updated 02:00 pm EST, Fri December 21, 2012
Paper one of few major holdouts
The Wall Street Journal has updated its main iOS app to support in-app subscriptions. Until now, the only way of getting full content was to pay for an outside subscription and log into the app. The new scheme lets users pay $22 a month through the app for a regular WSJ subscription, or $13 for mobile-only delivery.
The Journal has, notably, been one of the few remaining publications to hold off on in-app subscriptions. The trouble is that Apple retains 30 percent of all revenue from in-app subscriptions, as well as all customer billing information, the latter of which newspapers and magazines have traditionally relied on for marketing and demographics. As a result, many publications initially balked at Apple's plans.
The App Store has high exposure, though, and publishers have managed to work around some problems by asking people to voluntarily submit information such as email addresses. Sources for AllThingsD say that the Journal's turnaround may be linked to last year's resignation of Todd Larsen as the president of Dow Jones, which owns the paper. Larsen was against allowing in-app subscriptions.
The WSJ is continuing to sell digital subscriptions through its website, where it will keep all revenue and customer data. App Store terms prohibit the paper from linking to that offer via the app.