The App Store goes all in on subscriptions with new changes

Apple has announced it is now making the subscription model of payment available to all categories of apps, including games. Previous to this change, only audio and video streaming, cloud services, news publications and dating services could use this model.

What’s more, once developers have retained subscription customers for over a year, they will receive 85 percent of the revenue rather than the usual 70 percent offered by Apple. The changes are effective immediately, and also apply to existing subscriptions, meaning any developers that currently have subscribers of over a year will take in 85 percent revenue from those customers immediately.

These changes create an incentive for developers to sell their apps at a recurring, rather than a one-time fee, which is likely to lead to consumers seeing a lot more subscription-based apps and games on the App Store in the near future.

Additionally, developers will purportedly be able to choose from over 200 “subscription price points” which can be set independently for different areas and types of subscribers. They’ll also be able to bundle multiple apps together to offer under one subscription price.

Along with the subscription changes, Apple announced that search ads are coming soon to the App Store in the U.S., showing promoted content in amongst searches, differentiated by an ad icon. Those ads will not be shown to users 13 or under, however. There is no information yet on when Apple will push search ads to other markets including Canada.

Some smaller changes to the App Store are also planned for the fall, including filtering out apps already installed by the user from the “Featured” tab. The “Categories” tab will also make a comeback and Apple is planning on deploying a 3D touch feature that lets users recommend apps to friends by pressing an icon in the store.

These changes come six months after Apple senior vice president of world marketing Phil Schiller was put in charge of the App Store, highlighting the importance Apple is now placing on its app marketplace.

Related reading: Apple App Store approval time decreases drastically to two days