Readability says Apple’s new Subscription Policy ‘Smacks of Greed’, In an Open Letter to Apple!

February 22, 2011, By Shawn Wagnon

Remember how people went up in arms (mainly publishers, we might say) when Apple announced its new Subscription Policy? Remember how Rhapsody then walked out saying that “30% cut is just ridiculous”? Now Readability has ripped into Apple in an open letter that takes on the company for its new Subscription Policy that limits publishers’ freedom on the iOS and even outside.

Let us straight away make it clear that there seem to be as many people out there who like the new policy in place because they need not take their credit card out and go to the site for subscription or need to make payments from PayPal by going to sites and subscribing. If you are an iOS user, this new subscription policy is a hit two-fold:

• You need not go through an entire separate subscription process and can now subscribe to any service with just a click.
• You need not go around looking for the cheapest deal as Apple’s Policy demands publishers give subscribers the cheapest rate they are offering anywhere.

As a consumer, this saves my time and makes things convenient and that is something that we are not complaining about. But publishers are not happy because they have to share 30% of their revenue with Apple. Rhapsody made it clear that they cannot afford that cut in their revenue and now Readability has said that since they pay 70% of their revenue to publishers and only keep 30%, the new policy was just not feasible.

Now, they did suggest in their open letter that if Apple was willing to pay 70% of their 30% share to publishers, then Readability has no problem with things. Now we all know that Apple is not giving a dime from its share. Seems at this point that people will have to start changing their whole business models for the Apple Subscription Policy and that is a bit too expect.

While we are not taking sides on this as maybe both Apple and publishers need to try and meet at a halfway point, the bigger question is if this will drive people to Android? Next few months will make that clear…

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