Newspaper publishers unhappy with Apple iTunes proposal

Newspaper publishers in Europe have spoken out against Apple’s plans to introduce new conditions whereby iPhone and iPad digital newspaper subscriptions would be processed through the iTunes, thus making them subject to commission.

According to, Apple has informed newspaper groups that tablet newspaper apps must offer readers the option to subscribe through the iTunes payment mechanism. It’s understood that Apple would then take a 30pc commission on all payments.

In a statement, the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) said: “Apple’s iPad and other tablet devices offer fantastic potential for the development of newspapers in the digital environment. Publishers today want to provide readers with a range of attractive options, including offers combining access to newspapers online and on tablets, or offers for print subscribers that also allow access to the newspaper on digital formats.”

The association said that newspaper publishers should have freedom of choice of payment systems for their readers and the possibility to negotiate pricing levels for their digital publications.

It also warned that if subscriptions had to go through iTunes, newspaper publishers would no longer have access to important information about the readers of their digital publications. “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.”