Home Apple Pulls Financial Times Apps From iTunes Over Subscription Revenue Dispute

Apple Pulls Financial Times Apps From iTunes Over Subscription Revenue Dispute

Apple’s new subscription rules requiring publishers to fork over 30% of revenue generated from apps in the iTunes Store have claimed their biggest victim to date. As of last night, the iPhone and iPad apps for the Financial Times went missing from the App Store.

The new rules have not thrilled publishers, but reactions have been mixed. Some media companies, like Hulu and the New York Times, have decided to play along with Apple and offer a significant cut of their subscription revenue to the tech giant in exchange for access to millions of iTunes customers. Others, like Amazon, have opted to build HTML5 Web apps as a way to circumvent the new rules.

The Financial Times is another outlet to go the HTML5 route, having launched a tablet-friendly Web app for their publication in June. So while their native iOS apps may no longer show up in the iTunes App Store, tablet users can still venture to app.ft.com to read the paper’s content. That assumes, of course, that “they” are paying subscribers, since the FT is one of the few media companies who have successfully placed a pay wall around its written content.

Their Web app is essentially a stripped-down version of their desktop website, with some extra controls and UI elements built in. It’s not amazing, but it’s comparable to some existing iPad apps for news content and it renders well on tablets. Most importantly, from their standpoint, it maintains the publication’s paywall without the need to shell out 30% of their revenue to Apple each month.

Still, being pulled from such a widely-used platform has to hurt subscription revenue, at least at first. PaidContent estimates that the FT iPad app may have had as many as 10,000 users.

It remains to be seen what kind of impact this will have on the FT’s overall subscription revenue. While it may take a hit initially, if they can properly market the Web app to tablet owners (iPads, Android tablets or otherwise), perhaps they can manage to make up the difference.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.