Apple to reveal App Store 2.0 at WWDC: New subscription model, search ads, and more

“This year’s WWDC isn’t just about new operating systems: starting next week and continuing throughout the fall, Apple will begin rolling out new incentives for developers in its App Store, including a new revenue-share model and the introduction of search ads in its iOS App Store,” Lauren Goode reports for The Verge.

“In a rare pre-WWDC sit-down interview with the The Verge, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said that Apple would soon alter its revenue-sharing model for apps,” Goode reports. “While the well-known 70 / 30 split will remain, developers who are able to maintain a subscription with a customer longer than a year will see Apple’s cut drop down to 15 percent. The option to sell subscriptions will also be available to all developers instead of just a few kinds of apps. ‘Now we’re going to open up to all categories,’ Schiller says, ‘and that includes games, which is a huge category.'”

“If the new subscription model becomes widely adopted, it will represent a fundamental shift in the economics of the App Store. Developers will be incentivized to sell their apps for a recurring fee instead of a one-time cost,” Goode reports. “Apple is also going to start showing search ads for apps in its iOS App Store search results for the first time, something the company had previously resisted. ‘We’ve thought about how to carefully do it in a way that, first and foremost, customers will be happy with,’ Schiller says, adding that he believes the ad auction system in App Store search will be ‘fair to developers, and fair for indie developers, too.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wow! This new subscription model for all apps is going to be a big deal and has already got us thinking of what it might mean for our app and other news apps. Think: Reduced ads or even ad-free (depending on how the numbers crunch out) and/or additional features/functionality for premium versions of apps.

This App Store change by Apple could be a paradigm shift!


  1. Apps that are subscription based, if that subscription entails the app becoming unavailable after a subsciptiion period in any way is a lost sale as far as I’m concerned. I don’t buy apps or applications that are subscription based. Either I own the app (yes, I know, not own, but have a perpetual license), or I don’t buy it.

    So, if this involves in any way a “rental” kind of approach, it will mean those apps that go in this direction will never be ones I consider.

    I use a lot of audio applications. Pro Tools is an example; I have a perpetual Pro Tools license. I will not buy in to their subscription model, or Slate digital, or East West composer cloud – or anything that prevents 100% 365x24x7 availability.

    I am not at *all* against paying for upgrades, and certainly the app store needs a revamp to provide a better income model – being able to pay for upgrades where there is a significant change to an app – to support developers, but any “rental” type subscription model is a no-go as far as I’m concerned.

    The news was recently raised in the iPad Musician FB group too and is getting an almost universal thumbs down – even from developers!

  2. Go for it MDN. Move as quickly as you can. The ads on your site are horrific in their volume and annoyance. The content and service provided is valuable however. If you have a reasonable subscription price which largely or completely eliminates ads, you’ll have happier patrons for sure (me being one of them). Too bad the change will only apply to Apps….something similar for your website (a tied service perhaps?) would be very much appreciated.

    1. Reduced ads is not acceptable with a subscription model. I remember quite well how everyone bought into cable TV subscriptions with the premise that there would be “reduced ads”. Look how that turned out. It’s either with ads and free, or subscription and no ads. Intermediate is just an incremental way to start poring on the ads plus collecting a subscription fee. Not OK.

  3. With rare exception, subscriptions suck. They signal the end of innovation. After all, once you have people hooked, you don’t really have any reason to keep improving the product. Think about it: all software offered as a subscription is like a utility company: totally uninterested in innovation of any kind until forced to do so.

    Evidence: Adobe, Apple Music, Office 365, and Pandora.

    Can anyone define a benefit to being a subscriber versus purchasing standalone software or media content? Only one: the vague promise that you won’t be unindated with ads. Just like Cable TV promised 40 years ago. Remember that?

  4. If this model will come, I will move for computerless recording by purchasing and adopting a few hardware, which will last longer than my pity life! )))

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