It looks like The Financial Times has found a way to circumvent giving Apple a 30% cut of its profits made from magazine subscriptions: through the use of a web app. The magazine has just launched the platform agnostic version of its digital magazine that will “bypass Apple’s iTunes Store, Google’s Android Market and other distributors to secure a direct relationship with readers”.
Now why didn’t other magazines think of this earlier? A web app makes perfect sense for publishers who don’t want to give away their money to app stores in the first place. With HTML5, web apps can be as fully featured as their OS-native counterparts, there’s no need to download updates – the web apps are always up to date and you can read them on any device you want.
The Financial Times has stated that they will still be maintaining its iOS app but they will be pushing for more users to pick up the web app instead by even including incentives like a week’s worth of free access. Now there’s no telling what Apple or Google will be doing in response to this move, but I’m willing to bet other publishers will probably be joining the web app scene in the near future as well.