Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Pearson CEO Threatens Split With Apple Over Customer Data

Posted by Tom Foremski - February 28, 2011

The Guardian reports that Marjorie Scardino, the CEO of Pearson, a large publishing group that owns the Financial Times and Penguin books, is unhappy with the terms Apple has set for publishers on the iPad.

The sticking point is getting access to customer data, which is not possible through Apple' AppStore.

Speaking on an analyst call discussing Pearson's full year results, Scardino said about Apple:

It is unclear how their proposal is going to work, we are still talking to them," said Scardino. "The important thing to remember is there are many, many tablets coming out and multiple devices ... [from] Kindle to mobiles. If indeed Apple are not happy to give us customer data then maybe we will get it somewhere else.

The Financial Times has done well transitioning to a digital business model:

FT Group, the Pearson division that houses the Financial Times,reported a solid 2010, with revenues up 12% to £403m. Paid-for digital subscriptions rose 50% to 207,000, with digital services accounting for 40% of FT Group revenue, and more than 900,000 downloads of FTapps on tablets and mobile phones.

"It has always been an issue that we couldn't have millions of printing plants around the world," Scardino said. "The presence of all these tablets has been very important to the FT. Not only has it given a good medium, congenial to our readers, but it will proliferate, it is a global opportunity for us."


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