Gruber: Apple’s App Store changes likely to spawn slew of professional-caliber iPad apps

“Until now, subscription pricing was reserved for apps that served media content: streaming audio and video, news, etc. Apple is now opening it to any app, which effectively solves the problems of recurring revenue and free trials,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “Even better, Apple is changing the revenue split for all subscriptions: for the first year of any subscription, the revenue split remains 70/30; after the first year, the revenue split changes to 85/15.”

“This change is effective starting this Monday — any app that already has subscribers will start splitting revenue with Apple 85/15 on subscriptions that are at least a year old,” Gruber writes. “This dramatically changes the economics of the App Store… This could be the change that makes the market for professional-caliber iPad apps possible.”

Other changes:
• There are now more than 200 price points available to subscription-based apps.
• Apps can now change subscription prices easily. This was a huge pain the ass previously. When an app changes subscription pricing, existing subscribers will be notified automatically and given the option to agree to the new pricing or unsubscribe.
• Subscription-based apps can now offer multiple tiers. Think bronze/silver/gold. Again, previously, Apple’s app subscription APIs made this difficult if not impossible. Now, it should be easy. And it should be easy for users to change tiers on the fly.
• Territory-based pricing is now possible. Developers can use this to charge lower prices in countries like China and India. This was not possible before.
• Most subscription-based apps use either monthly or annual renewal intervals. But apps have the option of renewing every two months, three months, or six months as well.

Gruber writes, “I think all serious productivity apps in the App Store should and will switch to subscription pricing.”

Tons more in the full article – highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: The ability for any app to offer subscriptions, along with multiple tiers of subscriptions, in a massive game-changer and a giant step forward for the iOS/watchOS/tvOS platform.


    1. Slew: a large number (a slew of books)

      Examples of slew in a sentence:
      • We still have a slew of work to do on this project.
      • Apple’s App Store changes are likely to spawn a slew of professional-caliber iPad apps.

    2. Subscriptions suck. I’m doing everything possible in my life to free myself from being stuck paying monthly bills.

      Especially when it’s so easy to subscribe to things and keep paying even though something isn’t being used.

  1. I hate subscription services. Subscription music. Subscription apps. Subscription devices, Subscription life. Yuck. Feels more like chains of bondage. Pay us every month or loose everything!

  2. Is there anybody, users that is, that likes subscriptions? I want to decide when to upgrade, not pay in advance and have no choice in the matter. But more importantly, I don’t want to rent software. I have apps that are many years old, but still run and I still use very occasionally. What happens when I quit paying and the app stops working? What happens next year when I need to open one of those files? Do I have to keep paying for an app I might use once or twice a year?

  3. Oh nice. Now, not only will we have “dont touch the greeeen tils touch red one game best 2016 ios game” apps, but they’ll be able to charge subscriptions to use. Of course, sensible people will avoid those, but what if the app isn’t obviously stupid? “ScreenRecord”, with a good-looking UI, four stars, all that. Then you subscribe. $25 per month, the app works for a while, but then after a few months there are no updates. I hope Apple has thought all this through. Not every app should have a subscription. Shoot, some apps shouldn’t be on iOS that are, stupid ill games that are more like half-finished projects, even just by reading the app name and description, and some apps should be in the app store… emulators… but I won’t go there, all the way there at least.

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