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Wall Street Journal to cut ties to their iPad app

The WSJ announced a few minutes ago that they will be following in the steps  of Kobo, Netflix, and B&N.

Some time in the near future the WSJ plan to release a new version of their iPad app, and it's going to be missing something. Readers will no longer be able to click on a link in the app and sign up for a subscription.

News Corp.'s Wall Street Journal, which has been circumventing Apple's payment system by providing links to its website from inside the iPad app, will soon remove all purchasing options in the app in response to Apple's new rules. People who download the app and want to subscribe will have to either call customer service or visit

"We remain concerned that Apple's own subscription [rules] would create a poor experience for our readers, who would not be able to directly manage their WSJ account or to easily access our content across multiple platforms," a Journal spokeswoman said.

The WSJ app is going to be as bare of helpful links as any of the ebookstore apps. Now that's a great way to build rapport with your customers.

What a weekend. In the space of not quite 40 hours we've seen Apple attempt to extort a 30% vig from publishers be revealed as a complete failure. Okay, I know I expected this, but seeing it come to pass is still a big deal.

About Nate Hoffelder (11126 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

11 Comments on Wall Street Journal to cut ties to their iPad app

  1. Actually, while it is heartening to see as many of the content providers call Apple out like this, there have been quite a few who just surrendered. So the fight isn’t over.
    We still need to see what happens with Kindle and Nook and whether the vendors that caved rethink their positions.
    One fact that is probably factoring in to strengthen spines is this week’s report projecting Apple’s share of the tablet markets (yes, plural) to decline to 60% as soon as next year.
    Its too early to say Apple’s vig play has failed but with News Corp telling Apple to pound salt the odds of a retreat look better by the day.

  2. B&N already responded by pulling the ebookstore link from the Nook Kids app.

  3. I don’t think Apple has failed at all. The 30% vig from publishers may have been nice, but I don’t think that was their real goal. I think they wanted to make it clear to other content retailers that they aren’t welcome on iOS. On that front, I think their policies have been quite successful.

  4. add The Financial Times to the list, yes? hopefully arrogance is the culprit; a belief that content is just fodder to fill the data delivery devices….

  5. Seriously, ‘failed’? I don’t think Apple needs the 30% as badly as the content providers need to sell subscriptions. As it is, all this content will still be available on the iPad, except that subscribers will have to go through more trouble to subscribe. As for WSJ specifically, their iPad app is pretty basic and slow to load the latest content, and personally I just prefer to go to the actual website itself.

  6. So, tell me again why it is that I should buy an otherwise mediocre Apple product? Ahh, yes — because Stevie boy knows so much better than I what is best for me.

  7. I saw that.
    But the real money lies in the Nook reader app, which is the one that directly competes with Kindle. Nook kids is the bone you throw at the junkyard dog to kep it quiet for a bit.
    Tactically, it benefits Amazon to dare Apple to delist them and so B&N has to wait or risk Kindle getting a special (if temporary) bye.
    The longer Kindle holds out ignoring Apple the more capricious Apple looks and the more annoyed the compliant vendors get. Sooner or later Amazon will have to update Kindle for iOS, probably when iOS 5 ships and the current app (mysteriously) stops working but the longer Kindle is the only app with store access the weaker the Apple position gets.
    Apple’s quandary is they are already fighting Amazon in court and if they delist Kindle Amazon can claim retaliation and force an instant injunction hearing.
    So, me, I’m hoping Amazon keeps thumbing their nose at Stevie; it makes for better drama.
    Probably won’t last, but it’ll be fun while it lasts.

  8. Yep, them too. Thanks.

    TBH there have been so many content who have told Apple to go piss up a rope that it’s hard to keep track.

  9. Yes they have.
    Smart content providers will respond appropriately.
    Other platforms beckon.
    And Steve Balmer monkey-dances. 😀

  10. Stop. All the links will be pulled. As for Google, I don’t know if they told Apple to go to hell or if their usual ADD just didn’t get an update of their app done in time.

  11. Amazon said they would be changing the app?
    Right away?
    Dragging their feet is a valid tactic, too.

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Google Books fuori dall’app store, Kobo e B&N non venderanno più eBook dalle app
  2. A Roundup post on this weekend’s iOS Reading App Massacre - The Digital Reader

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