Apple has confirmed that it will offer a new a new subscription service available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store, including magazines, newspapers, video and music. This follows the launch of The Daily, an iPad newspaper earlier this year.
Now 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, says Apple, hoping the move will tease publishers in creating more dedicated content for the iPad.
Publishers will be able to set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly) to the content.
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 cancelling the automatic renewal of a subscription.
However, something that publishers aren’t going to like is the fact that they’ll have to give Apple 30 per cent of the takings for the privilege of charging people.
“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 (even though he is on medical leave). “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.”
In a move that is only likely to confuse things even further, publishers who use Apple’s subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app.