This Week's Sponsor:


Ensure that if a device isn’t secure it can’t access your apps.  It’s Device Trust for Okta.

The Backlash Over Apple’s Subscription Service Begins

Less than a day since Apple unveiled it’s somewhat new subscription rules and unsurprisingly there is already some backlash from publishers and suggestions of possible antitrust investigations. The most prominent content provider that has spoken out so far is Rhapsody, effectively signaling that Apple’s 30% is not economically viable for them after paying music publishers and as a result will not be implementing the new subscription service and policy.

Rhapsody’s president Jon Irwin issued a statement and amongst noting that it would be “economically untenable,” he also noted that they will be “collaborating with our market peers in determining an appropriate legal and business response to this latest development.” This certainly gives the impression of possible legal action if that avenue is open to them and interestingly enough The Wall Street Journal contacted several law professors and reported that Apple’s new policy could potentially “draw antitrust scrutiny”.

One such law professor that was contacted, Shubha Ghosh said that his “inclination is to be suspect” but what is key to any possible anti-trust investigation is whether or not Apple has a dominant enough market position to hinder competitors and whether it exerts “anticompetitive pressures on price”. Antitrust professor Herbert Hovenkamp from the University of Iowa however doubts that Apple does, suggesting that an “antitrust challenge would seem feasible” only if Apple controls 60% or more of all digital subscriptions.

The Online Publishers Association, which includes major publishers including Time, Hearst, Conde Nast and Bloomberg, also raised concerns to Forbes that Apple’s policy doesn’t provide sufficient flexibility to publishers and consumers. As reported earlier it is rumored that developers and publishers will have until June 30 to implement the new subscription service, at this point it seems likely there will be some considerable backlash by publishers who will be hesitant to forgo 30% of subscription sales to Apple.

[Via TUAW, AppleInsider]

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.