Apple Highlights Benefits of App Subscriptions With New Developer-Focused Video

Apple this afternoon shared a new "Insights" video on its developer site that is designed to highlight the benefits of using App Store subscriptions as a payment method for apps.

The video focuses on the developers behind Elevate, Dropbox, Calm, and Bumble and how these apps "create great customer experiences by continuing to provide value throughout the subscription lifecycle."

"The value for a user is that you're not just buying this one thing at this one point in time, you're actually buying something that's evolving," said Elevate developer Jesse Germinario.

"If you're a subscription business, your incentives are actually perfectly aligned with your customers, because they need to continue to get value out of the product in order to keep subscribing, which means that you have to continue making the app better," said Calm developer Tyler Sheaffer.

Apple's efforts to push developers to embrace subscriptions were first highlighted last month when Business Insider shared details on a secret meeting held in April 2017.

At the meeting, Apple hosted more than 30 software developers and encouraged them to adopt subscription payment models.

Apple told developers that the app model is changing, with paid apps representing just 15 percent of total app sales, a number that is declining. Successful apps, Apple said, need to focus on subscriptions and regular engagement from users rather than one time sales.

Apple's video on app subscriptions can be watched on the company's developer website.



Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
13 months ago
They're forgetting to mention that most users hate subscriptions and would rather pay only once for apps.

The only time I feel like a subscription is appropriate is when the app is basically a service; for example RadarScope; you're paying for the data on their servers and that's great.

But apps that don't depend on a service really should be a one time purchase, with occasional paid upgrades. Pixelmator is a good example of that.
Rating: 24 Votes
Avatar
13 months ago
If we continue down this path we will eventually be paying a subscription for a calculator app.

There are apps for which subscriptions make sense (non-ad-supported content delivery like Netflix, non-ad-supported continual services like server hosting, and otherwise unaffordable software like Maya), and there are those that do not (pretty much everything else).

Make a good app, charge a fair one time price. Make updated versions, let people pay to upgrade as they see fit. They don’t pay, they’re stuck with what they got—fair. This ending up with nothing once you stop paying no matter how long you’ve been paying is ridiculous. If people want to remain on older software on older devices indefinitely, that should be up to them. And this starting out with incomplete apps, and getting people to pay you while you slowly build it out is ridiculous. And this forcing data from my device to go a thousand miles away to your server then back to my other device sitting 2 feet away instead of just letting it sync (possibly selectively) over my WiFi just so that you can charge a subscription (and who knows, data mine)—ridiculous.

I don't mind paying for a subscription for an app that I like, and one that is kept updated and has good customer service.

Developers need to eat and pay bills just like the rest of us.

Many of the people on this forum need to stop their complaining and take a long cool drink of cold reality, instead of the entitlement latte.


There are two opposite extremes of this spectrum. One is entitlement, as you say. The other is unnecessary subscription models. Reason lies somewhere in between.
Rating: 13 Votes
Avatar
13 months ago
I don't mind paying for a subscription for an app that I like, and one that is kept updated and has good customer service.

Developers need to eat and pay bills just like the rest of us.

Many of the people on this forum need to stop their complaining and take a long cool drink of cold reality, instead of the entitlement latte.
Rating: 12 Votes
Avatar
13 months ago

I don't mind paying for a subscription for an app that I like, and one that is kept updated and has good customer service.

Developers need to eat and pay bills just like the rest of us.

Many of the people on this forum need to stop their complaining and take a long cool drink of cold reality, instead of the entitlement latte.


Agree, if the App is free or nominally priced. But, when you have paid $15+ for an App that promised full access to features & "suddenly" the developer decides to charge all users a subscription, a complaint is just.
Rating: 8 Votes
Avatar
13 months ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2018/09/10/apple-app-subscriptions-developer-video/')



Apple this afternoon shared a new "Insights" video ('https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/insights/112/') on its developer site that is designed to highlight the benefits of using App Store subscriptions as a payment method for apps.

The video focuses on the developers behind Elevate, Dropbox, Calm, and Bumble and how these apps "create great customer experiences by continuing to provide value throughout the subscription lifecycle."

"The value for a user is that you're not just buying this one thing at this one point in time, you're actually buying something that's evolving," said Elevate developer Jesse Germinario.

"If you're a subscription business, your incentives are actually perfectly aligned with your customers, because they need to continue to get value out of the product in order to keep subscribing, which means that you have to continue making the app better," said Calm developer Tyler Sheaffer.

Apple's efforts to push developers to embrace subscriptions were first highlighted last month when Business Insider ('https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-secret-meeting-developers-new-york-subscriptions-app-store-2018-7') shared details on a secret meeting held in April 2017.

At the meeting, Apple hosted more than 30 software developers and encouraged them to adopt subscription payment models.

Apple told developers that the app model is changing, with paid apps representing just 15 percent of total app sales, a number that is declining. Successful apps, Apple said, need to focus on subscriptions and regular engagement from users rather than one time sales.

Apple's video on app subscriptions can be watched on the company's developer website ('https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/insights/112/').

Article Link: Apple Highlights Benefits of App Subscriptions With New Developer-Focused Video ('https://www.macrumors.com/2018/09/10/apple-app-subscriptions-developer-video/')


Ugh, I loathe subscriptions. The only apps that require subscriptions that actually make sense are those that provide a real service - like iCloud or Dropbox or online backup companies. I would much rather pay once for an app, even if it's a higher initial cost, than get stuck paying a monthly or yearly fee - and if I do paying the app becomes useless.

Also not mentioned in this "insights" video is how subscriptions also actively benefit Apple, as they take either 30% or 15% (after the first year).

I hate how so many companies are moving to subscriptions, Apple shouldn't be helping this cause.
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
13 months ago
Apple's blatant push to dig more money out of its customers. Not a single user wants a subscription. I can see it being useful for extremely expensive Mac software (Adobe stuff) but for iOS toys? Pfft.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
13 months ago

Apple's blatant push to dig more money out of its customers. Not a single user wants a subscription. I can see it being useful for extremely expensive Mac software (Adobe stuff) but for iOS toys? Pfft.


I agree that Apple is greedy.... but to say that all iOS apps are just toy stuff is just nonsense. If one thinks like you they feel that none of the apps are worth paying for and that is simply not true. Individuals and sometimes even teams of people put a lot of time and effort to create and maintain these apps. But you should speak for yourself when you say not a single user.. I don't mind paying when the application is worth it. If it not I simply won't renew it and will find something that gets the job done. Believe it or not some of us actually do some quality work on these iOS toys!
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
13 months ago
If you read app comments and reviews, it becomes clear the majority of users have no idea, and do not care, how developers make money. They grow up in a world of "free offers" and do not make the mental connection that it's necessary to pay for an app you use if you want the app to survive. And they jump ship at the slightest provocation.
However... committing to a monthly subscription for something utilitarian, in a world where most apps are single-purchase... That's a difficult hurdle to overcome in the consumer's mind. If you are delivering new content monthly, like new workouts in a workout app, or you have robust cloud sync, then that makes more sense, but Apple would be better off educating the consumers on the need to pay for services, than to educate the developers.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
13 months ago

Agree, if the App is free or nominally priced. But, when you have paid $15+ for an App that promised full access to features & "suddenly" the developer decides to charge all users a subscription, a complaint is just.

If a Developer changes the terms of use without warning and raises the price or starts a subscription, and your data is held hostage (using the term loosely) I can understand people not being happy and questioning their continued use of said product. From what I have seen on the forum, the majority of regular posters want apps for free until they are dead and buried. Said members don't go to work every day for free. And yet, they expect the developer to work for free and update the app(s) and provide good customer service. The latter mindset I do not agree with.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
13 months ago

Make a good app, charge a fair one time price. Make updated versions, let people pay to upgrade as they see fit. They don’t pay, they’re stuck with what they got—fair.


That doesn't work either - just watch these forums when any app receives a paid upgrade. "I only paid to upgrade 2 years ago, and now I have to pay again? DISGUSTING GREEDY DEVELOPERS".

App development is not a once off process. It's an ongoing process. For every app you use, teams of developers and working around the clock, constantly. It isn't possible to release software that requires no ongoing work. New devices need to be supported, new OS' need to be supported, vulnerabilities need to be patched, bugs need to be fixed, and apps need to constantly be polished and improved due to fierce competition. With a subscription model, you're paying for a service (software development), not a product. I don't pay my local cafe once for infinite coffee. I don't pay my mechanic once for infinite maintenance. I don't pay my builder once for infinite houses. So don't expect to pay once for infinite use of software.
Rating: 3 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]