As expected, Apple Inc. released details of its long-awaited newspaper and magazine subscription service, offering a plan that allows publishers to keep 100 percent of the sale when bringing a new or existing subscriber to apps sold in Apple's App Store. If a subscriber buys an app from Apple directly, the vendor said it would keep 30 percent of the proceeds.
The subscription model is the same one that Apple outlined with the launch of The Daily.
"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, 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. 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."
Apple said publishers who use its subscription service in their app can also use other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. For example, publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their websites, or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers. Since Apple is not involved in these transactions, there is no revenue sharing or exchange of customer information with Apple, the company said.
Publishers must provide their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers who have signed up outside of the app. However, Apple said it will require publishers to offer the same digital subscription rate to users whether or not they buy it from within or outside of the app.
Additionally, Apple said publishers may no longer provide links in their apps (to a website, for example) that allow the customer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app.