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Apple: Publishers Can't Offer Print Subscribers Free iPad Access

Several European newspapers have been informed that they will not able to offer paid print subscribers free access to an iPad edition, according to Apple Insider. The problem - from Apple’s point of view that is - is that this subscription strategy is an end run around the 30% cut Apple takes.

This will go into affect for newspapers after April 1. Apple Insider notes this policy change comes as it is working on an update to iOS, which will allow for recurring subscriptions for software on the App Store.

Ongoing Struggle

Since iPad’s introduction the publishing industry has been pushing back against Apple’s policies, namely its refusal to let magazine publishers have subscriber information. The 30% ratio hasn’t been well received either. The end result has been a dearth of magazines selling subscriptions for the iPhone or iPad. Apple’s latest move - coupled with some recent dismal stats about the fall in sales of single editions on the iPad - will no doubt cause publisher to re-evaluate their plans for the iPad.

Google is Eagerly Waiting

Meanwhile, Google is said to be developing its own digital newsstand, according to the Wall Street Journal - and is prepared to offer several concessions to publishers, starting with a direct conduit to the end user for additional marketing purposes. It also will ask for a smaller split in revenues than Apple does, according to the Journal.

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