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Major Changes Coming to Apple App Store

05/07/2016

Following a recent announcement by Apple, the Apple App Store will soon begin to allow developers to offer paid subscriptions for apps. Until now, developers have only been able to charge a one-off download fee, or in-app fees to unlock specific features (e.g. the removal of ads).

The change will help app publishers to finance the continual development of their apps by providing a more reliable and consistent revenue stream. It follows the trend being set by many of the major software companies like Microsoft and Adobe, who have already transitioned most of their key products to a subscription model.

Not all apps are appropriate for a subscription model; generally, subscription works best when an app provides consistent high value for a user. Occasional-use utility apps would probably lose customers if they were to adopt this pricing mechanism, but apps that provide continual content development and on-demand services are likely to benefit from the change.

The App Store has been witnessing a downward trend when it comes to new app downloads – something the wider industry has termed 'app fatigue'. Will the availability of a subscription model help to reverse this trend or fuel into further decline? Only time will tell.

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