Publishers Say No to Apple: The Revolution Starts Now

By Tien Tzuo August 17, 2011

by Tien Tzuo

 

Paidcontent posted an interesting update last week to Apple’s iTunes App Store saga. Back in June, when the subscription policy was going into effect, I said publishers need to own their own destiny by creating their own flexible billing platforms that could meet reader expectations for how they want to consume content.

 

We believed that for publishers to survive, they had to say “No” to Apple’s outrageous demands. What started as a message of protest, has become a revolution.

 

Well, it’s now August, and some formidable players have joined the revolution, and have established their own content monetization strategy outside the walled garden of Apple’s App store.

 

The Wall Street Journal waved the flag of self determination, and went on record as saying, “We remain concerned that Apple’s own subscription would create a poor experience for our readers, who would not be able to directly manage their WSJ account or to easily access our content across multiple platforms.” Spoken like a company who has a subscription billing system that is working for them.

 

Or how about the Financial Times? According to the Paidcontent piece, their app is still up and running, as it’s always been, and processes subscriptions through its own channel.

 

The time for hand wringing is over. It’s time for other publishers to join us in standing up and saying no to handing over 30% of their revenues, saying no to losing the relationship with the subscriber, and saying no to Big Brother. It’s time to say yes to the freedom of the press. Join the revolution and come visit www.saveourpress.com.

 

Yes, there’s work to be done. The key question now is, how will this all fall out? Will the remaining “in app” publishers continue to say “Thank you, may I please have another?” or will they find their way to owning the subscription experience?

 

I don’t see a choice. Publishers are either “in” or they are on the outs.