Apple Hits News Media

There’s a story over at The Register covering an article in a Belgian newspaper, De Tijd, which suggests that Apple is determined to get its money from the media companies, one way or another. Basically, those media companies that offer a free app to subscribers of their print editions are going to be forced to discontinue the practice and that all subscriptions must go through Apple’s iTunes, where Apple can collect its 30%.

The story quotes two people, William De Nolf, Director of New Media at Roularta and Gert Ysebaert, of publishing house Corelio, who complain about Apple’s tactics.

De Nolf says, “We are working on the launch of the iPad selling subscriptions through our own web service, but Apple is now demanding that the sale is through iTunes…Today, paper subscribers get free access to the iPad version, but Apple has put a stop to it.”

Ysebaert complains, “[Going through iTunes], the newspaper loses the direct relationship with its customers. We should know who buys our publications, not Apple…Apple is changing the rules while the game is in progress. ”

As far as The Register can tell, this only seems to be affecting Belgian media but there’s the obvious implication that it will eventually reach other countries such as the UK and US. It may already have but no-one has yet spoken out.

The Register also thinks that it might have something to do with Apple’s link-up to Murdoch’s News Corporation and the launch of The Daily, a subscription-based news service but clearly that’s speculation.

Regardless of the latter, Apple seems hell-bent on controlling every aspect of application and media delivery to its devices and ensuring that it gets its money from the content creators as well as the application developers.

Translations courtesy of Google Translate and some paraphrasing by me.