Monday, February 7, 2011

European newspaper publishers call on Apple to be more flexible in its user information and subscription rules

The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) issued a statement on its website which directly calls on Apple to all to loosen its rules concerning subscriptions and customer information sharing.

"The business model of newspapers is dependent on publishers and editors knowing their readers. It is essential that this close connection is maintained. Without direct access to their subscribers, this vital bond between newspapers and readers would be broken, to the detriment of both," the statement says.
In addition, the ENPA says newspapers should have more leeway in setting tablet subscription prices for their existing print customers. “The print edition of a newspaper remains the engine room creating an incredible range of news and informative content. In the current environment, new online and mobile business models often operate in combination with the print edition,” said Valdo Lehari Jr., ENPA vice president and chair of the association's Digital Task Force.

The gulf between publishers and Apple appears to be widening as publishers continue to want to reward their print customers with discounted pricing for digital products, while Apple makes clear that they do not want iPhone and iPad owners paying more for access to media than those who are also print customers. Both sides continue to be talking past each other as publishers and their associations issue statements, and news comes out of Apple only through rumor and the occasional developer rules update.