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Apple plans to let developers offer discounts on in-app subscriptions

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So long as users sign up with auto-pay enabled

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Apple plans to give developers more freedom over the introductory pricing levels of in-app subscriptions. As referenced in the iOS 11.2 beta release notes, noted by 9to5Mac, Apple plans to expand pricing options from full price and free to include a new, discounted option to entice new subscribers to sign up for a subscription with auto-pay enabled. Prior to today, developers were only allowed to use single-use free trials as an incentivize to get users to enroll in auto-pay. It’s unclear exactly when iOS 11.2 will arrive, but it should be some time in the very near future.

The change won’t be felt too drastically by users, but it should be a win for developers if they’re able to find a more comfortable middle ground between a free trial and a full-price subscription. Apple has already sweetened the deal for app makers selling subscriptions with a change in App Store policy, instituted last year, that cut subscription revenue from 30 percent down to 15 percent, so long as a user has paid for the subscription for more than 12 months.

Now, with more pricing freedom, Apple is encouraging even more developers to sell software subscriptions through the App Store. Considering revenue from Apple’s services division, which includes the App Store, is now larger per quarter than the iPad, Apple Watch, and headphones divisions combined, it’s easy to see why the iPhone maker wants to invest in more long-term and fixed money-making ventures.