It was about as surprising as most of the announcements this week at Mobile World Congress, but Apple has finally announced that it will be offering a subscription service to the rest of the app store following its first foray with The Daily.
At the launch of The Daily, Apple’s VP of Internet services, Eddy Cue told us the company would be making an announcement "shortly" about rolling out the subscription service to all publishers of content-based apps – and today we got it. The system is pretty straight forward and will follow the same billing system already in use to purchase apps and buy in-App content. Publishers will set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly) and with one-click, customers pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged accordingly.
Customers can manage their subscriptions from their account page, including canceling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all the payments, and as a result keeps the same 30 percent share that it does today for other In-App purchases. Steve Jobs, who has been out of action since taking a leave of absence last month, was quoted in the press release talking about how the revenue will be split: “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.”
However Apple aren;t going to let themselves be caught out with publishers offering cut-price subscriptions outside the app thereby cutting Apple out: "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,” Jobs added.