Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

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.

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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

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15 comments
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  • RE: Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

    Good, now if they back off on Flash I might consider buying an iPhone 5!
    slickjim
    • Never going to happen

      @Peter Perry
      1) Apple won't "back off of Flash" unless Adobe builds a version that is battery efficient and stable for iOS. Adobe promised this for the Mac years ago and still hasn't delivered so unless Adobe mans up and delivers it won't happen.

      2)you wouldn't buy an iPhone anyway.
      use_what_works_4_U
      • Flash

        @macadam

        "unless Adobe builds a version that is battery efficient and stable for iOS."

        No kidding. They can't make Flash work reliably or efficiently on any platform, and certainly not securely.
        croberts
      • RE: Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

        @macadam Apple already allows Flash on all iOS devices. Just not in a web bowser. Flash as an AIR application is good enough to qualify for the App Store.

        There were some issues in th browser. The first is that old fashioned VP3 video in Flash is not likely to be a good idea on any mobile device. That is just reality, as part of Flash. The second was H.264.. this was poor only on iOS in Flash, because at the time, iOS didn't have exposed video acceleration APIs. Neither did MacOS. Apple has fixed this.

        The real problem Apple has with Flash in the browser is media control. Flash includes a DRM, which could let me rent video outside of Apple's revenue stream. They are protecting this. Free HTML5 video is not a threat, and also something Apple directly controls in the browser.
        Hazydave
      • RE: Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

        @macadam Oh no, I have always said it is their policies that kept me from them... This is just one of the politics and Flash is another.
        slickjim
      • RE: Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

        @macadam Oh and Flash works pretty well on my Android Tablet and windows machine... There is no visible difference in Battery Life...

        On my Macbook Pro though, Any Streaming kills the battery in one 2 hour movie or less... Not sure why it is so bad on this machine but the battery is brand new and the format doesn't matter, be it flash, silver light or HTML 5.
        slickjim
    • RE: Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

      @Peter Perry

      We would rather you didn't. Considering your general contribution to these comments, you are better off living in ignorant bliss.
      jorjitop
      • RE: Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

        @jorjitop I have owned both an iPad and iPad 2 so I assure you the only ignorance here is yours.
        slickjim
  • RE: Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

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    gerbelguy
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  • Sony

    Will this finally allow the Sony eReader app?
    kev1006
  • RE: Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

    Glad they finally realized that not everyone's money belongs to them. As the owner of a small independent iOS software house, I am happy to pay Apple 30% for my in-app purchases, because they handle all the billing and distribution and much of the customer service for me. It's a good bargain.

    But as an Apple device owner, I was astounded that Apple felt it deserves 30% of my Netflix and Hulu fees, and was really feeling cheated that I might lose Netflix, Hulu and Kindle off my iPad etc. I'm glad they realized their greedy ploy was not going to work.
    vulcan666
    • RE: Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

      @vulcan666 They did nothing of the sort, they just cannot figure out how to keep their developers from getting litigated against!
      slickjim
  • RE: Apple backs off in-app subscription policies

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