We’re all accustomed to paying a simple, one-time fee for our iOS apps. But developers are increasingly turning to subscriptions. In fact, there were billions paid in app subscription fees in the past year.
Apple reported today that revenue from subscriptions is up 95 percent over last year.
There are now over 28,000 iOS applications that offer subscriptions. This includes productivity suites like Microsoft Office 365, streaming services like Netflix, dating apps like Tinder, and cloud-storage services like Dropbox.
Why developers like App Store subscription fees
It’s not surprising that so many companies have gone this route. Subscriptions bring a steady stream of revenue.
Also, Apple takes a smaller percentage of App Store subscription fees than it does one-time payments. The iPhone maker gets 20 percent of subscriptions, as opposed to 30 percent of the other type.
And subscribers get…
Users of the software benefit because their fees go to further improvements. The app has to stay compelling enough to get subscribers to keep paying every month. If the company lets their product languish, users take their money elsewhere.
And subscription fees also pay for maintenance. Just last year, the release of iOS 11 marked the end of 32-bit applications. A great many older apps that had been paid for with one-time fees disappeared because the developer would have received no compensation for upgrading them to 64-bit. Naturally, that didn’t happen with subscription software.
It seems plenty of developers and consumers are satisfied with the arrangement: as of June 2018, developers have earned over $100 billion from the App Store from subscription fees, according to Apple.