How Apple vs Epic Could Impact News and Other Publishers

The war between Epic Games and Apple continues to rage. While at first glance it might look like a big games company clashing with a tech giant, the ramifications could still make it a Battle Royale involving other industries.

Could news editors join Epic in battle with Apple?

Among those who might demand a change if Epic wins are the news editors. Like Josh Benton, writing for Nieman Lab, Noted:

Want to subscribe to The New York Times on your iPhone? If you watch in your browser, you might get one of the many offers The Times is testing and thinks might be right for you. (In a sign out window, I’m offered just $ 1 / week for the first year, then the full standard rate of $ 4.25 / week after that.) But if you’re in the Times iOS app, you get a rigid offer for $ 16.99 per month.

That means a direct subscription to its website earns The New York Times $ 52 for the first year of a new subscriber, then $ 221 each year thereafter. However, if a subscriber signs up through in-app purchase, the point of sale is $ 142 for a subscriber’s first year, when Apple’s 30% discount goes into effect, and $ 173 once the discount takes effect. of Apple becomes 15%. That’s $ 48 less than what he would have gotten from a direct subscription.

But that’s not where it ends. As Mr. Benton also pointed out:

Apple’s rigid policies also make it more difficult to test different types of subscription offerings – a one-month free trial for 99 ¢ / week for the first three months against a discount rate for the first year, And so on. Propensity paywalls are a real source of growth in digital subscriptions for publishers, and they are nearly impossible to achieve in the App Store.

It’s one thing to get a publisher to take that kind of hit if everything else is, but not if a creator of a popular game is operating under different terms. Amazon already has a special offer, it’s worth remembering. And what about News +? If the rules loosen, will listing still benefit publications? Apple vs Epic could go way beyond games.

[Epic v. Apple: Judge Rules Apple Can’t Restrict Unreal Engine]

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