Apple Launches Subscription Service

Apple today announced a new subscription service available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store, including magazines, newspapers, video, music, etc. This is the same digital subscription billing service that Apple recently launched with News Corp.’s “The Daily” app.

Subscriptions purchased from within the App Store will be sold using the same App Store billing system that has been used to buy billions of apps and In-App Purchases. Publishers set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly). Then with one-click, customers pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged based on their chosen length of commitment (weekly, monthly, etc.). Customers can review and manage all of their subscriptions from their personal account page, including canceling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all payments, keeping the same 30 percent share that it does today for other In-App Purchases.

“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. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers.”

Customers purchasing a subscription through the App Store will be given the option of providing the publisher with their name, email address and zip code when they subscribe. The use of such information will be governed by the publisher’s privacy policy rather than Apple’s. Publishers may seek additional information from App Store customers provided those customers are given a clear choice, and are informed that any additional information will be handled under the publisher’s privacy policy rather than Apple’s.

In related news, free viewing of The Daily has been pushed to February 28, leading some to believe that is when Apple will be dropping iOS 4.3.

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  • Benihana
    "The use of such information will be governed by the publisher’s privacy policy rather than Apple’s."

    Yeah, I thought it wasn't Apple's policy as they did not ask for SSN.
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  • kewlx
    “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,”

    So what happens to the amount of the share when a new subscriber joins or rebuys??
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  • saiyan
    Based on what most new articles have explained, Apple's guideline requires publishers' apps to provide in-app option for purchasing subscription if they also provides external links for customer to purchase subscription on publishers' web sites.

    That means customers have to ways to purchase subscriptions:

    1) In-app purchase: In this case Apple gets 30% of revenue share and publisher gets 70%.

    2) Web purchase: Apple gets 0% and publishers keep 100% of revenue.

    Now the question is will iOS users use in-app purchase option or click on a link to open a browser to publishers' web sites for subscription purchase?
    1