Apple makes a U-turn on in app subscriptions

Looks like Apple might have turned a corner on their sacred app subscription rules. The Cupertino-based company had previously begun turning away pay-per-install apps last month, to developers like Tapjoy's great frustration. 

MacRumours however spotted a subtle change to the iOS developer agreement, which could allow for a bit more flexibility in the way app sales work. Essentially it is now possible for applications to offer information or links to content sold outside the app, as long as there is no 'buy' button. 

The requirement that external subscriptions need to be offered as in-app purchases is now gone, along with any pricing guidelines. 

This means quite a significant change for content providers who offer subscriptions to their service elsewhere. Without going into too much detail, Apple restrictions had meant that publishers would have to offer their subscription with the lowest possible price in app. 

The Financial Times chose to operate independently of Apple's subscriptions because of this, losing its iOS app and promoting a web app with which they could manage subscriptions better. 

Publishers had begun fighting between HTML powered web apps and dedicated iOS applications to help deal out content. These changes to the developer agreement should change all that.

The upshot of all this rules and regulation changing is that publishers could now offer in-app subscriptions with extra markup, meaning they could cover Apple's 30 per cent cut of in-app dealings.

Prior to this, content providers had tried to persuade customers to sign up for services outside Apple's app store, meaning they could keep 100 per cent of takings. What we may now see is plenty more in-app subscriptions on offer but also a significant price hike for those who don't hunt elsewhere.

 

Do you like your buying in-app? Or it outside your thing?