Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

Summary:Earlier this year, Apple introduced its in-app subscription policy. With a June 30 deadline looming Apple has backed off as publishers revolt.

Apple's leverage over content companies and their various apps appears to be a bit overrated.

As noted by MacRumors, company has changed its in-app subscription policies so publishing companies can offer purchases at any price. Publishers also don't have to offer in-app subscriptions just because they sell subscriptions outside of Apple's ecosystem.

Earlier this year, Apple introduced its in-app subscription policy. In a nutshell, the company wanted 30 percent of subscriptions to magazines and newspapers. I even called for an app work stoppage. Google pounced on the policy and moved to woo publishers.

The risk for Apple was that publishers would go with Web apps over iOS apps. With a deadline looming June 30, Apple blinked and tweaked its policy. Now iOS apps can show approved content that is subscribed to outside of the app. Apple won't get revenue of content purchased outside the app.

One catch is that Apple won't allow a buy button that takes potential subscribers to an external page.

Bottom line is that content matters to Apple devices and if there's enough backlash the company will blink.

Topics: Apple, Mobile OS, Operating Systems

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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