FT app gets pulled from iTunes

The Financial Times (FT) has had its iPad app removed from iTunes following a dispute with Apple.

The decision was made after the FT refused to comply with Apple’s demand that is collects a 30 per cent cut from all in-app payments and subscriptions, and has ownership of all customer data that is collected.

The FT has instead been pointing users to its web browser-based app for the iPad and iPhone, which offers more features than the native app, and is written in HTML 5.

“The FT iPad and iPhone apps will no longer be available to new users through iTunes. We’re encouraging our readers to switch immediately to the new FT web app, as many new features and sections will be added over the coming weeks,” said a spokesperson from the FT.

“iTunes will remain an important channel for new and existing advertising based apps.”

However, the move should not have too much of a negative impact on FT’s readership figures, as it has already garnered a strong reputation among iPad users, according to Adrian Drury, consultant and lead analyst for media tech, broadcast and telecoms at Ovum.

“The value of the App Store is that it offers access to traffic that goes through its search bar,” he said.

“But the FT has been very clever; it has already created a solid critical mass and a solid reputation for apps, and it began moving users away from its native iTunes in March this year.”

“Other publishers have been exploring the idea of exiting iTunes because of to Apple’s demands, but they first have to get to that point where they have that critical mass of users. The FT has had its iPad app on iTunes since day one, and it has the reputation and a large user base, but other firms don’t have that critical mass of users that they can then concentrate on converting them to browser apps, rather than their native apps.”

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