Sports Illustrated, for one, already has worked out deals to sell subscriptions with access to customer data on computer tablets running on software made by Apple rivals Google Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.
Apple will take its standard 30 percent cut from all app and content sales made in its iTunes store, which peddles a variety of music, movies, games and e-books. This new subscription system also applies to video and music services — for instance, the app for Netflix.
Content providers that don't want to automatically give Apple a slice of the revenue can try to sell subscriptions outside the app, too. One way to do that would be through the Web browser, although that might prove too much of a hassle for people already used to buying apps, music and other things on iTunes.
Apple is insisting the financial terms of the digital subscriptions sold outside the app be no better than those offered in the iTunes store.
And people must have the option to buy subscriptions within iTunes, if they want.