Where’s our digital magazine subscriptions? I mean seriously, it’s been almost a year now since we’ve had access to the iPad, and we’re still left wondering where all of these digital magazine subscriptions are at this point.
There’s been a lot of speculation about iOS 4.3 bringing subscription models to the iPad, but there still hasn’t been an official announcement. A couple of days ago we wrote that an announcement was forthcoming, but an article from TechCrunch today reveals that Apple’s still negotiating with publications regarding subscriptions.
There’s no reason why we couldn’t see subscriptions before Apple signs a bunch of publishers to the program, but the ongoing negotiations certainly explain the delays in revealing iPad subscriptions.
According to Tiernan Ray at Barrons, the problem has only partially been explained at this point. Publishers do want access to subscriber information, but they’re also very worried about how easy it will be to unsubscribe from their publications. That’s pretty damning if true, because it clearly indicates the intention of some of these publishers: lock users in, make it difficult for them to leave, and sell off their personal information to marketers.
Apparently Apple’s response to the pressures for readership information and iTunes billing is a compromise that will let publishers “route subscribers to their own websites or payment portals to grab their credit card numbers, but they will also have to offer the option of subscribing through iTunes” (TechCrunch).
I’m going to be blunt. If at any moment I find out that publishers are selling my information, or making it difficult for me to unsubscribe, I’ll be taking my business to the closest newsstand instead of buying online.
Side note to publishers: if your publication doesn’t suck, people won’t want to leave. It’s that simple.