Today, Apple announced that the App Store Subscriptions, originally found on The Daily, are now available for all developers. The subscription service is available for all content based apps such as magazines, newspapers, video, music, and basically anything else a developer could want their users to subscribe to.
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.
The revenue system for developers is the same as normal in-app-purchases or app sales: 30% to Apple and 70% to the application’s developer. Perhaps the best news in today’s announcement is that Apple CEO Steve Jobs comments in the press release:
“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.”
Did Jobs comment while he was on his last medical leave? Apple does not say whether the subscription service is available for developers to implement today or if it is an iOS 4.3-only feature. The entire press release is after the break for those interested.