Publishers whom haven’t yet submitted their magazine or news publication to the App Store fear that consumers will simply opt-out of sharing personal information if given the choice. While only names, email addresses, and zip codes can be gathered by publishers, the possible road block via a simple pop-up notification was enough to scare off the likes of Time, Inc. The New York Times, Conde Nast, and others have given the App Store a shot despite the limitation to easily retrieve customer data, and Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici has confirmed that people aren’t that uncomfortable giving that information away.
Magazine publishers who have joined the fray seemed relatively pleased with the results they were seeing so far: 50% of customers opted-in were actually tapping “OK” when asked whether to submit their customer data voluntarily. It seemed like a relatively high figure (a 50% acceptance rate is pretty great), thus Nomad Editions founder Mark Edmiston took it upon himself to verify what he was hearing from community. It was Apple’s Eddy Cue whom confirmed that, yes, publishers don’t have too much to be afraid of.
Can you imagine 50 percent of people opting in to anything out there on the open Web? No chance. But within the carefully manicured, curated confines of the App Store, it’s a different matter.
Jeff Bercovici makes the point that Apple users put a lot of trust into the platform. Customers that are skeptical of web forms are more comfortable in sharing their personal info and in dismissing the one-time notification. Many customers simply may not care or would like to receive discounts and future offerings; they can have my email. Big deal right? Allaying fears that publishers didn’t have a chance when it came to customers willingly giving away their personal info, Edminston notes, “So, all the sudden, what was an insurmountable obstacle no longer is.”
With such news comes the opportunity to reconsider. Time, Inc. is avoiding the App Store specifically for this reason, but with publishers seeing a rather successful number of opt-ins, is there really anything else to lose? Hearst recently made a splash in announcing that subscriptions would be offered in July, and now The New Yorker offers both subscriptions and individual magazines for sale within the app. Publishers will still have to experiment with the right pricing, but if the incentive is instant access to trusted material, don’t underestimate the customer’s willingness to tap the Okay button.