At TomorrowToday we look at businesses, we look at business models and we look at industries to figure out why some are working well and why others are in trouble. Most importantly we figure out what has changed. Today something pretty big changed in the publishing industry. Apple iTunes store announced that a new subscription service is now available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store. This means that magazines, newspapers etc. can now engage with and charge customers for subscriptions for through iTunes. The system works in a simple and fimiliar manner that all iTunes users will be familiar with as an Apple press release reveals:

Subscriptions purchased from within the App Store will be sold using the same App Store billing system that has been used to buy billions of apps and In-App Purchases. Publishers set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly). Then with one-click, customers pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged based on their chosen length of commitment (weekly, monthly, etc.). Customers can review and manage all of their subscriptions from their personal account page, including canceling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all payments, keeping the same 30 percent share that it does today for other In-App Purchases.

“Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers.”

Gutenburg founded the printing industry around 550 years ago, today Apple drove another meaningful nail through the print industry’s coffin.

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