It looks like Apple is preparing a subscription service for the iPhone and iPad for digital magazine and newspapers but there may be some unexpected consequences as it tightens up its restrictions.
NRC is saying that Apple is tightening up its restrictions ahead of this subscription model, as it is indicating that subscriptions for the iPad can only be had through the iTunes store with Apple taking a cut. While it’s a translated page, I believe this means that those companies which have built in their own subscription models in apps will have to get rid of that for the official one.
NRC says the apps that use subscription models have to comply with the new rules by March 31 or face a banishment from the store. It’s unclear how those publishers will react, as it is hypothesized that the official Apple model will give the iPad maker more control over the revenue and the demographics.
Of course, I don’t know many mainstream publishers who have gone this route and I know many were hoping that Apple would introduce a tablet standard like it did with iBooks. While demographic data and revenue splits will always be a concern, having an easy distribution model would be a godsend for many publishers.
We should be seeing an iPad subscription model soon too, as previous reports suggested we would see this new distribution method alongside News Corps’ “The Daily” this week but that’s obviously been delayed. There’s also no word on how big a role, if any, the absence of Steve Jobs will have on this distribution method.
Are you guys and gals dying for subscription services on iOS? I’m not necessarily dying for The Daily but I wouldn’t mind being able to replace my paper magazines with digital ones without having to pay retail for each one.