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Apple encourages developers to adopt subscription fee structure in new video

Apple on Monday continued to push app makers toward in-app subscriptions by sharing a new "Developer Insights" video on its developer portal espousing the benefits of reoccurring payments.

App In-App Free Trial



In the roughly three and a half minute video, developers from popular apps Dropbox, Bumble, Elevate and Calm discuss how subscriptions have helped them "create great customer experiences." This includes predicting their app's revenue, tips for encouraging subscriptions, and how they are encouraged to improve the app.

"The value for the user is that you're not just buying one thing at one time," says Elevate's Director of Growth Jesse Germinario. "You're actually buying something that is evolving, something that is growing."

Apple has increasingly encouraged developers to embrace in-app subscriptions rather than offer a one-time initial payment, traditionally the preferred payment method since the App Store launched in 2008.

The company has gone so far as to hold secret meetings with some developers. During one such gathering last year, Apple warned developers that the App Store pricing model was changing, with one-time payments making up less of the market as subscription apps take over.

Recurring payments makes it easier to acquire customers with a free trial, and gives developers incentive to continuously update the app with fresh content and improved experiences. Importantly, subscriptions present constant revenue for developers, who often have to maintain servers and other backend processes to keep their wares running smoothly.

While some turn their nose up to subscription policies, recurring payments is clearly working for a large number of developers.

When the App Store originally launched, many apps were priced at $4.99 or $9.99 as developers tested the waters to see what customers were willing to pay. Over time, that price dropped and now consumers are most content to buy apps priced at $.99 or $1.99.

Head over to Apple's developer portal to watch the video for yourself.