"Apple just f***** over online music subs for the iPhone." That's what Last.fm co-founder Richard Jones thinks of Apple's plans to grab 30% of the iOS subscription fees.
From the transcript of the IRC outburst it seems that Jones believes that this change is in anticipation of Apple launching its own streaming service this year.
Here is the full transcript (profanity edited):
1. <RJ> wow http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/15/apple-launches-subscriptions-for-content-publishers-on-the-app-store/ 2:54 PM 2. <RJ> apple just f***** over online music subs for the iphone 2:54 PM 3. <RJ> presumably in anticipation of launching their own streaming sub later in the year 2:55 PM 4. <RJ> (i don't imagine spotify's margins are anywhere near 30%, so subs via itunes are useless to them, for example) 2:55 PM 5. <matt> RJ: wonder how they split "when Apple brings a new customer" vs "when the publisher brings" 2:55 PM 6. <RJ> matt: if you signup on, eg spotify's website, that's "the publisher brings" 2:56 PM 7. <matt> yeah, that's what I figured 2:56 PM 8. <RJ> but you are forbidden from having a link to that from within the app 2:56 PM 9. <jono> wow, that sucks 2:56 PM 10. <attila> ouch 2:56 PM 11. <RJ> so basically, people on the iphone will *always* subscribe using itunes, because it's easier 2:56 PM 12. <matt> so yeah, any appstore-based discovery (ie. featured) means the 30% applies 2:56 PM 13. <matt> eeeek 2:56 PM 14. <RJ> better for the consumer, except many services can't survive a 30pc loss of revenue 2:57 PM 15. <matt> not in music, anyway 2:57 PM 16. <jono> it's especially harsh that they're enforcing the app price to be the same or less through the app store 2:57 PM 17. <RJ> slightly less of an issue for some other content, however some publishers will have deals where they only get <=30% of net sale price etc.. and it f**** them just as bad 2:57 PM 18. <RJ> should be fun to watch the ensuing shitstorm 2:58 PM 19. <matt> indeed :-/
Strong words, and a sentiment that is echoed by others in the content subscription business. It's also a move that could attract antitrust scrutiny.
Disclosure: Last.fm and ZDNet are owned by the same parent company, CBS Interactive.