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Financial Times Says iPad App Can Go “Somewhere Else”

The executives over at the Financial Times don’t like Apple’s new terms for app subscriptions. Even with an iPad app that’s generating 20% of the publication’s subscribers and millions in revenue, Financial Times owner Pearson expressed his concerns about Apple’s policy in a way that suggest the Financial Times may soon launch its app on other tablets and abandon the iPad, the Guardian reports.

It is unclear how their proposal is going to work, we are still talking to them,” said Scardino. “The important thing to remember is there are many, many tablets coming out and multiple devices … [from] Kindle to mobiles. If indeed Apple are not happy to give us customer data then maybe we will get it somewhere else.

Chief executive Scardino argues that as competition to Apple’s iPad increases over time, there will be no need for publishers to only consider the App Store ecosystem. Admittedly, Apple’s new terms with a 30% fee on every transaction and the impossibility to just link an external web store inside an app are turning out to be quite problematic for newspapers and magazines. Only a few of them have implemented the new subscription technology (which handles everything, from recurring payments to customers’ data, through iTunes), and with a deadline set by June it will be interesting to see which ones will stay on board, and those who will prefer Android tablets instead. For those looking for a reminder of Apple’s new rules:

Publishers who use Apple’s subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. For example, publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their web sites, or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers. Since Apple is not involved in these transactions, there is no revenue sharing or exchange of customer information with Apple. Publishers must provide their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers that have signed up outside of the app. However, Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app. In addition, publishers may no longer provide links in their apps (to a web site, for example) which allow the customer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app.

Antitrust enforces have been rumored to be “looking at” Apple’s new subscriptions for apps as well.

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