With declining print circulation and advertising revenues, newspapers have been eyeing tablet devices - especially the iPad - as an important new revenue stream for the future. The San Jose Mercury News reported today that Apple is working on a new subscription plan for newspapers on the iPad, and will announce the plan "soon."
While the company did not respond to request for comment, Roger Fidler, head of digital publishing at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute in Columbia, Missouri, told The Mercury News that "Apple probably will take a 30 percent cut of all subscriptions sold through the company's online App Store, and as much as 40 percent of the advertising revenue from publications' apps."
According to CNet, Apple has allegedly decided to establish an "opt-in function" for future subscribers, meaning that those willing would be allowing Apple to share with publishers the data that is necessary to appeal to advertisers.
The Mercury News report also stated that the "Cupertino company has agreed to provide an opt-in function for subscribers to allow Apple to share with publishers their information, which includes vital data that news organizations use to attract advertisers." However, this news has left many publishers unhappy with the terms stated by Apple, to act as an intermediary with subscribers. Most publishers would rather pay a flat fee than take cut on subscription and advertising revenues, the report stated
Poynter.org's Damon Kiesow wrote that celebrations from the newspaper industry shouldn't start just yet: "If true, the arrangement would be only a partial victory for publishers. Leading media organizations - including The New York Times, Conde Nast and Time Warner - have been lobbying for a subscription mechanism in the iTunes store since the iPad was unveiled in January. Their goal has been to offer not only digital-only subscription options, but also hybrid, print-digital packages."
- Alisa Zykova contributed to this report