Apple Sets Deadline for In-App Subscriptions – End Of Kindle, Hulu, Netflix on iOS?

Posted by at 12:52 pm on February 15, 2011

The deadline for apps to implement equal in-app subscription options has been set by Apple to be June 30th, a memo reveals. Sent to publishers earlier this year, the note mentions that apps must soon incorporate a new In App Purchase API. The June 30th deadline is in fact said to be a “grace period” for existing apps. This mean new aps like the Sony Reader, which was rejected by Apple for not supporting the In App Purchase API, must already have in-app subscriptions running.

While Apple is now allowing apps to offer content on a subscription basis instead of charging per download, it is also demanding any outside payment options be matched by in-app options. The policy applies not just to newspapers and magazines, but any other content offered via subscription. Many companies will therefore have to upgrade apps and change business models in the next few months, including Skype, Amazon, Netflix and Hulu.

A major concern for the industry will likely be the fact that Apple is claiming 30 percent of the revenue for any in-app payments. Using a web portal to sell subscriptions lets a publisher keep all of the money, while less convenient, keeps the firms in the black that don’t have the margin to give Apple a 30% cut.

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