Apple Rolls Out App Subscriptions to All Developers

About two weeks back, Apple had launched the Daily iPad app at a press event by News Corp. With The Daily, Apple had also unveiled a new feature – in-app subscriptions, which allowed app developers to offer one-click, recurring subscriptions for their apps. However, it wasn’t available for developers yet.

Today, Apple officially made in-app subscriptions available to all app developers on the App Store. Good news, right? Well, its not that simple. In this announcement, Apple has also mandated that app developers must offer subscriptions through the app, if they are offering subscriptions through other channels. The catch here is, that Apple takes a 30% cut if the user subscribes from within the app, and takes nothing if the user subscribes from outside channels. However, subscribing from within the app will obviously be much more easier for the user, so the revenues of apps offering in app subscriptions will likely be affected negatively. It may also lead to developers jacking up prices, as they will need to account for Apple’s cut while offering subscription based services.

Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app.”

Apple has set a deadline of June 30 for app developers to comply with the new guidelines.

Check out the official press release by Apple here.

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