On Tuesday, Apple officially took the wraps off a new digital subscription service aimed at newspapers, magazines, video and music services that offer pay-to-play content through apps available on its popular App Store.
[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]Apps that use external content such as newspaper and magazine apps will now need to offer users the ability to buy subscriptions in the application, instead of relying solely on external Web sites. Apple keeps a 30 percent cut of that transaction, the same split it uses for app sales.
“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,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Content providers can continue to sell subscriptions on their Web sites – and keep all the profits – but Apple says the apps can no longer link to those sites to help facilitate those transactions.
Apple says that customers will be able to keep track of subscriptions on their own personal account page. What’s more, customers will have the option of deciding whether to share name, e-mail and zip code information with the content provider.
“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,” said Jobs.
The first example of the new subscription model system was unveiled earlier in February when News Corp. launched “The Daily,” a daily electronic newspaper that has debuted on and is so far exclusive to the iPad.