Photo: Asa Mathat, All Things Digital
Apple’s new in-app subscription policy might not affect Amazon after all.Berstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi met with Apple execs last week and pressed them on how the new subscription policy would affect Netflix and Amazon.
Eddy Cue, Apple’s Internet services boss, wouldn’t comment on either company, but said, the announcement only applied to subscriptions.
Well, Amazon Kindle books aren’t subscriptions, so they shouldn’t be affected, no?
We’ve been pressing on Amazon trying to get a comment and the company is just ignoring us. But, we think there’s a chance that it’s just not going to be affected by Apple.
Why? Beyond Cue’s comment, we’ve heard from a source that Netflix would not be affected by Apple’s new policy. We’re not sure of the exact reason why, but it now seems reasonable to think it’s because Netflix isn’t a publishing business.
Another reason for Netflix to be exempted: Apple needs Netflix to make Apple TV a success, and keep iPad owners happy.
Neither company has commented publicly as far as we know. We think that’s because Apple doesn’t want to piss off other partners that might have to use the subscription billing option. And Netflix doesn’t want to irritate Apple by blabbing.
Amazon could be in a similar boat, and what’s the upside in blabbing?
The furor around Apple’s subscription option kicked up when it rejected a Sony e-reader app saying that it had to offer users the option to buy digital books in-app, as well as on Sony’s website. If Apple is giving Amazon favour nation status (and it should since Kindle is a great, useful, popular app) then it would obviously infuriate Sony, and potentially alienate other developers.
All that said, we still don’t know what’s going to happen. So, as Steve Jobs likes to say, stay tuned.