Find the latest episode of "The Uncertain Hour" here. Listen
Codebreaker

Apple’s new subscription policy is making enemies

John Moe Feb 16, 2011


Apple officially rolled out its new plan for content subscriptions in the iPad.
What it boils down to is that if you purchase an iPad version of a newspaper or magazine, Apple gets a 30% cut. If you buy more issues while on the iPad or if you choose to subscribe within the app, Apple gets a 30% cut. Content providers can offer their own subscriptions and Apple gets nothing off those BUT there can be no external links within the iPad version to, say, a browser where you can buy it on your own. Also, the iPad subscription price needs to be the same or lower than the outside price.

The real dust-up here is not the magazines, however, its services like Netflix or Kindle or Spotify or Hulu Plus. Suddenly, they’re faced with either making a lot less money, losing money, or jacking up their rates to accommodate Apple’s demands. It doesn’t take much detective work to realize that Apple has its own competitors to all these services.

Real Networks is already threatening to sue.

And antitrust questions are being asked.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.