Apple Changes In App Subscription Requirements
Apple has apparently changed a ruled that prevented publishers from charging more for content via the iTunes store than they do outside of Apple's i-ecosystem.
The rule before the change , which was apparently accepted by a number of publishers, stated that all in-app subscriptions, and purchases could only be available for purchase outside of the iTunes store and outside of iOS applications for the same price inside the store. This was an apparent attempt by Apple to assure that they would receive their 30% cut all publishers agree to when selling content through Apple.
The change to the rule allows publishers and content providers to market and sell their products outside of the App Store for any price they see fit, and not have to throw Apple 30% of the revenue for those purchases made outside the App Store. Obviously this wont cause publishers and others to stop offering subscriptions and content for purchase through iTunes, the exposure iTunes provides is too great, but it does offer them the freedom they're used to when marketing and selling.
However, one stipulation remains. Publishers and content providers may not put links in their applications that direct users of the application to sales outside of the iTunes ecosystem. Still, this bodes well for publishers looking to maximize their earnings potential.
The quick turnaround on Apple's part seems to be partially in response to Google's "One Pass" proposal which let publishers set up their subscription pay wall, while Google would take a much smaller percentage than Apple off the top, rumored to be around 10%. Also, as the decision could be a response to the possibility of HTML 5 web apps taking the place of dedicated iOS apps for companies. This is what the Financial Times did earlier this week, allowing them to completely bypass Apple's 30% cut.
Giving the consumers more choices on where to get their content is never a bad thing. Still, it will be interesting to see if publishers are quick to take advantage of the change, or more importantly if they do decide to take advantage will consumers venture outside the convenience of iTunes to get a better deal?