Apple Officially Green Lights App Store Subscriptions

Following the recent release of News Corp.'s "The Daily" app, Apple today made official a new subscription service available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store. This includes magazines, newspapers, video, music, and more. Apple says subscriptions will be sold using the same App Store billing system already in place, providing a seamless transition to a new way of doing business.

"Our philosophy is simple — when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. "All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers."

Before today's announcement, there was some unrest among European newspapers that Apple wouldn't allow existing print subscribers to use a publisher's app free of charge, since it sidesteps Apple's ability to collect a share of the revenue. But the way Steve Jobs describes it, that shouldn't be an issue.

On the user side, customers will have the option of choosing the length of their subscription, and they will be automatically charged based on their choice.