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By 16 February 2011 | Categories: news

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Apple has announced a new subscription service that is available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store, including magazines, newspapers, video and music. This is the same digital subscription billing service that the company recently launched with News Corp.’s “The Daily” iPad-only newspaper publication.
 
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 will be able to set the price as well as the duration of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly).
 
Customers can pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged based on their chosen length of commitment. They’ll also be able to review and manage all of their subscriptions via their personal account pages, including cancelling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all payments, keeping the same 30% share that it currently does for other In-App purchases.
 
“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.”
 
Cupertino also stated that publishers that employ its subscription service in their app are also able to utilise other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. They can sell digital subscriptions on their websites for instance or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers.
 
Since the company isn’t involved in these types of transactions, there is no revenue sharing or exchange of customer information with Apple. The iPad and iPhone maker, however, does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to prospective clients within the app. 
 
Publishers also may not provide links in their apps which enables the consumer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app.

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