Publishers still discussing alternatives to Apple store

Wall Street Journal
Two days after the launch of the iPad, The Wall Street Journal revisits print publishers’ ongoing unease in dealing with Apple’s restrictive digital storefront. Shira Ovide and Russell Adams report that “some publishers” are working to create a platform to sell content on digital tablets outside of Apple’s store. That would enable them to bypass Apple’s approval process, control of customer information, and 30 percent royalty. From the Journal:

” ‘We own that consumer. This is a critical part of our business model,’ said Philippe Guelton, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., which publishes Elle, Car and Driver and Woman’s Day magazines. Hachette doesn’t sell its magazines through iTunes.”

Ovide and Adams also point out that some publishers believe easy access to the millions of Apple customers  outweighs the risks:

“Geoff Reiss, general manager of Newsweek’s digital unit, said it isn’t worth sacrificing the seamless iTunes payment system to gather data about a relatively small number of early iPad magazine buyers. ‘The idea of reintroducing all kinds of friction in order to get a bunch of information that may or may not be applicable, I don’t think serves either us or the consumer particularly well.’ “

> Newspaper storefront for iPad being developed? (Poynter Online’s Mobile Media)

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