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Tuesday February 15, 2011 5:05 pm

Apple finally details App Store subscriptions


Posted by Andru Edwards - Categories: Apple, Corporate News


On Tuesday, Apple announced a subscription billing platform for the App Store, overcoming perhaps the biggest hurdle for the success of iPad periodicals.

The plan lets customers purchase subscriptions to iOS-supported newspapers, magazines, music, and other content in one click. Previously, customers had to manually purchase and download issues on an individual basis.

Publishers set their own price and lengths of subscriptions. Then, customers can click on the length of their desired subscriptions and automatically receive a charge to their iTunes accounts.

"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," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is currently on medical leave, in a statement.


The subscription model mimics that of News Corp's The Daily. The publication had also delayed its launch to mid-January in order to iron out kinks in the subscription platform.

Apple will take a 30 percent cut of the revenue, the same as it does for other app purchases. To entice publishers further Apple isn't demanding an exclusive relationship with publishers; publishers can sell their iOS apps outside the App Store without having to give Apple a cut.

"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," Jobs said. "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.

According to Apple, the App Store has more than 350,000 apps and over 60,000 native iPad apps.

This article, written by Sarah Yin, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc..

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