New app store subscription model for content
Apple has officially unveiled a new subscription model in its app store for publishers of digital content.
The platform, which was previewed at the recent launch of Rupert Murdoch's iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, uses Apple's familiar 70-30 revenue sharing arrangement.
The idea is to make subscribing to content-based apps as simple as paying for music or films.
With a few clicks, users can subscribe to popular titles and read them on their iPhones or iPads. Subscriptions can then be managed, edited and discontinued on their personal account page.
"Our philosophy is simple – when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 per cent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 per cent and Apple earns nothing," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement.
"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."
While it will cost them 30 per cent of their revenue, a simple, universal payment platform like the App Store could be hugely valuable for content publishers.
Old media titles that have moved online have had no problem attracting readers to their quality, original content, but getting them to pay to access it has been much more of a challenge.
If readers can subscribe with a couple of clicks in a familiar environment like the App Store, the publishing industry might just achieve the necessary mindset shift.
Apple has already proved the concept by transforming music downloads from illegal file-sharing to a multi-million dollar business. It remains to be seen if the same applies to online content.