April 19, 2024
Apple experiments to let developers offer discount bundles on subscriptions

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Apple has started experimenting a feature on the App Store that allows developers to offer “contingent pricing” for subscriptions. That means developers can club subscriptions for two apps at a discounted price.

In an update on the developer blog, the company said the update lets developers charge a discounted price even if the app’s subscription goes up as long as consumers have subscribed to the other app in the bundle.

“It can be used for subscriptions from one developer or two different developers. We’re currently piloting this feature and will be onboarding more developers in the coming months. If you’re interested in implementing contingent pricing in your app, you can start planning today and sign up to get notified when more details are available in January,” the company said.

This is a useful feature for indie developers, as it allows them to promote their work by offering discounts on subscriptions on bundles of their apps.

Pete Hare, a senior engineering manager at Apple, said on LinkedIn the company handles all complexity including eligibility checks and payments of the process.

“We handle all the eligibility checks and commerce work to allow for seamless in-app purchases in your own apps, and also Apple-provided flows to subscribe and download in one step directly from email links or the App Store – to allow you to discount your services based on other apps in the App Store,” Hare said.

While the feature is in the test phase, Apple said developers can promote this discount on off-platform marketing channels, according to 9to5Mac.

This looks like Apple’s move to make the App Store and its offering more attractive to developers before the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) comes into effect next year. DMA asks app distribution platforms such as Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store to allow users to install apps through alternative ways.

Apple’s marketing language on this feature indicates that the App Store can handle complex processing of payments and subscriptions even when multiple apps and developers are involved. This kind of building could be cumbersome and difficult to execute for upcoming alternative app stores.

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