Apple recently implemented new policies that demanded companies sell their digital content via iTunes. This strongly effected eBook stores that either sold content directly via their application or diverted customers to their websites. In the last few weeks, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Kobo, and other major applications all removed in-app purchasing of books. This has sparked outrage from casual book customers who one day realized they could no longer buy books.
Much of the ire from customers is spread between Apple and the companies trying to avoid giving 30% of every sale to iTunes. This has sparked a slew of negative reviews of existing ebooks or people voiding their rage on various forums. Many Kindle customers have been expressing their disconcert HERE and HERE about the elimination of being able to buy books directly through the Amazon iOS App. Meanwhile, Kobo staff and customers have all been lamenting the current situation via Tumblr and the Kobo Blog.
All of the major companies that eliminated their purchasing abilities emailed their entire customer base to make them aware. Although, oftentimes people never get the emails for a myriad of reasons. People change their email address or find it goes to their spam box and were never aware of the new changes.
Casual customers who might buy books every few weeks and do not pay attention to our Good e-Reader Blog found that overnight all of their favorite stores eliminated purchasing of content via their App. We would like to encourage everyone to continue buying books via the companies’ websites. Anything you buy will be synced automatically to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, and you just have to jump through more hoops to do it. Simply load up Safari and bookmark the stores site you use.
It is honestly too bad Apple instituted these new policies and it effected not just book companies but also many independent game developers too. I am happy the eBook stores decided not cave into the demands of Apple. eBooks are on the rise and the sales are increasing every day. Within a few years Apple could have garnered billions of dollars just from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.
If we can learn anything from the big companies deciding not to sell content via Apple, it does leave room for smaller companies to allow customers to do just that. We could see a boom period in start-ups and smaller book sellers to assimilate some of the disillusioned customers to buy via their app.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.