Apple Gives in to Publisher In-App Subscription Demands


ADOTAS – Score one for publishers and content makers — Apple quietly changed its in-app subscription rules about to take effect at the end of this month, reversing its position on forbidding publisher inclusion of links within an app for purchasing subscriptions or other content on a pub’s website. In addition, the company killed the requirement that pubs charge the same price for an in-app subscription as outside the app.

The new language:

“11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app.”

Apple will still take a 30% cut of revenue made from in-app subscriptions made on its OS, but publishers and developers can put the burden on the consumer — call it a convenience fee — and charge less for purchasing subscriptions and other content on their websites (where they take home all or most the revenue). The only thing pubs and developers can’t do now is enter a “buy” button that leads to a purchase point outside the app.

The move suggests Apple realizes can no longer be so iron-fisted, especially when Google is only taking 10% of in-app subscriptions via its One Pass for the more used Android mobile operating system. One Pass is also a cross-channel user subscription management tool.

Apple previously acquiesced to publisher demands to hand over signup data such as names, email addresses and zip codes. Sounds like it’s getting hard for Apple to keep up its tyrannical rule over its mobile ecosystem…



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