Financial Times Apps Booted From The App Store For Non-Compliance With In-App Subscription Policy

The Financial Times

While publications like WSJ and The New York Times have either complied to Apple’s In-App Subscription policies or devised clever workarounds, The Financial Times refused to take any of these measures, which is why Apple has removed the app from the App Store, two months after its 30th June deadline.

All In-App Subscriptions going through Apple meant that publishers would never get any information about subscribers. This pinched FT more than Apple’s 30 percent cut, since they claim their subscription model centers around owning data about its readers. An FT spokesperson told PaidContent:

“The FT iPad and iPhone apps will no longer be available to new users through iTunes. We are directing readers to the FT‘s new web app available at  iTunes will remain an important channel for new and existing advertising based apps.”

The FT web app, which was launched just a couple of months back, tries to mimic the native app experience right from presenting progress bars to displaying text like “Please wait, downloading app”.  The publication claims 550,000 users read FT through the web app, available at

FT Web App

Last year, nearly 10 percent of the company’s new digital subscriptions came from the iPad. The number of FT subscribers have doubled since the début of the FT app on the App Store, which has helped the company to reduce its reliance on ads as a medium for revenue.

Growth in FT digital subscriptions

FT joins Amazon, Walmart and many other companies, which have offered iPad optimised web apps to bypass the App Store’s strict policies. What effect does this have on FT’s digital subscriber growth remains to be seen.

It’s a pity that an app that won an Apple design award has to be kicked out of the App Store. What do you think?

[via PaidContent]

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  • The present policy is not the policy. Apple need to provide publishers with this information. Failure to do so will mean many more publications will follow the lead of FT

  • fas

    There goes the boss with its monopoly!

    • jdb

      It’s not a fucking monopoly idiot. Not even close. While I think the 30% is greedy, there are many other tablet makers and app stores out there, and developers have a choice.

  • When you buy FT from a newstand, even if you paid by credit card, they don’t get the contact information. Sure, for subscriptions, they used to get it, but the readers only gave it because they need the delivery. I am sure when they sign up to a subscription, they didn’t hope to give their address out because they will receive more unsolicited or simply junk mail, but publishers often treat them as their value and assets. I happen to like the current mobile app model (I am sure Google will have similar things eventually), is that when I have subscribed to the content, I get it, and they can push stuff to be whilst I still have their app installed, I also have the choice to truly opt-in to allow my information to be shared with the provider. That’s how subscription should have worked, we just never had the mass deployed technology to do that before. We can’t reference the old wrong way to drive our future.