Apple’s Subscription Bait And Switch
April 18, 2011 at 12:07 PM EDT
When Apple announced back in February that The Daily would be the first subscription news app on iTunes, it was seen by other publishers as the model going forward. Some like it, some don't , but at least Apple knows how it wants to treat subscriptions going forward. Or does it? Some subscription news apps seem to be in limbo right now while Apple figures out how to handle special situations. If you are a single-title publication like the New York Times, The Daily , or Businessweek , then it is pretty straightforward and the current rules apply. But what if you are a news reading app that brings together articles from many sources, some paid and some free? In other words, what if you are an aggregator app like Flipboard or Zite , but you want to charge a subscription for the app? How should that subscription be split up between the app and the publishers, and should Apple even be involved with policing those types of licensing and c opyright issues ? It's all getting sorted out right now.