Apple’s iOS subscription plan: nothing to do with subscriptions

From this Reuters article:

“We don’t want to lose our direct relationship with our subscribers. It’s at the core of our business model,” Rob Grimshaw told Reuters in an interview on Monday.

To give you, fair reader, some context: Apple’s 30% cut of subscription revenues is a decoy statement, not the real deal like John Gruber states. In fact, it masks the real reason why Apple’s instituting this policy (from this article):

“Customer data for in-app subscribers will remain with Apple, generally speaking, but customers will have the option to send their name, email address, and zip code to publishers. (Opt-in, not opt-out.)”

And the reason why this is important: it’s estimated that 35% of a high-quality content publisher’s revenues come from subscriptions, whereas 65% of revenues come from advertisers.1,2 If advertisers can’t rely on publishers for reliable demographic/ethnographic data, they won’t justify paying premiums to the publishers. Publishers in turn will get their 65% of revenues knocked down. And who wins? Definitely not the publishers.

Bottom line: Know your business model, quality publishers, because even the pundits get it wrong! Apple is threatening the very survival of curated content on their platform with this approach.

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