Just days after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced Newsstand as a part of iOS 5, the company is now pulling the plug on parts of their old subscription rules after complaints from publishers. Apple’s controversial in app subscription policy forced publishers to provide better deals or in-app services at the “same price or less than it is offered outside the app,” while giving a 30 percent cut to AAPL.
Now, the company has quietly changed the rules today, allowing publishers to offer deals outside of of the app. Publishers can price these in-app subscriptions however they choose, or can completely ditch Apple’s policy, by selling them solely outside of their apps. Apple will still receive 30 percent of the revenue generated from in-app subscriptions, but won’t get any money from purchases made outside of its ecosystem. The new rules for the content subscriptions are as follows:
11.13 Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a “buy” button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected
11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app.
The Cupertino based company has been having issues with publishers since the introduction of the iPad and still continues to hash out deals and negotiate new ones with many publications. This change to the content subscriptions will allow users to branch out from Apple’s domain and find new content elsewhere, all while Apple takes a 30% cut. It makes sense all around, Apple wouldn’t change rules that would affect their revenue so it seems that everyone wins, users, publishers, and Apple alike.