Apple launches magazine app subscriptions to all

15 Feb 2011

Apple has launched a subscription service to all publishers of content-based apps on the iTunes App Store, the same one which is used in News Corp’s The Daily.

Subscriptions will be sold through the App Store billing system, the same used for buying apps and in-app purchases.

Publishers set the prices and lengths of the subscription – weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly. Customers can pick their chosen length and can purchase it through one click.

Customers can also review and manage subscriptions from their personal account page. Apple will keep a 30pc share of purchases when it processes purchases.

“Our philosophy is simple — when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30pc share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100pc and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in a statement.

“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,” said Jobs.

Publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their websites or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers. As Apple is not involved in this, publishers don’t need to pay them.

They must provide their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers for those who signed up outside the app. Publishers cannot provide links in their apps to a website which lets a customer purchase content or subscriptions outside the app.

Customers purchasing a subscription will be given the option of giving a publisher their names, email addresses and zip codes when they subscribe. This will be governed by the publication’s subscription policy as opposed to Apple’s.