Fun fact #1. I used to tell people Apple was all about the art. Now I'm telling people she's all about business. Leave your Apple Fan Boy comments below but read this first please …
Fun fact #2. Yeah, this is a big rant. If you aren't into big rants, ignore.
First a quick history lesson. Apple creates this thing called an iPad that the pundits ALL say won't work. I mean come on, no keyboard, no Flash, no chance.
Am I right?
How did that work out for you? P.s., yes, you haven't even had yours for a year yet.
First thing people notice about the little tablet that was never gonna make it (it's just a big iPhone without the phone people) – this might be kinda cool to run magazines on.
Wired, always up to the task, launches the Wired iPad App. Yeah, …, that's right, … 12 months of the nobody had to kill any trees and nobody had to mail anything to anybody version of Wired is 12 times the price per year as is the dead tree version.
How's that working for you?
So then Murdock launches The Daily. Never before in the history of a media app has anything been launched so terribly lame. Sure, the content is as compelling as wet socks but it makes up for it by being slower than Congress for producing anything.
But, for some reason, we all are still deep into this idea that we want to subscribe to stuff on the iPad (remember, this is the same iPad that isn't ever going to amount to anything).
Apple offers a model that is simple, fair, and, in true Apple form, different.
Simple: One click subscribe, right in the app.
Everyone in this space, whether they want to admit it or not, loses painful amounts of money in the transaction process. From shopping cart abandonment to “how many things to I have to click to get my product?” to merchant accounts and AVS and everything else they throw at us – sometimes I'm surprised there is anything left for me at the end of the game.
One click & Apple sends me a check for 70%. Sign me up.
Guys, this is why the App Economy is what it is.
This is the chance for content creators to get a piece of this.
Fair: This is perhaps one of the fairest arrangements I've ever read.
Right now, with the 26 cogs in my wheel, affiliates get 50%, merchant account gets about 5% when all is said and done. Overhead of merchant accounts and shopping carts and admin and chargebacks and fulfillment – another 11%.
Don't get me wrong. I got a business where I get to keep 34%. I have friends who get 3% in their worlds.
Apple is gonna more than DOUBLE that and give me access to their audience.
70% – and I don't have to deal with the credit card companies.
Paul likes, Paul takes.
Different: This is a plan that lets me do what I do best.
See, I'm a content creator. I'm a maker. The shopping carts, the merchant accounts, the affiliate programs, all these things are part of how I pay my bills – and I'm grateful for them – but if you tell me I don't need 'em – no sweat off my brow.
Now, let's get to the topic of this post. So, what's the problem? Why did you call this “Strategy or Jealousy?”
Everybody and their mother seems to be complaining about this plan. The big issues they're all hot over include the take, Apple insistence that they too are able to sell your stuff and the inability to grab your audiences contact info by default.
Take: Get over that part. So fair.
Apple's ability to sell your stuff in their app: That's kinda why you put your stuff in the App Store.
Apple won't hand over your customer's private info: Good for Apple. Two points here: 1) most of you want their info so you can SELL THEM STUFF. You're already selling them stuff if they've paid to subscribe to your content. 2) If you can't get an audience of people who are paying for your stuff to drop by your site and trade some information for content, … yeah, Apple is not your problem.
So, the deal is fine, makes sense, is good for everyone – and is going to make me more money than anything I've ever done before.
There are only two reasons why someone would think this way.
Option #1. They haven't thought it all the way through. If that's the case, I hardly believe this Blog Post will change any minds but, …
Option #2. They're jealous. Apple did what they couldn't. They did it on their own terms and they didn't listen to the experts. How could something like that possibly work? I mean, come on, all the great business successes followed the pattern of doing things the way they've always been done – and they listened to the bloggers, the Podcasters, the Twitterers, the digerati.
What am I missing here? Either way, it has nothing to do with strategy. Apple already did that for us.
It's now about implementation.
What are you going to do?