Following a statement from late February in which Pearson’s CEO Marjorie Scardino expressed her concerns about the Financial Times iPad application having to comply to Apple’s new rules on iTunes subscriptions for apps, managing director of FT.com Rob Grimshaw told Reuters today that the publication won’t give up their “subscriber relationship” to Apple – which has implemented an opt-in policy so users can decide whether or not their personal data should be shared with a publisher. Apple also takes a 30% cut off every subscription sold through the App Store, inside iOS applications. According to a previous report, developers will need to update their existing publishing apps to include subscriptions by June.
Currently, the Financial Times sells subscriptions to the print and digital editions of the paper on their website – a method that allows the publisher to collect subscribers’ data to promote various products and advertisements to the audience. This kind of “relationship” can’t be easily achieved with Apple’s new terms, which are optional for the user in order to protect privacy. The Financial Times says they “have a great relationship with Apple”, too, but if the business model doesn’t work out they are ready to pull the app from the App Store and release it somewhere else. Perhaps as a web app, perhaps on Android.
We don’t want to lose our direct relationship with our subscribers. It’s at the core of our business model,” Rob Grimshaw told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
He said he was hopeful of a positive outcome to negotiations with Apple, but added: “If it turns out that one or another channel doesn’t mix with the way we want to do business, there’s a large number of other channels available to us.
The Financial Times isn’t providing additional details on where the iPad app will end up if subscriptions aren’t implemented by June, but many are speculating Pearson (owner of the FT) will focus on Android and “other tablets”. The situation is interesting as the FT iPad app is generating 20% of the publication’s subscribers and millions in revenue – but they don’t want to comply to Apple’s terms as, in their own words, they “have something to lose”.
Unlock More with Club MacStories
Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.
In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.
The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.
Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:
- Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
- Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
- Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.
Federico is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of MacStories, where he writes about Apple with a focus on apps, developers, iPad, and iOS productivity. He founded MacStories in April 2009 and has been writing about Apple since. Federico is also the co-host of AppStories, a weekly podcast exploring the world of apps, and Dialog, a show where creativity meets technology.
He can also be found on his two other podcasts on Relay FM – Connected and Remaster.
Instagram: @viticci |