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MacRumors
Jun 7, 2011, 02:41 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/07/financial-times-wont-give-apple-a-cut-drops-ios-for-web-app/)


The Financial Times (http://www.ft.com/), a major business newspaper, has decided to drop its iOS app (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/financial-times-ipad-edition/id370723705) in favor of an HTML5 based web app (http://apps.ft.com/ftwebapp/) specifically designed for the iPhone and iPad. The move is in response to Apple's new App Store Subscription (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/02/15/apple-debuts-app-store-subscriptions/) requirements that state Apple must get a 30% cut of any subscription sold on iTunes and that publications must offer subscriptions through the App Store.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/ftwebapp-500x375.jpg

(http://www.front.macrumors.com/?attachment_id=313947)

In a email to subscribers today, the FT didn't mention the App Store at all, instead touting "valuable improvements" including claims that the web app will be faster and more up-to-date. The interesting part came when the email mentioned the existing app (emphasis added):
Although the old app <strong>may still be available for an interim period</strong>, we encourage you to switch to the new app as soon as possible. The new app is now the focus of our development efforts and we'll be adding a series of new features, including special reports, over the coming months.Actually, neither the Financial Times nor anyone else knows what is going to happen at the end of the month to subscription-based apps that don't align with Apple's App Store guidelines. The deadline for subscription based apps to roll out their offerings is June 30. Quoted in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/technology/08ftapp.html), Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com (http://www.ft.com) said:
We don't quite know what will happen ... we'd love to keep our app in iTunes, but it may be that they will block our app at the end of the month.They might not know what's going to happen if they don't play ball, but it's Apple's sandbox and the FT isn't sitting around idly. The new web app seems to be very similar to the current iOS App and thus may be able to provide a very similar experience without having to share revenue with Apple. The Financial Times' loyal readership is likely to follow the publication to its web app in significant numbers, meaning that the FT may not be missing out on much by bypassing iTunes.

As the first major publication to drop its iOS app over Apple's subscription guidelines, the FT might just encourage other publications to make the same move. Ben Evans notes, however, that the grass isn't always greener (http://www.ben-evans.com/post/6279090171/the-ft-switches-to-web-apps) on the other side:The challenge for other publishers in following the FT is that by doing so, they gain 30% but lose frictionless installs from the app store and frictionless payment from iTunes. For the FT, with a dedicated readership willing to pay, it may be worth giving those things up in exchange for the ability to offer a true cross-platform experience. But if you’re depending on impulse download, the tablet experience and the ease of payment to get people to pay for your product where they never paid before, paying Apple 30% of something may be better than keeping 100% of nothing.

Article Link: Financial Times Won't Give Apple A Cut, Drops iOS for Web App (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/07/financial-times-wont-give-apple-a-cut-drops-ios-for-web-app/)



swb1192
Jun 7, 2011, 02:45 PM
The problem with having a web-based app is that people associate the web with free content. Apps are usually different, where people expect in-app purchases, subscriptions, etc.

theheadguy
Jun 7, 2011, 02:45 PM
Good for them. If you have the power and the will to survive without reliance on the Apple ecosystem, I say do it.

WiiDSmoker
Jun 7, 2011, 02:46 PM
Good. Hopefully Apple realize what a dickish move they are trying to make.

dustinsc
Jun 7, 2011, 02:47 PM
Come on Apple. If you ask for 10% you'll keep your content providers and get a cut. I'm sure if you just quit pretending 30% is some sort of magic number, you'd make more money and have happier devs and customers.

keruah
Jun 7, 2011, 02:47 PM
I love Apple, but hope that more companies will do the same.

wordoflife
Jun 7, 2011, 02:47 PM
I'm glad they are doing this. Apple is being a bit too greedy.

ratzzo
Jun 7, 2011, 02:49 PM
Well, I don't know... sure, they have to give 30% to Apple but at the end of the day they receive 70% and even though it's not as profitable, it surely is widespread with so many millions of iOS devices browsing the iTunes App Store, even if it's just so that it may appear on this place they will at very least get the attention they would otherwise not get.

They most likely performed a study on whether that option was more or less viable than launching the HTML5 platform and decided to go for it. Whatever suits them, as long as the customer views the site with the same ease

chameleon81
Jun 7, 2011, 02:52 PM
The problem with having a web-based app is that people associate the web with free content. Apps are usually different, where people expect in-app purchases, subscriptions, etc.You never read financial times online did you?

kyeblue
Jun 7, 2011, 02:52 PM
newspaper that requires paid web content with solid reader bases such as WSJ and now NYT should follow. The only problem, for which I am not sure and is important to me, is if webapp offers offline reading. But I hate the idea that 30% of my subscription goes to Apple and in application purchase in general, and will make sure that all my subscription goes to newspaper.

Apple may re-consider the universal 30% cut policy and engage in case by case negotiation. At the end, for FT and WSJ, webapp makes more sense as it eliminate the effort for making apps for different smartphone platforms. With Google Wallet or alike payment platforms, purchase through web would also be much easier.

Phil A.
Jun 7, 2011, 02:55 PM
Looks like we're going full circle: when the iPhone was first released, the only apps available were web apps. These were widely derided and Apple buckled under pressure and added native apps. Now it looks like more companies such as FT will revert to Web Apps to avoid paying Apple "their" 30% cut for subscriptions...

Consultant
Jun 7, 2011, 02:55 PM
The problem with having a web-based app is that people associate the web with free content. Apps are usually different, where people expect in-app purchases, subscriptions, etc.

Exactly.

App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?

tompw
Jun 7, 2011, 02:57 PM
Well, I don't know... sure, they have to give 30% to Apple but at the end of the day they receive 70% and even though it's not as profitable, it surely is widespread with so many millions of iOS devices browsing the iTunes App Store, even if it's just so that it may appear on this place they will at very least get the attention they would otherwise not get.


If you sell e-books, you have to give 70% (or more) of the sales price to the author... if Apple keeps the other 30%, you wind up with zero. See http://www.macstories.net/news/apples-in-app-purchase-policy-forces-iflowreader-to-shut-down/ for example.

reden
Jun 7, 2011, 02:57 PM
Well done FT. Business is business, but Apple has taken the App store too far, which is why they risk having a marginal user base as opposed to Android and other mobile platforms. Seems like the past is replaying itself, just how the Mac OS lost to Windows OS. Sometimes companies don't learn from their mistakes.

50548
Jun 7, 2011, 02:59 PM
Good for them. If you have the power and the will to survive without reliance on the Apple ecosystem, I say do it.

As a current FT subscriber, I say DON'T DO IT. The native iOS app is MILES ahead of this makeshift HTML5 effort, which obviously can't even keep offline content available for reading.

I really hope they stop this BS bickering and keep the app, which has received many design awards since the debut of the iPad...no web-based initiative can replace it.

Although the FT has the rare privilege of NOT needing to run after subscribers, given its high-end audience and quality articles, they'd better not risk losing any because of such an arrogant approach.

spazzcat
Jun 7, 2011, 02:59 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/534.32 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

The problem with having a web-based app is that people associate the web with free content. Apps are usually different, where people expect in-app purchases, subscriptions, etc.

Exactly.

App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?

People don't get this fact. Look at the pubs that have moved to the new model. They picked up a lot new people...

Stella
Jun 7, 2011, 03:00 PM
Exactly.

App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?

I used the "Toronto Star" and Global And Mail apps. These were free apps with no subscription.

They download loaded content and cached it. If you weren't online later the apps would display what it could, and it didn't take very long to download all available content either.

Worked very well IMO. These apps were basically native apps of the web based versions. Same content.

WannaGoMac
Jun 7, 2011, 03:00 PM
BTW the FT web app DOES work offline. It stores 1 day of news on the device itself. HTML5 is very capable, and frankly this is a smart move on their part rather than try to support a ton of different devices.

http://apps.ft.com/ftwebapp/faq.html#3

baryon
Jun 7, 2011, 03:02 PM
Come on Apple. If you ask for 10% you'll keep your content providers and get a cut. I'm sure if you just quit pretending 30% is some sort of magic number, you'd make more money and have happier devs and customers.

But wouldn't that allow developers to bypass Apple's 30% entirely? For example, you could get an empty shell App for free, and download content as an in-app subscription for money.

Maybe Apple should make a special package for recurring subscriptions for magazines or something...

Porchland
Jun 7, 2011, 03:02 PM
Come on Apple. If you ask for 10% you'll keep your content providers and get a cut. I'm sure if you just quit pretending 30% is some sort of magic number, you'd make more money and have happier devs and customers.

The iPad news and magazine apps that I regularly use provide a superior user experience to the web versions, but there's a point at which the cost to the consumer outweighs the user experience.

I'm glad to see a major news outlet push back, and that's not a slant against Apple. This is how markets are supposed to work.

Gasu E.
Jun 7, 2011, 03:05 PM
Exactly.

App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?

I highly doubt that Apple can provide that much value. The FT, the WSJ, the NYT, The Economist, etc. have built up massive reputations over many, many years. The target customer is self-identifying and knows how to find the product. Do you actually believe Apple can increase the target base by a factor of 10 for these publications?

Now, Apple might be helpful to smaller publications that are just getting started. In that case, Apple might deserve their 30%; but the 30% should be capped at some number, for example, $100K per year.

Jcoz
Jun 7, 2011, 03:05 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

Deleted

kyeblue
Jun 7, 2011, 03:05 PM
As a current FT subscriber, I say DON'T DO IT. The native iOS app is MILES ahead of this makeshift HTML5 effort, which obviously can't even keep offline content available for reading.

I really hope they stop this BS bickering and keep the app, which has received many design awards since the debut of the iPad...no web-based initiative can replace it.

Although the FT has the rare privilege of NOT needing to run after subscribers, given its high-end audience and quality articles, they'd better not risk losing any because of such an arrogant approach.

If they lose less than 30% potential subscribers by this move, they win. Although I am not 100% sure, HTML5 should allow offline reading.

onthecoast
Jun 7, 2011, 03:05 PM
As a current FT subscriber, I say DON'T DO IT. The native iOS app is MILES ahead of this makeshift HTML5 effort, which obviously can't even keep offline content available for reading.


Ermm.. it does keep offline content no problem. I'm using it as we speak

Kelmon
Jun 7, 2011, 03:06 PM
I can appreciate the FT's position on all this but, purely from a customer perspective, I'd much rather have an application that downloads my content automatically and holds it offline since data connections seem to be notoriously spotty. You can do quite a lot with web applications these days but I'd always rather have an offline experience.

Meandmunch
Jun 7, 2011, 03:07 PM
Don't you give that 30% or more up when you sell your publication at a retail outlet to begin with. You sell your stock to a store at a price the retailer can then sell at the cover price to the consumer.

How is this any different? Apples online store is a retail outlet for digital products. The last time I checked you could not walk into a book store and get a subscription for anything.

The distribution channel Apple has created is a boon for print producers. Like it or not they have become the Walmart of the online world, they are the biggest and can instantly reach the most potential customers. You may not like the specifics of the terms but good luck doing any better without them.

iLunar
Jun 7, 2011, 03:07 PM
Looks like we're going full circle: when the iPhone was first released, the only apps available were web apps. These were widely derided and Apple buckled under pressure and added native apps. Now it looks like more companies such as FT will revert to Web Apps to avoid paying Apple "their" 30% cut for subscriptions...

Yes, exactly. I remember when Apple pushed Web Apps and developers balked at it cause they want to make money off Apple's back. Now when Apple provides the App store market for a fee and protects consumer privacy, they all jump back to Web Apps. It's pretty amusing.

ratzzo
Jun 7, 2011, 03:08 PM
I highly doubt that Apple can provide that much value. The FT, the WSJ, the NYT, The Economist, etc. have built up massive reputations over many, many years. The target customer is self-identifying and knows how to find the product. Do you actually believe Apple can increase the target base by a factor of 10 for these publications?

Now, Apple might be helpful to smaller publications that are just getting started. In that case, Apple might deserve their 30%; but the 30% should be capped at some number, for example, $100K per year.

Why should it be capped? 30% is 30 out of 100, whether it scales to 100k or not and should it become unprofitable to the company is up to said company to study. After all, they are winning 70%, be it 1000, 100000 or 100000.

dashiel
Jun 7, 2011, 03:08 PM
I am a big believer in HTML5/CSS3 and JS as an umbrella term HTML5 has made tremendous progress in the last 18 months. As a technology though is not as yet ready to replace native apps in the majority of instances. A lack of GPU acceleration standard across devices, the nightmare of doing anything for Android – ironically fragmentation is a far greater problem when dealing with the all the permutations of WebKit on Android. We’re not far off, but we’re not there yet.

I suspect the amount of time/effort/money the FToL will invest in creating elements that are otherwise baked in to native iOS/Android development will be greater than the 30% of revenue they would have to share.

lifeinhd
Jun 7, 2011, 03:09 PM
The only problem, for which I am not sure and is important to me, is if webapp offers offline reading.

Perhaps what FT could do is make Web browsers that only view their site. The Web browsers could be designed to not reload content upon opening, unlike Safari.

Or maybe they could somehow cache it in Safari, and still display content even if Safari tries to refresh the page?

Don't you give that 30% or more up when you sell your publication at a retail outlet to begin with. You sell your stock to a store at a price the retailer can then sell at the cover price to the consumer.

How is this any different? Apples online store is a retail outlet for digital products. The last time I checked you could not walk into a book store and get a subscription for anything.


Problem is, for companies like Amazon or Netflix, Apple has just become a middleman. Many of these companies would rather just sell directly to customers. Obviously that's not the case for the FT, but anything that's not normally sold as a hard copy now has to deal with a middleman demanding a cut.

prhammer
Jun 7, 2011, 03:09 PM
If you sell e-books, you have to give 70% (or more) of the sales price to the author... if Apple keeps the other 30%, you wind up with zero. See http://www.macstories.net/news/apples-in-app-purchase-policy-forces-iflowreader-to-shut-down/ for example.

I'm waiting to hear what Kindle and Nook are going to do. I think that this is one of the more interesting battle grounds for the inapp purchasing because the margins don't make this a sustainable model for businesses. Apple has driven up the costs of ebooks across the board and now they are minimizing the options on IOS so that they end up the only ebook option. I'm a Kindle and Android user and this is one of the major issues that I am waiting to see resolved before I decide if I'm going to move to iPhone in November when my contract is up.

inkhead
Jun 7, 2011, 03:12 PM
What 30% buys you:


Unlimited Hosting (5%),
Subscription billing system (expensive to provide customer support), Payment Gateway (they take between 5-10% of every payment transaction)
Technical Support
Advertisement of Your App in High Yield CPM


For companies that don't already have an online billing system iTunes
provides extremely lost cost system.

Cost of developing our billing platform ($10,000)
Cost to our payment gateway on every transaction under $1 (10% 20˘ fee)
Cost to our payment gate on every transaction OVER $1 (5% 10˘ fee)
Monthly Hosting Costs $1500.00 (monthly)
Staff to answer support emails and fix trouble tickets ($3000.00 /month)

iTunes is a great deal!

newagemac
Jun 7, 2011, 03:12 PM
Exactly.

App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?

You don't get 100% if you take your app out of the app store. You have to perform all of the same functions the App store provided using other services which of course eats into your profit as well.

But really what's more important is the hit in sales you're going to take by not being in the App Store. That's VERY significant. I think the FT is going to learn this the hard way.

Gasu E.
Jun 7, 2011, 03:12 PM
As a current FT subscriber, I say DON'T DO IT. The native iOS app is MILES ahead of this makeshift HTML5 effort, which obviously can't even keep offline content available for reading.

I really hope they stop this BS bickering and keep the app, which has received many design awards since the debut of the iPad...no web-based initiative can replace it.

Although the FT has the rare privilege of NOT needing to run after subscribers, given its high-end audience and quality articles, they'd better not risk losing any because of such an arrogant approach.

You really need to provide your valuable feedback to FT! Let them know that you are willing to pay a 50% surcharge over the regular subscription price for the app-- I'm sure they assumed they would have to absorb the Apple charge themselves, not readers such as yourself. It's important for them to know that some readers are willing to pay for this.

macnisse
Jun 7, 2011, 03:13 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; sv-se) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Strategic move indeed, web apps make sense, will be interesting to see the corporate reactions and who will follow...

Rodimus Prime
Jun 7, 2011, 03:16 PM
Exactly.

App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?

sounds great in theory unless your cost per customer is in the 80-90% range already in terms of revenue brought in because then an increase in customers just means a larger increases in losses.

People like you argue that but forget that that the 30% gross revenue demand from Apple is often times greater than the the profit margin is any how.

gkarris
Jun 7, 2011, 03:16 PM
Actually, I prefer Web Apps.

If the App requires a network connection anyway, easier to make updates to the host rather than to release code and try to distribute it, making sure everyone has the latest version.

It also allows a bunch of other platforms to use the App, especially is the App is smart enough to reformat the info depending on how you are accessing it...

iCrizzo
Jun 7, 2011, 03:17 PM
Apple really should think about lowering that 30%. Web apps are nice, but native apps trump if I can download the content and read it offline!!!

Yamcha
Jun 7, 2011, 03:17 PM
I think 30% is a lot, so it makes sense for them to just make a HTML5 web app..

Stella
Jun 7, 2011, 03:17 PM
deleted.

lifeinhd
Jun 7, 2011, 03:18 PM
You really need to provide your valuable feedback to FT! Let them know that you are willing to pay a 50% surcharge over the regular subscription price for the app-- I'm sure they assumed they would have to absorb the Apple charge themselves, not readers such as yourself. It's important for them to know that some readers are willing to pay for this.

Awesome comment.

logandzwon
Jun 7, 2011, 03:20 PM
LOL, a few year ago Apple says, "html5 Web Apps are really cool, guys make stuff."

Community, "no we want native apps. Web Apps suck. Come-on we'll pay for them!"

Apple, "OK, we built this awesome platform for native apps. Here is the bill."

Community, "Gready Apple. We are going to build web app instead!"

jlgolson
Jun 7, 2011, 03:20 PM
As a current FT subscriber, I say DON'T DO IT. The native iOS app is MILES ahead of this makeshift HTML5 effort, which obviously can't even keep offline content available for reading.

I really hope they stop this BS bickering and keep the app, which has received many design awards since the debut of the iPad...no web-based initiative can replace it.

Although the FT has the rare privilege of NOT needing to run after subscribers, given its high-end audience and quality articles, they'd better not risk losing any because of such an arrogant approach.You think so? I'm a FT subscriber too and I honestly couldn't tell THAT much of a difference between the two. Yeah, it's a little bit slower and I much prefer the iOS app, but it isn't that bad.

firestarter
Jun 7, 2011, 03:21 PM
Big fail.

There's no 3G signal on the London tube - so noone is going to be able to read it on their way to work.

Dumb move.

redkamel
Jun 7, 2011, 03:23 PM
So by using itunes, FT loses 30%. The App store would need to boost the amount of purchases by 1/3 for FT to break even. Counting the cost of maintaining a server, download management, customers who leave beacause its "too hard" to download, decreased visibility, etc etc (because Apple DOES give you something for that 30%), I would guess (completely guess since I don't do this for a living) Apple would maybe really only have to boost your business by a 25% or maybe even 20% or 15%.

Personally I think the App store would boost apps by at least enough to make it worth it, but maybe not. I'd love to have nerdy number talk from both sides...I have no idea about how cost of running a download service, HTML 5 website, transaction processing, customer service for said downloads, server space and all that junk compares to profit

jntdigital
Jun 7, 2011, 03:23 PM
I think you will see more publishers go with the web app approach with platforms like Onswipe on the horizon.

iDemiurge
Jun 7, 2011, 03:24 PM
30% may make sense for common apps, whose value is in their functionality and not in the content they provide. With magazine subscriptions the app is developed once not for its own sake, but for the sake of the content being delivered. Most of the value is added by the journalists and the rest of the editorial team, and for them a 30% cut on the price of a subscription is a he'll of a lot, especially if they are barred from offering the subscription cheaper outside of the app store. Down vote me as much as you will, I think the stance adopted by the FT is great and other publications should join the resistance. Apple makes great products, but they didn't invent the press, and they're not doing anything to make it any freer.

scott911
Jun 7, 2011, 03:25 PM
apple: I respect the new ecosystem you're creating, but 30% is too much, especially for this subscription model.

Best of luck Financial Times... keep your writers employed, and fed.

Gasu E.
Jun 7, 2011, 03:26 PM
Why should it be capped? 30% is 30 out of 100, whether it scales to 100k or not and should it become unprofitable to the company is up to said company to study. After all, they are winning 70%, be it 1000, 100000 or 100000.

Apple provides some infrastructure (billing, hosting) value and some marketing value to publications that use their service. For a small publication, the marketing value may be large compared to revenues. For a publication which already has a huge readership base, the marketing value is going to be much smaller relative to the companies revenues.

Let's take two examples. Publication A is new and has zero circulation. Through an app, they can gain 10,000 readers at $50 per year. That's 10,000 readers and $500,000 more than they would have without the app.

Publication B is, say the FT. I don't know their circulation/rates, but just for sake of argument let's say their current circulation is 200,000 per year at $100/year= $20M. If they add an app, they could gain maybe 10,000 more subscribers. However, of their current 200,000 perhaps 50,000 already have iPads (they have an affluent readership) and will use the app as well. So, unless there is an additional surcharge for the app subscription BEYOND the regular subscription,

they gain 10,000 new readers X $100 X 70%= +$700K

they lose the Apple surcharge for 50,000 app converts X $100 X 30% = -$1.5M.

The above isn't meant to be accurate in the specific numbers. I'm just trying to demonstrate how an established publication can lose from having an app with a 30% blanket surcharge. You can create other scenarios and assumptions where this is true as well.

spazzcat
Jun 7, 2011, 03:29 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/534.32 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

People seem to forget the 30% is for new subscribers that come through the app store only...

firestarter
Jun 7, 2011, 03:29 PM
apple: I respect the new ecosystem you're creating, but 30% is too much, especially for this subscription model.


How much do they pay to newspaper sellers?

grapefruitx
Jun 7, 2011, 03:30 PM
There needs to be a generic way of doing this, free from Flash, IOS or Android executables, its just pictures and formatted text for the most part, just shows how far HTML hasn't come.

angrylawyer
Jun 7, 2011, 03:31 PM
Well, I don't know... sure, they have to give 30% to Apple but at the end of the day they receive 70% and even though it's not as profitable...

I may have misunderstood, but it's 30% of the subscription price, so if their profit margin is less than 30% then they lose money with every subscription.

It would be different if it was like 30% of their profits, but then everybody would just lie about their profits if they even chose to disclose them.

splitpea
Jun 7, 2011, 03:35 PM
What 30% buys you:


Unlimited Hosting (5%),
Subscription billing system (expensive to provide customer support), Payment Gateway (they take between 5-10% of every payment transaction)
Technical Support
Advertisement of Your App in High Yield CPM


For companies that don't already have an online billing system iTunes
provides extremely lost cost system.

Cost of developing our billing platform ($10,000)
Cost to our payment gateway on every transaction under $1 (10% 20˘ fee)
Cost to our payment gate on every transaction OVER $1 (5% 10˘ fee)
Monthly Hosting Costs $1500.00 (monthly)
Staff to answer support emails and fix trouble tickets ($3000.00 /month)

iTunes is a great deal!

But if you do already have an online billing system for website sales, iTunes is a huge rip-off; especially if you're selling low-margin products or products that cost more than $2.

For instance, we sell $20 products online, and pay something like 30˘ + .03% per transaction, which amounts to 90˘ per $20 sale. Whereas we'd be paying Apple $6 for that sale.

Our margin on the $20 is about 15% ($3; even an all-digital product typically has overhead in terms of salaries and such, and we have per-sale third-party costs unrelated to payment processing or hosting), so with iTunes we'd be losing money on each sale unless we jack up our prices.

Small White Car
Jun 7, 2011, 03:37 PM
This was the company that was mad at Apple because Apple wouldn't let them steal their customer's private info secretly. I'm not saying the 30% isn't also a reason, but I'm wondering if it's not their main reason for doing this.

I'd be VERY nervous about signing up for any account with Financial Times. I suspect the whole 30% thing is just a cover for their real intentions.

webdev
Jun 7, 2011, 03:37 PM
For the FT, with a dedicated readership willing to pay, it may be worth giving those things up in exchange for the ability to offer a true cross-platform experience.

I thought iOS was only apple platform specific, not "true" cross-platform. What they are doing is actually true cross-platform.

ChazUK
Jun 7, 2011, 03:37 PM
Just changed the user agent on my Xoom to iPad and it works fine. For this sort of content, I'd love to see HTML5 as the standard.

Cross platfom, standards compliant, available to everyone.

kolf
Jun 7, 2011, 03:38 PM
I'm not sure why there has to be an application for everything. It seems like the Internet should be enough for many apps out there. I'm glad that FT Is doing this and I hope more follow. I like the idea of having a machine that I can do with what I want. I don't like one company dictating to me what I can view, limiting my choices.

SiPat
Jun 7, 2011, 03:39 PM
Well, at least they didn't use Adobe Flash.

mdatwood
Jun 7, 2011, 03:40 PM
LOL, a few year ago Apple says, "html5 Web Apps are really cool, guys make stuff."

Community, "no we want native apps. Web Apps suck. Come-on we'll pay for them!"

Apple, "OK, we built this awesome platform for native apps. Here is the bill."

Community, "Gready Apple. We are going to build web app instead!"

Why do people forget how much Apple has benefitted from all the people building apps? I know a lot of iPhone owners (myself included) and not one wanted one until apps came about. It should be a symbiotic relationship between the platform and developers even though traditionally Apple has treated developers pretty poorly until recently.

Consultant
Jun 7, 2011, 03:41 PM
BTW the FT web app DOES work offline. It stores 1 day of news on the device itself. HTML5 is very capable, and frankly this is a smart move on their part rather than try to support a ton of different devices.

http://apps.ft.com/ftwebapp/faq.html#3

Interesting. Good to know.

I highly doubt that Apple can provide that much value. The FT, the WSJ, the NYT, The Economist, etc. have built up massive reputations over many, many years. The target customer is self-identifying and knows how to find the product. Do you actually believe Apple can increase the target base by a factor of 10 for these publications?

Now, Apple might be helpful to smaller publications that are just getting started. In that case, Apple might deserve their 30%; but the 30% should be capped at some number, for example, $100K per year.

Yeah. Depends on publication. However, that's what people said about iTunes when Apple offered music. People think why would anyone want to do this. There are stores on one side and pirated content on the other side.

Apple won against free, and Apple might win again in terms of publication distribution.

4x4bob
Jun 7, 2011, 03:42 PM
I'm not quoting the exact wording, but I was reading the article in today's FT and the main reason FT was changing the app was because Apple wouldn't disclose private information about the users habits.

So by switching to their own app, FT can manage your personal information and sell it however it pleases.

This is the disturbing part of the change in app to me.

Personally, I preferred iOS when they didn't have those iAds that popped up. Sorry, I'll pay for an app that useful, don't clutter up my screen with ads.

spazzcat
Jun 7, 2011, 03:50 PM
30% may make sense for common apps, whose value is in their functionality and not in the content they provide. With magazine subscriptions the app is developed once not for its own sake, but for the sake of the content being delivered. Most of the value is added by the journalists and the rest of the editorial team, and for them a 30% cut on the price of a subscription is a he'll of a lot, especially if they are barred from offering the subscription cheaper outside of the app store. Down vote me as much as you will, I think the stance adopted by the FT is great and other publications should join the resistance. Apple makes great products, but they didn't invent the press, and they're not doing anything to make it any freer.

You're paying for the lead, you got the sub because they came to you from the app store. If you already get FT or send in one of those little cards, Apple does not get a cut. I don't see why people make such big deal out of this, if it wasn't for the app store, you wouldn't have a new sub, Apple should get paid for that....

AidenShaw
Jun 7, 2011, 03:52 PM
The problem with having a web-based app is that people associate the web with free content. Apps are usually different, where people expect in-app purchases, subscriptions, etc.

You need to subscribe to more porn sites.... ;)

50548
Jun 7, 2011, 03:53 PM
Ermm.. it does keep offline content no problem. I'm using it as we speak

Sorry, but not as well as the app...by a long shot...the app used to keep content which is NOT linked to today's edition, especially since articles are hyperlinked to other related articles.

Second: UI and overall navigation cannot be compared with the native iOS app; now it's FT trying to push its solution down our throats - I'd rather have this from Apple, which at least justifies its 30% cut through extensive back-office infrastructure instead of just subscriber-data greediness. No go, FT.

ChazUK
Jun 7, 2011, 03:57 PM
You're paying for the lead, you got the sub because they came to you from the app store. If you already get FT or send in one of those little cards, Apple does not get a cut. I don't see why people make such big deal out of this, if it wasn't for the app store, you wouldn't have a new sub, Apple should get paid for that....

On the other hand, Apple have been highly successful selling profitable hardware based in part of there being an "app for that".

I don't think either way is right or wrong but I think people underestimate the huge success Apple have had based on what developers have provided to the platform.

I think it is a good thing that companies can take control of their services via HTML5 too. For the plug in powered internet to die, we need more companies to grasp and use html5 to its advantage.

slattery69
Jun 7, 2011, 03:58 PM
You're paying for the lead, you got the sub because they came to you from the app store. If you already get FT or send in one of those little cards, Apple does not get a cut. I don't see why people make such big deal out of this, if it wasn't for the app store, you wouldn't have a new sub, Apple should get paid for that....

see this is the bit of the argument i dont get , what are apple actively doing to sell the subcription for there cut, if there putting an ad in the app store for it or actively pushing the service then yes, but from what were seeing there gonna be doing nothing other than having a button in the app.
so the person still has to find the app in the first place which the FT in this case would be promoting themselves and will have to promote in app purchasing if they were gonna take part in it

50548
Jun 7, 2011, 04:00 PM
You're paying for the lead, you got the sub because they came to you from the app store. If you already get FT or send in one of those little cards, Apple does not get a cut. I don't see why people make such big deal out of this, if it wasn't for the app store, you wouldn't have a new sub, Apple should get paid for that....

Absolutely right. I was ALREADY a subscriber and Apple didn't get a single cent for that. Misinformation runs rampant these days, ya know...

unlinked
Jun 7, 2011, 04:00 PM
You need to subscribe to more porn sites.... ;)

That is like an anti point. Nobody spends money on porn anymore except for their zombie apocalypse stash.

juicedropsdeuce
Jun 7, 2011, 04:06 PM
Exactly.

App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?

That 'math' may apply to your Men's Health subscription :rolleyes:, but for people who NEED professional journalism and real information, your 'math' fails.

mbhebsgaard
Jun 7, 2011, 04:07 PM
That is a good move and it show FT have to guts to do something like this - they will most likely lead the way for others...

pmz
Jun 7, 2011, 04:14 PM
Actually this is a perfect example of why Apple's policy is no big deal, why whiners are just whiners, and that people still have a choice, just as they always did.

You can make your stuff available in any way and anywhere that you want.

The web is open so if you want to use the web, go ahead. If you want to be an iOS app, gotta play by the iOS rules, and so forth.

Customers aren't going to care.

onthecoast
Jun 7, 2011, 04:18 PM
Big fail.

There's no 3G signal on the London tube - so noone is going to be able to read it on their way to work.

Dumb move.

Why does everyone keep banging on about this? The web app downloads content into cache for offline viewing.

silentnite
Jun 7, 2011, 04:20 PM
Strong move but it's sad to say The Financial Times will come back. As strong as they are no company can afford to lose money these days. I see them coming back. If not this year maybe next. It's so hard to fight with a company that is not just growing but dominating the market and apple is leading the way in every aspect. The saying goes, "He who has the gold rules"

wikus
Jun 7, 2011, 04:22 PM
30% is a joke, I'd say NO to Apple as well.

50548
Jun 7, 2011, 04:40 PM
Why does everyone keep banging on about this? The web app downloads content into cache for offline viewing.

Only today's edition is cached...compare that to the native iOS app and will understand the difference, not to mention the obvious navigation limitations.

marksman
Jun 7, 2011, 04:40 PM
The financial times should be financial smarter.

Nyalotha
Jun 7, 2011, 04:41 PM
When people mention it working offline, do I have to have opened the website? Opened the specific article? Or will going to the website cache every article?

woody74
Jun 7, 2011, 04:45 PM
Hopefully this is the start of campanies actually reviewing what the point of apps is. Far to many have an app as it is a 'cool' thing but they do no more than a website and are complete waste of time that just clog up the app store.

Companies need to actually create apps that use the benefit of having the code on the device and not just publish web content

baleensavage
Jun 7, 2011, 04:52 PM
Let me get this straight... They don't want to pay the Apple tax, so they are making a Web site you have to pay to use. Good luck with that because it's been oh, so successful for other businesses.

I don't necessarily agree with the 30% Apple tax, particularly for smaller developers, but just ask any iOS developer how many apps they sell vs. how many Web apps get downloaded. But for something like a magazine or news content, offline viewing is critical, otherwise I may as well just go to one of the countless news Web sites out there.

Corban987
Jun 7, 2011, 04:56 PM
Hopefully Apple will realise that this is a stipid idea. I don't mind the 30% on apps but the content is just robbery. I hope more and more content providers move off the application model and go to web based. It also provides me a path to go to another plantform in the future. If Apple dropped the price they would also get more repeat buyers on the IOS devices as every year they wouldn't need to consider all the lost application they purchased when adding up whether to buy Android. The more that go web based means that more people have a choice to move off the IOS platform in the future....

abhibeckert
Jun 7, 2011, 05:11 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8J2)

This isn't about revenue (30% is nothing), this is about control. FT wants complete control of their product, and apple is stepping in and applying restrictions.

It's interesting they announced this the day after the WWDC keynote. They are throwing away the newsstand feature in iOS 5. I don't read the FT, but if I did i would want the automatic background download feature.

dubnde
Jun 7, 2011, 05:18 PM
This works offline only if it is started online. I have tried to go into airplane mode and start it and it will not start. Says because it is not connected to the Internet. I wonder if there's something I am not doing right

foidulus
Jun 7, 2011, 05:18 PM
What 30% buys you:


Unlimited Hosting (5%),
Subscription billing system (expensive to provide customer support), Payment Gateway (they take between 5-10% of every payment transaction)
Technical Support
Advertisement of Your App in High Yield CPM


For companies that don't already have an online billing system iTunes
provides extremely lost cost system.

Cost of developing our billing platform ($10,000)
Cost to our payment gateway on every transaction under $1 (10% 20˘ fee)
Cost to our payment gate on every transaction OVER $1 (5% 10˘ fee)
Monthly Hosting Costs $1500.00 (monthly)
Staff to answer support emails and fix trouble tickets ($3000.00 /month)

iTunes is a great deal!

Thats only true of the app itself, it's NOT true of in-app purchases. In-app purchases only net you the payment processing, you still have to host everything yourself. IE it's a huge rip-off and Apple will be taken to court for it really soon.

They don't deserve a cut because THEY DIDNT DO ANYTHING! If they were giving the devices away I could see, but unless I got ripped off, last time I checked my iPad and iPhone were a far cry away from free.

juicedropsdeuce
Jun 7, 2011, 05:20 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8J2)

This isn't about revenue (30% is nothing)...

30% is actually closer to 1/3 than it is to nothing. It is also closer to 1/2 than it is to nothing. You are a bright one, aren't you? LOL. :rolleyes:

j-traxx
Jun 7, 2011, 05:20 PM
its like shopping in a mall vs the outlet stores. the mall has cache (sp?) and it advertises your business to the most foot traffic and you pay for it with high rent. the appstore is the BEST application of advertisement and incidental exposure to browsing customers in the mobile arena. how much does that cost you? 30% rent. its like people have a manager and give him a cut to make them big until their own name has clout and they want to break the contract.
the Appstore does its job well as a well integrated distribution service. i wish them well tho. Maybe this will work for them like soundclick and cd baby works for people who left itunes............ *sideeye*

tomegun
Jun 7, 2011, 05:25 PM
While we are talking about apps, how can a site that exists to talk (primarily sometimes) about iOS, mobile devices and apps NOT have an iOS app? It would make viewing the forum on an iPhone or iPad much easier.

ihcac
Jun 7, 2011, 05:39 PM
This works offline only if it is started online. I have tried to go into airplane mode and start it and it will not start. Says because it is not connected to the Internet. I wonder if there's something I am not doing right

I'm having the same problem...If I turn off the internet, the web app says it can't connect and offers the option to "Close" or "Retry." This is no solution at all. If I can't exit the web app at some point while I'm offline (on a plane for instance) to do other things, then have the ability to come back to the app to read, it's worthless.

Rodimus Prime
Jun 7, 2011, 05:40 PM
its like shopping in a mall vs the outlet stores. the mall has cache (sp?) and it advertises your business to the most foot traffic and you pay for it with high rent. the appstore is the BEST application of advertisement and incidental exposure to browsing customers in the mobile arena. how much does that cost you? 30% rent. its like people have a manager and give him a cut to make them big until their own name has clout and they want to break the contract.
the Appstore does its job well as a well integrated distribution service. i wish them well tho. Maybe this will work for them like soundclick and cd baby works for people who left itunes............ *sideeye*

see that argument might work if Apple allowed basicly side loading on iOS devices. Then they could put rules in place on if you want to be in Apples App store then you play by Apples rules but since Apple App store is the only way on iOS the rules are different and Apple is putting it in a position of being hit for Anti-trust. Also remember EU is much harder and stricture on antitrust issues than the US so while in the US it may be legal over in Europe it is a different story and Apple runs a much bigger risk.

Best result would be for Apple to allow side loading and 3rd party App stores.

Krevnik
Jun 7, 2011, 05:43 PM
Thats only true of the app itself, it's NOT true of in-app purchases. In-app purchases only net you the payment processing, you still have to host everything yourself. IE it's a huge rip-off and Apple will be taken to court for it really soon.

They don't deserve a cut because THEY DIDNT DO ANYTHING! If they were giving the devices away I could see, but unless I got ripped off, last time I checked my iPad and iPhone were a far cry away from free.

I'd agree the cut is too large for subscriptions/in-app stuff, but even acting as a payment processor, you take a cut. And part of the reason for taking 30% of the in-app purchases/subscriptions is to close a loophole where I would sell free apps with in-app upgrades to bypass Apple's cut on the app sale (basically, Apple has no good trial mechanism they can force people onto, and they should).

As for taking them to court, do people really take companies to court for overcharging a service? Can I really take BestBuy to court for charging more than Amazon does for that toaster?

goosnarrggh
Jun 7, 2011, 05:47 PM
Let me get this straight... They don't want to pay the Apple tax, so they are making a Web site you have to pay to use. Good luck with that because it's been oh, so successful for other businesses.

Their web-browser-based edition has been online for some time now; it's the primary access point for access to their publication by traditional PC users. And that web-browser-based publication has been a profitable paid subscription service since 2002. They know how to make money off a premium paid subscription website.

If they can improve it using HTML5 concepts to enhance its appeal and usability on portable devices, if they can evolve its offline support to go beyond just the current day's issue, and especially if they can figure out how to produce a single presentation framework that is equally usable on several different mobile platforms simultaneously, then I say: good for them!

Brother Esau
Jun 7, 2011, 05:49 PM
I was going to seriously get into iAd with my business but when I started exploring it and looking into the details I said there is no way in Hell I am giving anyone a 30% on anything I do. Uncle Sam gets almost 50% Apple wants 30% so that means I do all of the work they get rich and I get 20% cut on my own work, c'mon with that B.S already! That is about as bad as being in debt with the Mob!

something3153
Jun 7, 2011, 05:52 PM
Why do people forget how much Apple has benefitted from all the people building apps? I know a lot of iPhone owners (myself included) and not one wanted one until apps came about. It should be a symbiotic relationship between the platform and developers even though traditionally Apple has treated developers pretty poorly until recently.

Additionally, it's not like Apple doesn't make a ton of money off the iPhone hardware. It's bragged about here when it's reported on, but in this discussion the Apple supporters act like Apple is building the things out of the goodness of their hearts. They're not going to lose money because of hosting a few free content delivery apps, especially when, as mentioned, that's the reason many of us buy iPhones. If the Netflix app goes away because of this ridiculous policy, I have no particular need for an iPhone.

Brother Esau
Jun 7, 2011, 06:04 PM
Additionally, it's not like Apple doesn't make a ton of money off the iPhone hardware. It's bragged about here when it's reported on, but in this discussion the Apple supporters act like Apple is building the things out of the goodness of their hearts. They're not going to lose money because of hosting a few free content delivery apps, especially when, as mentioned, that's the reason many of us buy iPhones. If the Netflix app goes away because of this ridiculous policy, I have no particular need for an iPhone.

I will say adamantly that I love my iPhone and its simplicity in use, which makes a huge difference and is much less cumbersome for using a computer on a such a small device. However, I do not like the practices that Apple keeps, I think that allot of them are done out of pure greed and for controlling purposes to keep you perpetually looped into spending money with them.

No wonder why The Uncle Sam Sector wants to start rolling them out, no doubt they are in on the scam as well.

Fraaaa
Jun 7, 2011, 06:17 PM
Apple really should think about lowering that 30%. Web apps are nice, but native apps trump if I can download the content and read it offline!!!

Those 30% is what makes Apple giving us iCloud for free. I wouldn't complain.

Beside magazines and newspaper never made revenue from the cost of the magazine itself but from advertisement.

dubnde
Jun 7, 2011, 06:21 PM
I'm having the same problem...If I turn off the internet, the web app says it can't connect and offers the option to "Close" or "Retry." This is no solution at all. If I can't exit the web app at some point while I'm offline (on a plane for instance) to do other things, then have the ability to come back to the app to read, it's worthless.

ok. good to know it is not just me then. anyone else with this problem

Fraaaa
Jun 7, 2011, 06:25 PM
I was going to seriously get into iAd with my business but when I started exploring it and looking into the details I said there is no way in Hell I am giving anyone a 30% on anything I do. Uncle Sam gets almost 50% Apple wants 30% so that means I do all of the work they get rich and I get 20% cut on my own work, c'mon with that B.S already! That is about as bad as being in debt with the Mob!

Good luck finding someone that makes advert for you for free.
Are you really having a business and don't know how economy works?

Full of Win
Jun 7, 2011, 06:39 PM
Good for them - no extortion money for Apple thugs.

Shivetya
Jun 7, 2011, 06:46 PM
Awesome, here is to hoping more companies tell Apple to take a hike.

I like their devices, not their methods anymore.

Cha
Jun 7, 2011, 07:30 PM
As others have mentioned in this thread... the 30% was not the main issue with FT. FT wanted to information of the users from Apple. This is not a unknown situation... back in April, FT was making comments about it. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/04/04/tech-us-financialtimes-apple-idUKTRE7332D720110404

I personally let my FT subscription expire and moved to WSJ and Barrons (both on the iPad). Personally, I prefer the iPad experience over the web or an actual paper now.

Madmic23
Jun 7, 2011, 08:35 PM
I think this is the best route for most newspapers to go. Why limit yourself to just Apple devices when you can make a web app that runs on iPad, Android, Playbook and Web OS? Less work for the developer and more money for the publisher.

Madmic23
Jun 7, 2011, 08:40 PM
This was the company that was mad at Apple because Apple wouldn't let them steal their customer's private info secretly. I'm not saying the 30% isn't also a reason, but I'm wondering if it's not their main reason for doing this.

I'd be VERY nervous about signing up for any account with Financial Times. I suspect the whole 30% thing is just a cover for their real intentions.

The main source of revenue for newspaper is advertising. The reason why newspapers want customer information is because it's easier to sell advertising if you know the demographics of your readership.

It's not some evil, secret plan, it's just how the publishing industry works.

ihcac
Jun 7, 2011, 08:43 PM
ok. good to know it is not just me then. anyone else with this problem

dubnde, I think I may have figured it out. Deleted the web app. Logged out online. Went to Safari settings and deleted all cache and cookies. Went back to app.ft.com in Safari and went through the suggested login/install process again. After starting over, the web app now works offline. Pictures and everything else download.

lordoftheflatbu
Jun 7, 2011, 09:11 PM
I think using the FT website will be efficient when using the new Safari feature Reading List. Just put the articles you want to read in train/bus/plane in the reading list and off you go. Should work.

AaronEdwards
Jun 7, 2011, 09:13 PM
The problem with having a web-based app is that people associate the web with free content. Apps are usually different, where people expect in-app purchases, subscriptions, etc.

You're obviously correct, that's why people are willing to pay for "the Daily".
Last time I checked their subscription numbers were falling like a rock...

Six months ago, there were reports about app magazines sales dropping (http://www.wwd.com/media-news/fashion-memopad/memo-pad-magazines-not-that-app-y-3409693). Has that changed?

sillypooh
Jun 7, 2011, 09:17 PM
You're missing the big picture. FT doesn't care about 70% out of pennies! It's about the advertizing! Publications are only about advertizing. They'd rather keep 100% revenue off the ads!

haruhiko
Jun 7, 2011, 09:30 PM
My favorite magazine on the iPad has gone after Apple's move :(

AaronEdwards
Jun 7, 2011, 09:50 PM
Exactly.

App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?

The FT has information about how many are subscribing, and they are basing their decision on that information. While neither of us have that information, one thing is certain, they aren't going to lose 90% of their app customers...

And the "app customer" isn't 70% pure profit for FT, those customers, like all others need to pay for lots of other things too.

marksman
Jun 7, 2011, 09:53 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

Well, I don't know... sure, they have to give 30% to Apple but at the end of the day they receive 70% and even though it's not as profitable, it surely is widespread with so many millions of iOS devices browsing the iTunes App Store, even if it's just so that it may appear on this place they will at very least get the attention they would otherwise not get.


If you sell e-books, you have to give 70% (or more) of the sales price to the author... if Apple keeps the other 30%, you wind up with zero. See http://www.macstories.net/news/apples-in-app-purchase-policy-forces-iflowreader-to-shut-down/ for example.

Bad business models are bad

AaronEdwards
Jun 7, 2011, 09:58 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)



Bad business models are bad

Like agreeing to pay the AppleTax.

marksman
Jun 7, 2011, 10:15 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

Exactly.

App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?

sounds great in theory unless your cost per customer is in the 80-90% range already in terms of revenue brought in because then an increase in customers just means a larger increases in losses.

People like you argue that but forget that that the 30% gross revenue demand from Apple is often times greater than the the profit margin is any how.

That is not the case for ANY content creators. Only middlemen who compete directly with the same content creators they resell. Selling content is a cumulative business if you create it so you can't sell it at a loss. If you are a reseller that is different but that is the burden of choosing that business model.

ljocampo
Jun 7, 2011, 10:27 PM
Come on Apple. If you ask for 10% you'll keep your content providers and get a cut. I'm sure if you just quit pretending 30% is some sort of magic number, you'd make more money and have happier devs and customers.

So Apple does all the work of customer service, IT, HW servers, monthly data transfer, point of sale, and offer a hugh market of affluent consumers and they get only 10%? The magazine industry gives more than that to brick and mortar outlets and they have to make a print copy, where as iTunes' distribution is published quick and cheaper digitally.

Maybe you should rethink your logic! It's flawed

LizKat
Jun 7, 2011, 10:27 PM
As a current FT subscriber, I say DON'T DO IT. The native iOS app is MILES ahead of this makeshift HTML5 effort, which obviously can't even keep offline content available for reading.

I really hope they stop this BS bickering and keep the app, which has received many design awards since the debut of the iPad...no web-based initiative can replace it.

Although the FT has the rare privilege of NOT needing to run after subscribers, given its high-end audience and quality articles, they'd better not risk losing any because of such an arrogant approach.

I liked the FT app a lot and was really upset too, until I checked out the web-based one tonight. It does have offline access capability, and works great. Class act. Popped it onto my home screen with bookmark, gave it room to store stuff, ditched the app. Happy camper here.

marksman
Jun 7, 2011, 10:44 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

its like shopping in a mall vs the outlet stores. the mall has cache (sp?) and it advertises your business to the most foot traffic and you pay for it with high rent. the appstore is the BEST application of advertisement and incidental exposure to browsing customers in the mobile arena. how much does that cost you? 30% rent. its like people have a manager and give him a cut to make them big until their own name has clout and they want to break the contract.
the Appstore does its job well as a well integrated distribution service. i wish them well tho. Maybe this will work for them like soundclick and cd baby works for people who left itunes............ *sideeye*

see that argument might work if Apple allowed basicly side loading on iOS devices. Then they could put rules in place on if you want to be in Apples App store then you play by Apples rules but since Apple App store is the only way on iOS the rules are different and Apple is putting it in a position of being hit for Anti-trust. Also remember EU is much harder and stricture on antitrust issues than the US so while in the US it may be legal over in Europe it is a different story and Apple runs a much bigger risk.

Best result would be for Apple to allow side loading and 3rd party App stores.

A mall is not required to lease space to any tenant that does not agree to it's terms. A retail store is not obligated to sell any product if they don't want to do it. The idea that there is some kind of anti trust or actionable issue here is absurd.

donlphi
Jun 7, 2011, 10:45 PM
Good. Hopefully Apple realize what a dickish move they are trying to make.

I totally disagree. 30% seems like a pretty good deal considering the amount of support you get through Apple. I'm sure a magazine kiosk in an airport gets more than 30% and that requires the company to print a magazine.

If it were such a bad deal, I don't think other companies would do it. FT is missing the boat and missing out on a lot of potential customers.

waldobushman
Jun 7, 2011, 10:46 PM
Apple should simply allow the user to decide if they want to use the in-app purchase process (and pay a premium) or get the books, mag copies, etc in whatever way the vendor designs it. Apple simply should also demand fairness -- that the customers price will be no more than the lowest in-app purchase price on any other device.

Apple's requirement that the in-app process be present and functioning properly should be all that Apple requires.

The current language simply will not fly and loss of companies like Amazon/Kindle, Barnes and Noble/Nook will essentially kill the iPad, and with it Apple. If Apple does not become reasonable in their contract terms, you will see Apple stock drop like a rock and bankruptcy soon to follow.

sparkso
Jun 7, 2011, 10:46 PM
What 30% buys you:


Unlimited Hosting (5%),
Subscription billing system (expensive to provide customer support), Payment Gateway (they take between 5-10% of every payment transaction)
Technical Support
Advertisement of Your App in High Yield CPM


For companies that don't already have an online billing system iTunes
provides extremely lost cost system.

Cost of developing our billing platform ($10,000)
Cost to our payment gateway on every transaction under $1 (10% 20˘ fee)
Cost to our payment gate on every transaction OVER $1 (5% 10˘ fee)
Monthly Hosting Costs $1500.00 (monthly)
Staff to answer support emails and fix trouble tickets ($3000.00 /month)

iTunes is a great deal!

Can't agree more. FT made a bad move.

AppleScruff1
Jun 7, 2011, 10:47 PM
I wonder what LTD will have to say about this. :D

JoEw
Jun 7, 2011, 11:19 PM
The main source of revenue for newspaper is advertising. The reason why newspapers want customer information is because it's easier to sell advertising if you know the demographics of your readership.

It's not some evil, secret plan, it's just how the publishing industry works.

Heres a better question if I am already paying a subscription fee should I really have to give up my private information and see advertising on top of my subscription?

I could understand if the newspaper were free.

nagromme
Jun 7, 2011, 11:43 PM
It’s good that iOS has multiple development platforms, and multiple business models. I hope it works out well for FT and for the App Store publishers alike.

wirelessness
Jun 7, 2011, 11:43 PM
One thing I've always disliked about IOS Apps is having to use an App for content that is normally available from a webpage. Sometimes the App is a better fit for smaller screens or whatnot but I just don't like the concept of needing an App to access Web based content.

Besides according to Apple's own anti-flash dogma HTML5 is the future of Web content....

LizKat
Jun 7, 2011, 11:52 PM
Heres a better question if I am already paying a subscription fee should I really have to give up my private information and see advertising on top of my subscription?

I could understand if the newspaper were free.

It's the old model... a print subscription was mailed or delivered to you, so they knew your demographics, and it came with ads. Some companies still won't sell you an online sub unless you take the print one. And then the digital one often has ads anyway. They want that ad revenue!! It's annoying, not just because of the ads but who needs the tree-killing clutter of the print one if the digital version is your preference.

kiljoy616
Jun 7, 2011, 11:58 PM
Exactly.

App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?

Exactly its their loss. Either way I don't think these very specific newspapers with limited readership care as much. I do know about the newspaper but have never really cared about getting it. WSJ is more of my taste but again limited client el.

NY Times is a complete different animal and who does not read it?

Apple has made it so easy to get the electronic version that I wonder if I would even waste my time moving over to web experience or hard cover after using their apps. I am talking about Popular Science, Popular Mechanics which are great apps even if they could use a little more capacity still well done. On the other hand Consumer Report is useless not sure why they even have an app since its just not there. I could see them going HTML5 not like they have put effort behind it.

I can see how some would say that Apple need to lower the price and I am for that 30% is a bit high, but its not like we are seen any real competition so its hard for me to reason why Apple would lower their price at this time.

thatrandomguy
Jun 7, 2011, 11:59 PM
(Disclaimer: I don't own an iPad, just an iPod Touch, smartphone is Android, boo me off the stage, etc.)

Apple's policies are onerous, plain and simple.

The magazine on a newstand being more than 30% comparison doesn't really work. Magazine subscriptions (most magazines, anyway) are typically under $2 an issue if you go for a year. Newstand copies are sold at $5-$8. Let's suppose the newstand makes 50% on a $5 copy (you get $2.50) and Apple makes 30% on your $1.80 digital edition (you get $1.20). The 50% retail margin is overboard, considering the Magazine Publishers of America say it's 33.6% average adjusted gross margin for shopkeepers (http://www.magazine.org/ASSETS/8895A785B4C6453BAC11391158D66DF4/maximizingprofits.pdf). Given that it's a bunch of magazine companies trying to convince stores to sell more magazines, I think that figure may be a tad high ;) Even so, we'll round to 50% on some other charges (getting the magazines printed + to stores).

On the digital front, you have development costs for a native application, bandwidth charges/digital content production charges (customers of digital versions expect more interactivity). You do get some money back on ads.

Apple has a couple other terms that are really not equitable in the view of the magazine industry.

The limitations on the use of data are really untenable from the view of a magazine publisher. In an ideal world, we'd live in a world where magazine subscriptions were cheap, the content was great, there were no ads, and companies didn't sell our data.

Unfortunately, people want cheap magazines with great content. Advertisers want to know they're advertising to their target market. This means you need to know the demographics of who is buying your magazine - else you'll end up with low budget scattershot advertising. Even without the advertising money, the plain and simple fact is that the fact that you read such and such magazine is worth money!

I'm not too bothered that some companies know I read Wired & PC Mag. I opted out with the Direct Mail Association a while back and get almost no junk. From any other standpoints I don't see where that information is valuable...

The lowest price through in app purchase/forced use of in app purchase is really crappy. For most people, an Apple ID is made through iTunes, which asks for iTunes immediately (at least, when I made mine through iTunes, I was forced to add a credit card to proceed - I wasn't even making a purchase at that time). Most people will have credit cards associated. In app purchases or lowest price would be fine, but the combination of the two means magazine publishers must charge everyone unfairly (e.g. bloat all minimum subscription charges to account for Apple's margins), or they have to stop using an app on iOS.


I suspect Apple may back down on this, just like how Apple resisted $1.29 song pricing (on popular songs) for a while before eventually caving. The magazine/paper/book industry does not want to submit to Apple; people will get their content in ways outside of Apple's app store. It's essentially a game of chicken at this point.

I'll have to toy with my user agent and try the HTML5 app out...

So Apple does all the work of customer service, IT, HW servers, monthly data transfer, point of sale, and offer a hugh market of affluent consumers and they get only 10%? The magazine industry gives more than that to brick and mortar outlets and they have to make a print copy, where as iTunes' distribution is published quick and cheaper digitally.

Maybe you should rethink your logic! It's flawed

Your logic seems flawed from the perspective that subscriptions are typically $2 or less an issue, while in-store copies are at least $5 (that's for weekly magazines like TIME from what I've seen; most of the monthly magazines I'm interested in are at least $8/issue at the newsstands now).

lilo777
Jun 8, 2011, 12:06 AM
I totally disagree. 30% seems like a pretty good deal considering the amount of support you get through Apple. I'm sure a magazine kiosk in an airport gets more than 30% and that requires the company to print a magazine.

If it were such a bad deal, I don't think other companies would do it. FT is missing the boat and missing out on a lot of potential customers.

That's a big misunderstanding. Apple support does not replace any work that FT has to do anyways. FT can not abandon all non-Apple customers (a huge majority), so they still have to maintain all their existing infrastructure (payments etc.). Besides those who claim that Apple serve the content are totally wrong. The content for the application comes from FT servers.

As far as airport kiosks go, there is a huge difference. Air travelers have no choice (there is only one news kiosk in the airport) that's why the fee goes up. iPad owner has many ways to get FT (HTML 5 being one example). Apple simply miscalculated.

nevir
Jun 8, 2011, 12:11 AM
Apple should simply allow the user to decide if they want to use the in-app purchase process (and pay a premium) or get the books, mag copies, etc in whatever way the vendor designs it.

Apple is unwilling to budge on this: It fractures the user experience and we go back to a ghetto of a myriad of vendors using a myriad of payment methods. Smaller developers will probably opt to stick with in-app purchasing, because it's easier and likely cheaper. Large dev houses will opt to roll their own, for a lower margin and their own lock-in. That wouldn't bode well for Apple; it's the larger dev houses that are going to be driving the sales of in-app items/subscriptions (with a few popular outliers that quickly become large dev houses. Like Rovio.)

Apple simply should also demand fairness -- that the customers price will be no more than the lowest in-app purchase price on any other device.

For the books business, apple already is demanding a price guarantee. They're also demanding a 30% cut. I would be terrified if they entered any other markets and pulled the same move. Here's the math:

Apple got most book publishers to switch to the agency model: Publishers decide on the consumer-visible price of a book; distributors (Apple, Amazon, B&N, etc) get a 30% cut and cannot change the price, even for promotions.

Apple drops the bomb about requiring in-app purchases if an app provides any sort of link to an out-of-app purchasing experience. In essence, Apple is now asking for a 30% cut of every book.

And of course, the agency pricing model dictates that those books be sold for the same price (in-app and out of app)

Aka: screw you Amazon/B&N/etc, you can't mark up the prices of the books. If you want to sell books via your native app, you have to take your 30% cut as a publisher and turn every single penny of it over to us.

The current language simply will not fly and loss of companies like Amazon/Kindle, Barnes and Noble/Nook will essentially kill the iPad, and with it Apple. If Apple does not become reasonable in their contract terms, you will see Apple stock drop like a rock and bankruptcy soon to follow.

Doubtful. For one, Apple has enough cash on hand to last a very long time. They're also very shrewd, and only bully other businesses around when they have a successful vertical that competes (now or soon). Aka, their hope is that most users won't care, and will just switch to iBooks (and it seems very likely).

Secondly, Amazon has clout, but is unwilling to be overly aggressive to other businesses. Apple may have screwed them for now, and they're almost certainly going to drop the native app for a web app, but they're not going to give Apple the finger via press release or otherwise.

And if Apple does start to fail due to this, all they have to do is reverse the decision. They have the users to allow those businesses to jump back in without a second thought.

JayMBP
Jun 8, 2011, 01:07 AM
I personally think it's a good move by FT. Apple was getting too greedy with the 30% cut.

People have to realize, what Apple is doing with the 30% cut is because they think they can. App store has grown so big that Apple think it's ok to charge so much.

How much do bandwidth cost? About 7 dollars per mbps, roughly 320GB of transfer. How many mags can 320GB send? tens of thousands if not more (not sure how heavy FT is, but I can't see a magazine being more than 50MB each)

Even with the cost of servers and support factored in, 30% cut is ridiculous by any calculation.

And why Apple doesn't deserve 30% on CONTENTS? Because these publications invest money (hire reporter to write, establish sources for their news, hire photographers for pictures... etc) to create these contents, Apple in no way facilitated the creation of contents but merely the delivery of them.

If Apple starts charging devs for bandwidth/support, all their right to do so as they are in fact, value added by Apple. However, Apple took no role in creating the contents, making their 30% cut on contents unreasonable if not plain robbery.

It's an insult to content creators and users like US. We are the reason App Store became so powerful, Apple should get money for service they provide and not capitalizing on the quasi-monopoly it has because of its users.

ChazUK
Jun 8, 2011, 01:31 AM
I may be speaking out of line, but after reading the complaints in this thread I can't believe that some people are so anti flash here.

Everyone has been pushing HTML5 in the crusade against Adobe but here we have a company embracing HTML5 which has a tiny detrimental effect on Apple and they complain against it.

I certainly want open standards to replace flash but the app based model will become the new plug in, restricing content to certain platforms.

What would you all prefer, a world where apps were restriced to a platform "We only support iOS and Android as it's not worth the development time producing an app for WebOs, Windows Phone, Meego etc" or one where any platform with a standrds compliant browser can access the content?

In this case im glad there isn't an "app for that". It's also telling that some people don't realize that HTML5 supports off line caching with their comments.

EzJe
Jun 8, 2011, 01:49 AM
In this case im glad there isn't an "app for that". It's also telling that some people don't realize that HTML5 supports off line caching with their comments.

Having actually used the FT's new "App" I can tell you the offline browsing works. However the "App" (even on the iPad2) is a juddering mess when you try and scroll and flickering abounds.

Would I pay for access like this...? Perhaps if someone else was paying but not myself...

arcite
Jun 8, 2011, 02:00 AM
As others have mentioned in this thread... the 30% was not the main issue with FT. FT wanted to information of the users from Apple. This is not a unknown situation... back in April, FT was making comments about it. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/04/04/tech-us-financialtimes-apple-idUKTRE7332D720110404

I personally let my FT subscription expire and moved to WSJ and Barrons (both on the iPad). Personally, I prefer the iPad experience over the web or an actual paper now.

This is what FT doesn't get. People aren't buying physical 'papers' anymore. Its all digital. The information can be replicated and replaced by a myriad of other news providers, some of them even free. It is Apple who is saving these archaic magazines/papers, most of them are currently/near bankrupt anyway. Newsweek was sold for $1 and NYtimes is funded by the goodwill of Carlos Slim. Magazines are increasingly becoming irrelevant. Innovate or die.

ChazUK
Jun 8, 2011, 02:07 AM
Having actually used the FT's new "App" I can tell you the offline browsing works. However the "App" (even on the iPad2) is a juddering mess when you try and scroll and flickering abounds.

Would I pay for access like this...? Perhaps if someone else was paying but not myself...

I can't vouch for the iPad 2 edition but the web app on my iPod touch seems fine.

If there are quality issues then certainly, complain away and vote with your wallet, I wouldn't disagree with that at all.

caspersoong
Jun 8, 2011, 02:20 AM
This would be really bad for customers. This reduces user experience.

dubnde
Jun 8, 2011, 03:43 AM
post deleted

manu chao
Jun 8, 2011, 06:38 AM
When people mention it working offline, do I have to have opened the website? Opened the specific article? Or will going to the website cache every article?
http://apps.ft.com/ftwebapp/faq.html
"Once downloaded you will be able to access all of the articles... Note that videos are not downloaded for offline access as this would make the download time far too long."
Are you able to start the webb app offline? Works brilliantly if I go offline having started online. But fails to start offline.

The native app also cannot download new stuff without being opened first while being online (thought that looks like changing with iOS 5).


People seem to forget the 30% is for new subscribers that come through the app store only...
And for people renewing via the app.

Let them know that you are willing to pay a 50% surcharge over the regular subscription price for the app.
Except that FT cannot do this, they cannot charge 50% more for access through their iOS app compared to website access if they want to bundle app and web access (and who would like to pay separately for both?). Apple requires price matching.

shotts56
Jun 8, 2011, 06:40 AM
Exactly its their loss. Either way I don't think these very specific newspapers with limited readership care as much. I do know about the newspaper but have never really cared about getting it. WSJ is more of my taste but again limited client el.

NY Times is a complete different animal and who does not read it?



Eh, people in the UK ? You do know that the FT is a London-based publication ... the vast majority of people in the second-largest financial services location in the world read the FT.

I know of very few people who read the NYT. Its full of silly Americanisms like the temperature in farenheit and the insistence in putting the country name after a city name everytime it is mentioned. (We know where London/Paris etc are, you don't need to call them "London, England" and "Paris, France" every bloody time[!])

Joking aside, I can understand why the FT have done this, but I did prefer the old app than the new web app. I've already had the web app crash on me this morning, something the app never did, and the web app just seems jerkier, slower and less stable on my iPad 1. Pity.

dubnde
Jun 8, 2011, 06:42 AM
I'm having the same problem...If I turn off the internet, the web app says it can't connect and offers the option to "Close" or "Retry." This is no solution at all. If I can't exit the web app at some point while I'm offline (on a plane for instance) to do other things, then have the ability to come back to the app to read, it's worthless.

ok. Got a response from FT and they suggest the following which worked for me:


1) Go to settings on your device:

2) Go to 'Safari':

3). Clear history/cache/cookies. Please note that clearing these will also clear any stored information you have for other websites.

4). Clear all the databases entries under app.ft.com

6). Restart the device

7) Then open the Web App again from the home screen, increase your database if requested and allow content to be downloaded again from scratch.

Then try offline mode (start the web app in airplane mode)

KnightWRX
Jun 8, 2011, 07:03 AM
In this case im glad there isn't an "app for that". It's also telling that some people don't realize that HTML5 supports off line caching with their comments.

A lot of "Apps" on the app store are just glorified websites. Seriously, a bunch of drink recipes with more added everyweek ? Hello, that screams "just make a darn website". Same for weather, stock, streaming and all other kinds of informational apps (Apps for restaurants... or your carrier's billing solution, or online banking...). A lot of these don't even work if you don't have an active connection... tell me what's the point of going Native besides getting into the App Store ? At least Google got it right with the Chrome app store.

You can also just store a website bookmark as an icon on your springboard on iOS too, which just launches Safari with a URL, making it look like an "app". And iOS since version 2.1 has supported the Offline mode for HTML5 applications, as defined in the HTML5 working draft :

http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/offline.html

iOS 2.1 guys. We're 2 years later. Native apps are good for things that aren't quite up to snuff yet, things like games and managing local content/hardware (the iPod app, the Phone dialer, camera apps, photo galleries, etc..). The rest can easily be made on the Web. Heck, most could've been made in the browser 10 years ago with ease and what we had back then as far as Web stuff went.

ChazUK
Jun 8, 2011, 07:20 AM
You can also just store a website bookmark as an icon on your springboard on iOS too, which just launches Safari with a URL, making it look like an "app".

That was one of the first things I did when I came back to the world of iOS with Google's web apps.

One great example is the YouTube web app which is far better than the native iOS YouTube app IMO. I also think it's great that it works and looks exactly the same on my Nexus S/ZTE Blade.

I'd assume it works just as well on WebOS too.

It's good to see such cross compatibility from a single source.

Flitzy
Jun 8, 2011, 07:42 AM
I'm glad they are doing this. Apple is being a bit too greedy.

And FT isn't being greedy?!

The 30% also covers marketing and handles any upgrading and file storage.

They can do what they want but to pretend they're not going to be paying that somehow is just foolish.

I love watching companies complain about this though - Apple pretty much gives them access to a huge customer base and they just turn their noses up at it.

kyeblue
Jun 8, 2011, 07:45 AM
Apple provides some infrastructure (billing, hosting) value and some marketing value to publications that use their service. For a small publication, the marketing value may be large compared to revenues. For a publication which already has a huge readership base, the marketing value is going to be much smaller relative to the companies revenues.

Let's take two examples. Publication A is new and has zero circulation. Through an app, they can gain 10,000 readers at $50 per year. That's 10,000 readers and $500,000 more than they would have without the app.

Publication B is, say the FT. I don't know their circulation/rates, but just for sake of argument let's say their current circulation is 200,000 per year at $100/year= $20M. If they add an app, they could gain maybe 10,000 more subscribers. However, of their current 200,000 perhaps 50,000 already have iPads (they have an affluent readership) and will use the app as well. So, unless there is an additional surcharge for the app subscription BEYOND the regular subscription,

they gain 10,000 new readers X $100 X 70%= +$700K

they lose the Apple surcharge for 50,000 app converts X $100 X 30% = -$1.5M.

The above isn't meant to be accurate in the specific numbers. I'm just trying to demonstrate how an established publication can lose from having an app with a 30% blanket surcharge. You can create other scenarios and assumptions where this is true as well.

This only happens in your fantasy. FT is an established brand (on par with Apple in its own world) with loyal high-end business readers. I don't think that they rely on apple to get their readers.

kyeblue
Jun 8, 2011, 07:49 AM
And FT isn't being greedy?!

The 30% also covers marketing and handles any upgrading and file storage.

They can do what they want but to pretend they're not going to be paying that somehow is just foolish.

I love watching companies complain about this though - Apple pretty much gives them access to a huge customer base and they just turn their noses up at it.

FT is not foolish. What exactly has Apple done for FT, promote its App as one of millions of Apps. To the contrary, App needs big clients like FT, WSJ, NYT to market its iOS devices.

ChazUK
Jun 8, 2011, 07:50 AM
And FT isn't being greedy?!

The 30% also covers marketing and handles any upgrading and file storage.

Apple would only store the app, wouldn't they? The video and article content is hosted by the FT themselves which would make up the bulk of their bandwidth needs.

As for the rest, they manage to handle it all prior to the impending 30% cut of future subscriptions through he app store.

Im sure if someone subscribes to the FT, they'll be able to inform their customer base about the web app without the Appstore's help.

kyeblue
Jun 8, 2011, 08:01 AM
Eh, people in the UK ? You do know that the FT is a London-based publication ... the vast majority of people in the second-largest financial services location in the world read the FT.

I know of very few people who read the NYT. Its full of silly Americanisms like the temperature in farenheit and the insistence in putting the country name after a city name everytime it is mentioned. (We know where London/Paris etc are, you don't need to call them "London, England" and "Paris, France" every bloody time[!])

Joking aside, I can understand why the FT have done this, but I did prefer the old app than the new web app. I've already had the web app crash on me this morning, something the app never did, and the web app just seems jerkier, slower and less stable on my iPad 1. Pity.

There is a London in Ontario, Canada, not as grand but not a tiny place either.
There are at least three cities named Paris in US, on in Texas (namesake of the famous 1984 movie starring Nastassja Kinski), one in Illinois and one in Tennessee.

Joking aside. Can FT still have an iOS application but just take away its subscription function?

Frobozz
Jun 8, 2011, 08:55 AM
LOL.

The countdown clock until they buckle under has officially started. Why fight it, FT?

kcwookie
Jun 8, 2011, 09:10 AM
I'm tired of going through the App store looking for magazine content. I subscribe to the Nation, but hope they transition to the NewsStand. One of the best thing is the ability to read publications from outside the US. I enjoy the British press and also like the English publications from Asia. No, it's FT that is making the mistake, they will follow NBC's footprints and be back.

One thing about subscriptions, if they are reasonable, like the Nations, I'm more likely to buy on a whim.

widEyed
Jun 8, 2011, 09:39 AM
Ermm.. it does keep offline content no problem. I'm using it as we speak

I know HTML5 includes a locally cached database (SQLite up to 10MB or something) but I'm wondering how you access the FT content when you are offline? Do you just enter the same old http:// uri or is there some other trick to it?

Brother Esau
Jun 8, 2011, 09:45 AM
Good luck finding someone that makes advert for you for free.
Are you really having a business and don't know how economy works?



Thank you for going out of your way to be rude and obnoxious!

Actually, I do not expect anything to be done or given to me for me for free in life and I never have!

Secondly, I would build my own app because I can never find anyone that actually does what they claim they can do. My standards are very high and every time I employ someone to do a job for me they either completely fall short on what they say can do or are excellent at what they do and I end up playing tail chase with them to get the job done, so in the end, each and every time, I wished I had of just done it myself to begin with!

I command a good wage for my work and I have absolutely no problems paying well for quality workmanship done for me because I myself expect to get paid well for my education level and skill ability.

I know full well about advertising there buddy, I spend $10,0000.00 a year just on my Yellow Pages ad that I designed and am on the front page of GOOGLE , BING & YAHOO for anything Computer Repair Related in Wilmington NC and surrounding cities via compliments of my SEO Skills and none of that is a attributed to single purchased back link, it is all strictly from organic S.E.O;)

donny77
Jun 8, 2011, 09:54 AM
So by using itunes, FT loses 30%. The App store would need to boost the amount of purchases by 1/3 for FT to break even. Counting the cost of maintaining a server, download management, customers who leave beacause its "too hard" to download, decreased visibility, etc etc (because Apple DOES give you something for that 30%), I would guess (completely guess since I don't do this for a living) Apple would maybe really only have to boost your business by a 25% or maybe even 20% or 15%.

Personally I think the App store would boost apps by at least enough to make it worth it, but maybe not. I'd love to have nerdy number talk from both sides...I have no idea about how cost of running a download service, HTML 5 website, transaction processing, customer service for said downloads, server space and all that junk compares to profit

It's not even that. Apple gets 30% of subscriptions CREATED through iTunes. FT loses NOTHING on current subscribers!

mingoglia
Jun 8, 2011, 01:04 PM
I too think this is awesome news. Apple is getting far too greedy. I look at it this way. Right now those selling apps are "sharing" 30% with Apple. Slowly, this 30% will be built into the price of a given application (if we continue down this path). In the end, the end user gets screwed. Companies aren't going to "lose" 30% of their revenue, they're going to eventually pass it on. I refuse to allow Apple to elbow their way in as just another middle man. I'm happy paying for an app that does something useful... Turning web pages into stand alone apps IMHO is going backwards, not forwards.

Rigby
Jun 8, 2011, 01:21 PM
LOL.

The countdown clock until they buckle under has officially started. Why fight it, FT?It seems Apple are the ones buckling. Heise News (biggest IT news site in Germany) reports that Apple is dropping the requirement that external subscriptions have to be also offered as an in-app purchase at equal or lower price .

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Apple-streicht-umstrittene-In-App-Kaufvorgabe-1257422.html

KnightWRX
Jun 8, 2011, 01:40 PM
And FT isn't being greedy?!

The 30% also covers marketing and handles any upgrading and file storage.

Wait what ? Apple does no marketing aside from listing you on the app store and Apple handles no upgrading or file storage for in-app subscriptions and purchases, you need to provide your own storage and upgrade process.

Apple takes 30% to process credit cards. That's it. Even Visa isn't that greedy.

AppleFan1984
Jun 8, 2011, 03:33 PM
App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?
The web is universal, completely unlimited by any specific device or vendor, available to all of them.

So the better comparison might be:

Wold you want "70% fee of 10000 customers", or 100% from 1,000,000,000 customers?

wbc
Jun 8, 2011, 05:38 PM
EXTREMELY dis-satisfied with the FT.

The FT app (which is amazing) is the #2 reason I got my iPad. I got it to replace annoying newspapers.

The mobile app is lame and reminds me of using iOS device back before you could have apps.

AaronEdwards
Jun 8, 2011, 06:54 PM
EXTREMELY dis-satisfied with the FT.

The FT app (which is amazing) is the #2 reason I got my iPad. I got it to replace annoying newspapers.

The mobile app is lame and reminds me of using iOS device back before you could have apps.

Maybe you should be EXTREMELY dissatisfied with the AppleTax instead. That's the reason why you no longer have the FT app.

Ava's Meeshee
Jun 8, 2011, 07:25 PM
Maybe you should be EXTREMELY dissatisfied with the AppleTax instead. That's the reason why you no longer have the FT app.

They could just pay it and be in the store :confused:

thatrandomguy
Jun 8, 2011, 07:38 PM
They could just pay it and be in the store :confused:

Under the new terms, you must offer the lowest price you offer to any other subscriber within the app store for in app purchases (30% cut for Apple).

Therefore, FT cannot abide by Apple's agreement if they just pass on the "Apple tax" on Apple users. They must allow Apple users to buy it at a lower price and relatively high transaction charge (to the point where they will lose money), or raise the price on all forms of subscription external to the App Store subs so they can price the App store sub at a lowest price that is profitable. This punishes everyone who isn't an Apple user.

Wait what ? Apple does no marketing aside from listing you on the app store and Apple handles no upgrading or file storage for in-app subscriptions and purchases, you need to provide your own storage and upgrade process.

Apple takes 30% to process credit cards. That's it. Even Visa isn't that greedy.

Technically it's also a storefront, but it's absurdly greedy to force a lower margin industry to not only use your payment processing solution that takes too high of a margin for your industry to be profitable, but then prohibit app devs from appropriately adjusting the in-app subscription price to compensate for this (making it so you have to jack up the price on everyone or take a loss). It's ridiculous.

macman312
Jun 8, 2011, 07:57 PM
LOL but c'mon FT just give them 30% and since your current app is popular you probably will make quite a bit of $$

Cha
Jun 8, 2011, 08:02 PM
LOL but c'mon FT just give them 30% and since your current app is popular you probably will make quite a bit of $$

The 30% would not have applied to current subscriptions (users of the app). It only applies to any new users who "chooses" to use the in-app subscription option.

Bernard SG
Jun 9, 2011, 03:05 AM
The 30% would not have applied to current subscriptions (users of the app). It only applies to any new users who "chooses" to use the in-app subscription option.

That's precisely why it seems like a dumb decision, business-wise, by the FT. Except implementing the In-App purchase feature (a trivial thing for their developers) FT wouldn't have any additional upfront cost to get all those potential new subscribers. The 70% is not just revenue, it's directly net-margin.

Personally, not having In-App purchases or subscriptions is a deal-breaker for me. I'm not opening an account and providing Credit Card info to any publishing company. I'm persuaded that a lot of iPad users think likewise.

Moreover, a web-app, not matter how anyone would like to spin it, is going to be an inferior experience for the end-user. Native magazines/newspapers apps offer a great comfort of use and the ability to keep as many issues as you want, stored on your device, as long as you want.

FT and the other publications that snub the Apple App Store are making exactly the same mistake as the music industry years ago.

Remember, folks: There's one iPad sold every second. The 30% so-called "Apple-tax" is a no-brainer compared to that tremendous commercial opportunity.

OllyW
Jun 9, 2011, 03:20 AM
That's precisely why it seems like a dumb decision, business-wise, by the FT. Except implementing the In-App purchase feature (a trivial thing for their developers) FT wouldn't have any additional upfront cost to get all those potential new subscribers. The 70% is not just revenue, it's directly net-margin.

Do you really think a publication such as the Financial Times wouldn't have done their sums first before deciding to withdraw from the app store?

I reckon they have quite a lot of in-house business talent they could tap up for advice or do you think MacRumors punters know better? ;)

Bernard SG
Jun 9, 2011, 03:59 AM
Do you really think a publication such as the Financial Times wouldn't have done their sums first before deciding to withdraw from the app store?

Yes, I definitely think so. I believe it's more of an emotional knee-jerk reaction from FT's top management than some carefully thought-out business case.
It wouldn't be the first time that the big egos of corporate poobah's trump rational decision-making, especially when the antagonism involves Apple.

You seem to infer my commercial analysis is bogus, I'm curious to hear your counter-arguments.

KnightWRX
Jun 9, 2011, 04:11 AM
Yes, I definitely think so. I believe it's more of an emotional knee-jerk reaction from FT's top management than some carefully thought-out business case.
It wouldn't be the first time that the big egos of corporate poobah's trump rational decision-making, especially when the antagonism involves Apple.

You seem to infer my commercial analysis is bogus, I'm curious to hear your counter-arguments.

Think of it another way. Maybe they had this HTML5 app ready for other platforms, such as WebOS, BB, Android and it was trivial to make it work on iOS. So it costs them nothing to move iOS over, they get to cut out iOS development and keep 100% of their subscription fees for those users.

So they save money all around.

Bernard SG
Jun 9, 2011, 06:02 AM
Think of it another way. Maybe they had this HTML5 app ready for other platforms, such as WebOS, BB, Android and it was trivial to make it work on iOS.

So it costs them nothing to move iOS over, they get to cut out iOS development and keep 100% of their subscription fees for those users.

So they save money all around.

Doesn't seem so, they are launching the Web App just now, ahead of being potentially kicked out of the App Store in end June. In other words, they have actually incurred additional development costs to set up the Web App.

On top of that, correct me if I'm wrong, but it would seem that a Web App costs more server resource than a download-once model. Moreover they still seem to maintain an Android native App, directed specifically for Galaxy tab.

But beyond the costs aspects, for publications, iPad is first of all an additional channel that potentially captures new readership. If embracing In-App subscriptions landed the FT only 1000 new subscribers, that would equate an yearly $250 k additional revenue "net of Apple-tax". No one is going to make me believe that it wouldn't cover the internal specific cost of offering the iPad version.

KnightWRX
Jun 9, 2011, 06:13 AM
Doesn't seem so, they are launching the Web App just now, ahead of being potentially kicked out of the App Store in end June. In other words, they have actually incurred additional development costs to set up the Web App.

Launching the Web App just now does not mean they made it just for iOS. Again, this might have been something they were moving to do, since let's face it, most "native" apps should just be web apps anyway and they have been working on it for a while in order to unify their development accross platforms.

This could very well be something that's been cooking for quite a while.

Web apps make sense. They are cross-platform and very much platform agnostic. They are the ultimate form of control over your application updates, as everyone is always running up to date client code. As long as you adhere to standards, Q&A is dead simple and the configurations to tests are quite restricted. The MVC seperate is easy and integrated fully in the frameworks involved and finally the technology has been around for more than a decade and is proven.

In anything, people rushing their get their "Website in a Cocoa-Touch wrapper" apps into the App store are an anomaly who don't quite understand development costs vs clientele reached. Safari on iOS supports HTML/CSS/DOM standards pretty well, there's no reason to not just make a cross-platform app like a Webapp and just have a shortcut displayed on the springboard, completely bypassing the App store.

On top of that, correct me if I'm wrong, but it would seem that a Web App costs more server resource than a download-once model.

You're wrong. Most apps on the app stores are nothing but glorified Web browsers. The client code is a trivial part of webserving. It's the actual content that's heavy on server ressources, not the view portion. Whatever scraps of HTML were saved from the native client can probably be serviced by the idle cycles/RAM in the existing web infrastructure.

But beyond the costs aspects, for publications, iPad is first of all an additional channel that potentially captures new readership. If embracing In-App subscriptions landed the FT only 1000 new subscribers, that would equate an yearly $250 k additional revenue "net of Apple-tax". No one is going to make me believe that it wouldn't cover the internal specific cost of offering the iPad version.

I think people covered this. The FT has their own readership and class of people that actively look for the publication. They can stand on their own, they don't need to be part of Apple's ecosystem to build readership. Someone that gets an iPad and wants to read the FT on it will, no matter if the app is native or a Web app.

Bernard SG
Jun 9, 2011, 06:26 AM
You're wrong. Most apps on the app stores are nothing but glorified Web browsers. The client code is a trivial part of webserving. It's the actual content that's heavy on server ressources, not the view portion. Whatever scraps of HTML were saved from the native client can probably be serviced by the idle cycles/RAM in the existing web infrastructure.

Well, we're not talking of the same thing. I actually purchase some publications on my iPad and they are downloaded right there. Nothing to do with the "glorified Web-browsers", you're referring to. That's another category of Apps.

Anyway the discussion is moot, as Apple has just relaxed the In-App purchase policy.

KnightWRX
Jun 9, 2011, 07:03 AM
Well, we're not talking of the same thing. I actually purchase some publications on my iPad and they are downloaded right there. Nothing to do with the "glorified Web-browsers", you're referring to. That's another category of Apps.

So it's a glorified PDF reader instead ? ;)

A lot of apps are also just a glorified PDF reader. Why not have 1 app that covers reading PDFs/ePubs and just serve your content there and have springboard shortcuts to open directly to a PDF ?

Again, the proliferation of native apps is only promoting the duplication of code and effort. It's a clunky system.

Anyway the discussion is moot, as Apple has just relaxed the In-App purchase policy.

Agreed to some extent, but this won't change a thing. They haven't lowered their service charge (30% for what amounts to payment processing) so I doubt FT is going to go back on their decision.

maclaptop
Jun 9, 2011, 07:54 AM
I love Apple, but hope that more companies will do the same.

I'm with you on this one. Apple needs a slap of reality.

Bernard SG
Jun 9, 2011, 09:42 AM
So it's a glorified PDF reader instead ? ;)

A lot of apps are also just a glorified PDF reader. Why not have 1 app that covers reading PDFs/ePubs and just serve your content there and have springboard shortcuts to open directly to a PDF ?

Again, the proliferation of native apps is only promoting the duplication of code and effort. It's a clunky system.

They're not pdf's either. Your term "Web Browser" perhaps made me misunderstand your statement. It seems to imply 'online'. I do realize that some of the publications may be in HTML code, downloaded onto the device. The file format is not what I'm focused on. It's rather the nuance between being accessed online in real time or being downloaded for later consultation. The format is not my concern as a user.

Agreed to some extent, but this won't change a thing. They haven't lowered their service charge (30% for what amounts to payment processing) so I doubt FT is going to go back on their decision.

It's their call, I persist in believing that In-App purchases or subsricptions largely facilitate the act of buying for the user. That's really the crux of the issue: the final customer's behavior.

For you, the 30% is payment processing, but more so, it's access to a 25 million user base, and growing. By end 2012 those will be 60 to 80 million.

KnightWRX
Jun 9, 2011, 09:54 AM
They're not pdf's either. Your term "Web Browser" perhaps made me misunderstand your statement. It seems to imply 'online'. I do realize that some of the publications may be in HTML code, downloaded onto the device. The file format is not what I'm focused on. It's rather the nuance between being accessed online in real time or being downloaded for later consultation. The format is not my concern as a user.

That's the thing. Why should the user have tons of different apps that read the same format ? Do we really need "Ned's book emporium" and "Rogers Books Galore" if they all are ePub/PDF readers ? No, we need 1 "Books" app and many people should be able to sell compatible content.

Like the iPod app. Imagine if you had to have a different music player for every "store" that sells you music.

Content and applications to consume it have been segregated forever because it makes sense. Some people sell you content, others sell you the container. With the "native apps" craze, you're getting a bunch of content providers creating containers that duplicate other containers. The problem is that you can't seperate content from containers, and you're thus forced to have all of them to access the content.

Again, a lot of fluff could be removed from the app store through Web Apps and other content reading apps like the iPod app (that does music, video, etc..) by unmarrying apps from content and opening up standard ones to many different sources.



It's their call, I persist in believing that In-App purchases or subsricptions largely facilitate the act of buying for the user. That's really the crux of the issue: the final customer's behavior.

For you, the 30% is payment processing, but more so, it's access to a 25 million user base, and growing. By end 2012 those will be 60 to 80 million.

The thing is, since all Apple is doing in In-App purchases/subscription is providing a payment processing, there is no value to the user itself. The value is to the dev as a choice of payment processor. However, if there was actual competition and Paypal, Visa, Mastercard could all process payments for In-App purchases/Subscription, the rates would be much better than 30%.

There is no access to a user base. Apple doesn't provide that in the 30%, not for In-App Purchases/Subscription. They only process the payment, you still have to market your content somehow (make a catalog available from your own infrastructure), you still have to manage the accounts (so the users have access to their purchases/subscriptions) and deliver this content.

Bernard SG
Jun 10, 2011, 02:35 AM
That's the thing. Why should the user have tons of different apps that read the same format ? Do we really need "Ned's book emporium" and "Rogers Books Galore" if they all are ePub/PDF readers ? No, we need 1 "Books" app and many people should be able to sell compatible content.

Like the iPod app. Imagine if you had to have a different music player for every "store" that sells you music.

Content and applications to consume it have been segregated forever because it makes sense. Some people sell you content, others sell you the container. With the "native apps" craze, you're getting a bunch of content providers creating containers that duplicate other containers. The problem is that you can't seperate content from containers, and you're thus forced to have all of them to access the content.

Again, a lot of fluff could be removed from the app store through Web Apps and other content reading apps like the iPod app (that does music, video, etc..) by unmarrying apps from content and opening up standard ones to many different sources.

I agree with that, but it has little to do with Apple's ecosystem. Hoping that the multiple publishing companies will end up agreeing on a standard document format for their publications seems like wishful thinking.

However, doesn't Apple's future newsstand that will come with iOS5 looks like a step towards that direction? I don't know exactly. It's not impossible that it will be the equivalent of the iPod App for publications, being able to read the main file formats out there.

The thing is, since all Apple is doing in In-App purchases/subscription is providing a payment processing, there is no value to the user itself. The value is to the dev as a choice of payment processor. However, if there was actual competition and Paypal, Visa, Mastercard could all process payments for In-App purchases/Subscription, the rates would be much better than 30%.

There is no access to a user base. Apple doesn't provide that in the 30%, not for In-App Purchases/Subscription. They only process the payment, you still have to market your content somehow (make a catalog available from your own infrastructure), you still have to manage the accounts (so the users have access to their purchases/subscriptions) and deliver this content.

Well, the fact that I don't need to create a personal account with each content provider is extremely valuable in my view, for privacy, security and convenience reasons.

I purchased an iPad. I learned The New Yorker launched on iPad, so I purchased a monthly subscription to the New Yorker. Hadn't I have an iPad, The New Yorker would never have got a single cent from me. How's that "no access to a user-base"?

But the real story is actually that I won't renew that subscription because I found nothing compelling in the content that would motivate me to pay further. That's where the publishing industry's problems lie: the content and the experience they offer just doesn't justify the money they charge, as compared to all the content available for free on the Web. The value added is not consequent enough.

KnightWRX
Jun 10, 2011, 04:30 AM
I agree with that, but it has little to do with Apple's ecosystem. Hoping that the multiple publishing companies will end up agreeing on a standard document format for their publications seems like wishful thinking.

Yeah, just like hoping many website publishers agree on a standard format I guess... if only someone could make a single standard Markup Language, based on something like HyperText...

;)

Industry standard formats are all around. MPEG, PDF, HTML, the list might be long, but so are the types of content.

However, doesn't Apple's future newsstand that will come with iOS5 looks like a step towards that direction? I don't know exactly. It's not impossible that it will be the equivalent of the iPod App for publications, being able to read the main file formats out there.

The problem is Apple will put up ludicrous barriers to entry to that app in all probability. This new Apple doesn't believe you should be able to get content elsewhere. I'm still surprised the iPod still reads MP3s sometimes.



Well, the fact that I don't need to create a personal account with each content provider is extremely valuable in my view, for privacy, security and convenience reasons.

I trust my privacy, security and convenience with Apple much less than I do with financial institutions like Visa, Paypal, Mastercard. And again, what makes you think if Apple actually opened up the field a bit that these other payment processors wouldn't have the same convenience ? Paypal already does.

Again, IAP/IAS, Apple is a simple payment processor who is quite overpriced compared to the competition and is relying on its developer terms to prevent competition, terms they have just had to relax in the face of backlash from developers (so it seems they don't all share your vision of Apple doing them a "favor").

I purchased an iPad. I learned The New Yorker launched on iPad, so I purchased a monthly subscription to the New Yorker. Hadn't I have an iPad, The New Yorker would never have got a single cent from me. How's that "no access to a user-base"?

But the real story is actually that I won't renew that subscription because I found nothing compelling in the content that would motivate me to pay further.

And you're surprised ? I don't buy a magazine because my local newsstand starts carrying it. I buy a magazine based on the content. You made a classic "Let's buy stuff just because Apple is involved" mistake that a lot of Apple users do. The vast majority of people don't get The New Yorker because it's on iPad. They get The New Yorker because they want to read it. If they need a tablet, they look at what publications are available on each and buy the tablet that gives them the content they want.

If anything, The New Yorker is bringing folks to Apple, not the other way around. All the apps are like that. This notion that Apple is doing a big favor to App developers by providing users needs to die. It's the complete opposite. Without the App developers giving Apple "300,000" apps and "4 billion downloads", there wouldn't be an iOS today.

Cha
Jun 10, 2011, 07:02 AM
If anything, The New Yorker is bringing folks to Apple, not the other way around. All the apps are like that. This notion that Apple is doing a big favor to App developers by providing users needs to die. It's the complete opposite. Without the App developers giving Apple "300,000" apps and "4 billion downloads", there wouldn't be an iOS today.

I think that is downplaying the impact of the App Store and the aspect of "Window" shopping. There is impact of both sides in these cases, where the New Yorker subscribers may be attracted to the iPad for the mag, but there is also a new market of people that may be introduced to the mag the other way around. Even through Bernard SG may not have like the content of the New Yorker and will not renew, at least the iPad app enticed Bernard SG to try.

I agree not all media/apps benefit equally from the Apple app eco-system, so the broad, blanket rules for all was not the proper approach.

Tumbleweed666
Jun 13, 2011, 01:04 AM
Think of it another way. Maybe they had this HTML5 app ready for other platforms, such as WebOS, BB, Android and it was trivial to make it work on iOS. So it costs them nothing to move iOS over, they get to cut out iOS development and keep 100% of their subscription fees for those users.

So they save money all around.

They publicly stated a single platform to minimise ongoing development costs is a large part of their rationale. Cant find the article I read unfortunately, though this (http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/08/financial-times-web-app-debuts-for-ios-more-tablets-to-come-vi/)refers to the same thing, "The paper says its single, cross-platform app will allow it to issue updates with more frequency, while reaching an audience that extends far beyond the iOS realm"

Brett Abelson
Jun 13, 2011, 10:51 AM
big disappointment