Apple’s spurned lovers

February 21, 2011, 11:37 AM UTC

Publishers reach for new metaphors to describe what Steve Jobs just did to them

Source: Le Monde

It’s not easy to explain to customers who like the sound of Apple’s (AAPL) new subscription plan — from one-click purchases to protection from junk mail — why it’s a deal breaker for publishers.

So they’ve turned to the most powerful weapon in their literary arsenal — the metaphor. A sample from Monday’s news stories:

  • “Traditional print publishers have spent the past few years cast in the role of the nice old-fashioned girl in high school who was ignored while more recent arrivals got all the attention.” — David Carr, the New York Times
  • “They’re the beautiful girlfriend you had in high school who was a bitch for no apparent reason,” grumbled one publishing executive. — Lucia Moses, MediaWeek
  • Richard Jones, the co-founder of, put it more bluntly: “Apple just ____ over online music subs for the iPhone.” — Josh Halliday, the Guardian

For more substantive analysis of the publisher’s predicament, see Frédéric Filloux’s Monday Note.

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