Apple Subscriptions Launch at the App Store

As expected, Apple [AAPL] has now launched subscriptions on the App Store. The new subscriptions service allows publishers of content on the app store to set up a regular automated billing cycle of weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly. The system will use the regular Apple billing system that is already used in the app store. By doing this, it makes it easy for the user to see all subscriptions on a single location and then cancel, edit billing frequency and make other changes when needed.

For content providers, Steve Jobs has explained exactly how the revenue model works between publisher and Apple:

“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.”

Apple puts a requirement on publisher that if they sell a subscription on their own website, that a matching or better subscription model is present in the Apple store. For example, if a publication offers content for $40/year through its website, then Apple expect that the same or better offer is available in the App store, ie: $40/year or cheaper.

Any publisher using an external subscription model must setup their own authentication with in the app so the user can get the content needed.

The full press release can be found over here and explains a bit more on privacy of user data as well as provides a few statistics of how many apps are available.

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