Media Companies Suspicious Of Apple Content Deals

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Apple, who wants to strip “big” revenue streams from anything linked with the App Store, is now trying to lock down deals with publishers that will see them get larger commissions than a newsagent for delivering a newspaper or magazine to an iPad or iPhone user.Publishers and other suppliers of content aren’t rejoicing at the move that could see Apple get up to 30% on any subscription deal. Under the new service, companies can no longer provide links in their apps that allow customers to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app — a requirement that could have major repercussions for the way movies and books are consumed through Apple devices.

Dow Jones said that the service is setting up a conflict with some major media companies that are wary of allowing Apple to come between them and their customers. The news service said that as the digital-media world evolves, publishers are struggling to establish online subscription businesses in anticipation of further erosion in their offline businesses.

Most publishers have yet to reach agreement with Apple to sell subscription apps, due to issues such as pricing disputes and the company’s privacy policy.

Time Warner’s publishing arm, Time, has yet to reach an agreement with Apple to sell subscriptions for its digital version of Sports Illustrated, a magazine that has launched new digital subscriptions for users of tablet computers and smartphones made by Apple competitors.

“We have agreements with other tablet makers on mutually beneficial business terms,” a spokesman for Time Inc said today.

An Apple spokeswoman said apps that aren’t in compliance with this requirement will have to change. Popular media apps that could be affected include Netflix, Amazon’s Kindle app, Hulu’s Hulu Plus app and News Corporation’s The Wall Street Journal.

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