Perhaps Apple's magazine subscription rules weren't as one-sided as publishers feared
If you were subscribing to the online edition of, say, Wired, Vanity Fair or the New Yorker on the iTunes store, and you were faced with the pop-up window at right, would you opt-in and click "Allow"?
Most major magazine publishers, when shown this screen by Apple (AAPL) representatives, blanched. Each of them knew full well the kind of gravy they can make out of subscribers' names, email addresses and zip codes under "their" (as opposed to Apple's) privacy policies.
See, for example, the $18 million settlement Publishers Clearing House paid 23 states in 2000 for various alleged misdeeds, including misleading sweepstakes claims, fake personalized checks and envelopes tricked out to look like special deliveries.
But to everybody's surprise -- including our own -- about 50% of users who subscribe to magazines on iTunes select the "Allow" button. This according to a piece published Wednesday by Forbes' Jeff Bercovici, who says the figure was confirmed by Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Internet services.
"It turns out," Bercovici writes, "that the publishers' fear that Apple's policies would deny them the consumer data they need to do business was unfounded. As often as not, to get the customer's email's name and email address, all you have to do is ask."
According to Forbes, this discovery is "the surprising reason publishers are finally saying yes to Apple."
Well, not quite "yes." There's still the sticky business of the 30% cut Apple wants to take -- in perpetuity -- of every subscription ordered through iTunes.
That so-called Apple tax may help explain why some publishers, Time Inc. included, are steering clear of iTunes subscriptions. If you want to get Time, Sports Illustrated or Fortune (which publishes this blog) delivered to your iPad, you have to subscribe through Time Inc.'s (TWX) website, not Apple's. Once you've signed up to get the printed magazine, the iPad version is free.
Calls his "the most remarkable comeback in modern business history"
The Financial Times has given Apple's (AAPL) CEO the honorific Time Magazine never did. From the citation in the current edition:
A rebuttal of F. Scott Fitzgerald's much-quoted aphorism that there are no second acts in American life does not come more decisively than this. When Steven Paul Jobs first hit the headlines, he was younger even than MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 23, 2010 9:48 AM ET
A curated selection of the day's most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web.
Next week, Facebook, which is on track to reach sales of $2 billion this year, will release a new facial recognition feature called Tag Suggestions that automatically suggests who users should tag in photos. Whenever users choose to tag people in their photos, Tag Suggestions will step in and offer up suggestions about who the friends in MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Dec 16, 2010 8:17 AM ET
It's mostly about timing. Apple is a story for the decades. Facebook is a story for this year.
In Time's online poll, Wikileaks' Julian Assange was the people's choice -- and would have been ours as well. Steve Jobs was No. 7. Mark Zuckerberg was No. 10.
But the editors chose Zuckerberg. Why? Here's managing editor Rick Stengel's explanation:
For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 15, 2010 10:33 AM ET
Hint: It's not because he hasn't done enough to deserve it
Google's Marissa Mayer thinks Steve Jobs should be Time's Person of the Year (see here). So, apparently, do the nearly 11,000 readers who, as of Monday morning, had voted for Apple's (AAPL) CEO on Time's website.
But readers don't choose the winner. If they did, Recep Tayyip Erdogan would be this year's POY, and I can pretty much guarantee that's not MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 15, 2010 6:34 AM ET
Though some love has recently been lost over the past few years, Google's brass still admire Steve Jobs
In comments made at last night's Time Person of the Year Panel, Google's VP of Location Marissa Mayer lavished praise on Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs and his role in Silicon Valley and American entrepreneurialism.
"I think if you look at what he's done for the world in terms of popularizing the personal computer, the iPod, iTunes, MORESeth Weintraub - Nov 12, 2010 1:43 PM ET
This week's People app is free to subscribers. Time, SI and Fortune are expected to follow
There's more to the iPad issue of People that appeared on the Apple (AAPL) App Store this morning than Sandra Bullock's new joy.
This People app may also signal the end of a four-and-a-half-month impasse that put the digital dreams of every major magazine publisher on hold.
Until now, the iPad versions of People, Time, Sports Illustrated MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 19, 2010 1:33 PM ET
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