Apple’s New Subscription Rules Go Into Effect for Developers

Apple’s new subscription service rules have gone live, which means developers will receive more money if they are able to maintain long-term subscribers. In a microsite dedicated to the new rules, besides detailing the new rules, Apple offers some good advice for developers to enable the subscription service (via The Verge).

App Store

With an auto-renewable subscriptions app, developers can give user access to content or services from within their apps on an ongoing basis, and Apple says this is a good way to offer free trials to users. For example, when a user signs up for a subscription (as Apple did with its music streaming service), the subscription begins immediately but won’t be billed until the trial period is over. How long this trial period is depends on the developer, but one thing is certain: a one-month subscription cannot offer a free trial longer than one month.

As mentioned in the June announcement, Apple will reduce its cut to half after a year. So far, Apple’s cut has been 30%, with the developer getting 70%. Now, this changes to 15% if the subscriber accumulates a year of paid service (the developer getting 85%).

The catch is, if the user cancels the subscription after a year and a half and then resubscribes, Apple’s cut will return to 30% for the next 12 months for that specific user.

Also, app makers cannot offer a three-month subscription at a (let’s say) $2.99 introductory price and then raise the price to $3.99, because it would raise the price for all users at $2.99, regardless of how long they have been billed at this price.
You can read all the details of the new subscription rules by visiting Apple’s dedicated microsite.