Apple has amended its policy on in-app subscriptions on iOS applications following protests from publications that refused to conform to a rule on revenue sharing.
Those watchful types at Macrumors have discovered a surprise change in a rule that required developers to hand over nearly third of all revenue generated from in-app purchases, including subscription-based content – even if they were provided from outside the app.
Earlier this week, the Financial Times became the first publication to launch a web-based edition of its app to sidestep the policy.
According to Macrumors, Cupertino has now removed the "requirement that external subscriptions must be also offered as an in-app purchase".
The updated rule states: “Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app.”
The changes will reportedly take effect on June 30th and should give content producers a bit more leeway over the revenue they can make.
Gordon Crovitz, co-founder of Journalism Online, said: “The big move today is that Apple has made clear that pricing is up to publishers”, adding that “on the surface it looks good.”
However, the changes aren’t expected to win over all parties right away, as Apple will continue to take a cut as long as developers provide the means to make a purchase or subscription within their apps.
James McQuivey, analyst at research firm Forrester: “We’re not done yet. Apple has not satisfied the concerns.”
Negotiations will continue between publishers and Apple over the potential avenue for a curtailed fee for in-app subscriptions.