Media: FT launches iTunes-free app

7th June 2011

On its website FT.com the launch is reported as being  "the first of its kind by a large international newspaper publisher [and] comes after several publishers have expressed unhappiness at Apple's reluctance to share detailed data on the identities and behaviour of users of apps distributed through its store".

The FT.com (paywall) story also notes how INMA, an international news industry association had earlier this year expressed concerns at new data-sharing rules from Apple relating to content subscriptions on its iPhone and iPad devices.

"A direct relationship with customers is crucial for publishers," said the INMA.

John Ridding, chief executive of the FT said it was still talking to Apple but said the priority was its readers. "It's about our readers and making sure they have a consistent experience."

The FT Web App has been built using HTML5 web standards, which replicate the features of mobile apps within the browsers of devices including the iPhone and iPad.

The FT's move could encourage other publishers to follow suit but that some would hold back because of the simplicity of iTunes, which has credit card details for 225m people and allows downloads with a click or two.

"The FT always remains a special case because there's a willingness to pay for FT content that's not there with every publication."

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