of revenue of any subscription purchased directly through the App Store.

Many publishers complained that the fee was too onerous and that Apple kept much of the customer data when the subscription was purchased through the App Store.

The App Store is an online site where iPad and iPhone customers can download software such as newspaper applications such as The Wall Street Journal and games like Angry Birds.

In recent months, some publishers including Conde Nast, which owns titles such as the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, reached a deal with Apple to sell subscriptions in the App Store.

On Monday, the Financial Times launched a new Web-based version of its mobile application for smartphones and tablet computers, essentially freeing the FT from the confines of Apple's App Store.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba, editing by Maureen Bavdek)