PPA 2011: Yudu chief tells publishers to 'embrace Apple'
Yudu chief executive Richard Stephenson has called on publishers to "embrace Apple" and "get with [its] programme", if they are to succeed in the current climate.
Richard Stephenson: Yudu chief executive
Speaking at the annual Professional Publisher’s Association conference today (4 May), Stephenson said: "We are witnessing a collision between the pace of people such as Apple and Silicon Valley, and the publishing industry that is not used to that pace. That clash is confusing."
While going as far to describe the ongoing tension between Apple and magazine publishers as a "collision", Stephenson suggested that it was the publishers who needed to change their attitude.
He said: "We're not giving an incentive at the moment for people to give data. There is a facility with Apple to say, give two months' free content to users if they supply their data. I think we should embrace that philosophy."
Stephenson added: "Apple aren’t going to budge on it. As soon as we get with the programme, we can maximise opportunity."
The boss of the digital publishing marketplace Yudu said Apple had offered an olive branch to publishers by changing its policy to allow publishers to collect data, when it is voluntarily supplied by the subscriber, as well as providing roll-over repeat subscriptions for consumers.
He added: "That’s an amazing concession that many people thought Apple would never do. So the lobbying that was done by the publishing industry has paid off. But Apple is not going to concede again, that’s it."
Speaking at a consumer media stream panel alongside Stephenson, were Mike Soutar, chief executive, ShortList Media, Peder Bonnier, head of digital, Bonnier Magazines and Mark Dinning, editor-in-chief, Empire magazine.
Soutar agreed that publishers needed to embrace innovation:
"We can all wait for Apple to decide to share its data," he said.
"But there’s a huge amount of pioneering packages we can offer commercial partners. If we do that as an industry, it will help advertisers realign themselves and help us get greater revenues."
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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