Apple reportedly asked devs to adopt subscriptions and hike app prices

“Apple invited a group of app developers to a secret April 2017 meeting in New York’s Tribeca district, asking them to move from selling apps at low prices to renting app access through subscriptions, Business Insider reports,” Jeremy Horwitz reports for VentureBeat. “This change is intended to keep users paying for apps ‘on a regular basis, putting money into developer coffers on a regular schedule,’ the report claims.”

Horwitz reports, “Apart from filling its own bank accounts, Apple wants developers to ‘create sustainable business models, instead of selling high-quality software for a few dollars or monetizing through advertising.'”

“Many consumers chafe at the idea of software as a subscription service, and there’s no question that the concept will not fly for the vast majority of titles currently in the App Store,” Horwitz reports. “Independent research suggests that video services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO are generating a large part of Apple’s subscription revenue, alongside top-earning freemium games. Most people will refuse to pay ongoing fees to ‘update’ something as basic as a blemish-removal tool or daily planner.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The success of subscriptions certainly depends on the value the app delivers.


  1. Greedy, greedy, Apple. Wow, just wow. Like they don’t have enough money. Now meeting in secret advising App developers to gouge us on a subscription model. It’s just a matter of time before Apple puts all its software on a subscription model to gouge us more. Adios Amigo Apple …

  2. Who knows what really went down a year ago in a “secret” meeting that is just now coming to light. Perhaps Business Insider has accurately described the meeting, and perhaps not. I prefer to have several independent accounts of a situation before rendering a judgment. Too many other people seem willing to jump to conclusions based on little evidence.

    Encouraging app developers to build better products and establish a healthy business model? That sounds like Apple. But people seem to be applying a highly sinister spin on what may be a completely aboveboard meeting, even to the point of calling it “secret.”

  3. This is a very negative piece with quite big ramification on how we perceive Apple.
    If it was true then I could only Imagine the distaste for greed I would suddenly have for the richest company in the world.
    I am pretty sure people would really turn on Apple in a big way.
    It’s such a bad chain of thought; I have to assume it’s a Samdung created FAKE NEWS story. Created with the intent of sowing more seeds of despair in Tims blinkered focus of Profits rather then products.

  4. I avoid apps with subscriptions. I especially hate when apps I have previously paid switch to subscription model nullifying my previous onetime app purchase. Make good apps and I am willing to purchase. Having free demos will help with that. I dislike in-app purchases with the nickel and dime approach. If this article is trouble I will likely end up paying for few apps. It was my impression that the subscription model for apps was a poor business model.

  5. The problem with subscription-based apps is not that they are continuously collecting money from me. I regularly pay for updates to apps I use all the time (parallels and canvas come to mind). Indeed, I probably pay more for those updates than the comparable subscription would cost.

    The problem with subscriptions is that once I stop the subscription I can no longer access my data. With purchased (licensed) apps, I may not get the latest features, but I can continue to use the old version of the software (well, at least as long as the OS supports it, which is starting to be a problem with latest versions of Mac OS and Adobe CS6).

    Got suckered into the subscription process once. Never again.

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