Today, Apple announced the official release of subscriptions for the App Store.
App Store subscriptions now allow developers to offer a wide range of content, including magazines, newspapers, music, and video, that may be used on a recurring billing system.
Subscriptions purchased from within the App Store will be sold using the same App Store billing system that has been used to buy billions of apps and In-App Purchases. Publishers set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly). Then with one-click, customers pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged based on their chosen length of commitment (weekly, monthly, etc.). Customers can review and manage all of their subscriptions from their personal account page, including canceling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all payments, keeping the same 30 percent share that it does today for other In-App Purchases.
The press release also addresses questions about whether content may also be offered outside of the App Store in-app purchases. To this, Apple CEO Steve Jobs noted that publishers may offer content outside of the App Store app but the same, or better, offer must also be available within the App Store application.
In other news, the app subscription model brought no news of iOS 4.3. The upcoming firmware update was rumored to be released alongside App Store subscriptions.