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Apple tests a way for app developers to bundle subscription discounts

Apple tests a way for app developers to bundle subscription discounts


The “contingent pricing” pilot lets App Store developers incentivize customers who have multiple active subscriptions.

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A picture of the App Store logo with larger, red versions of the App Store “A” surrounding it on a black background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple announced a pilot program called “contingent pricing for subscriptions” on Friday that will let App Store developers offer discounts for customers with multiple subscriptions. Developers will be able to base this on subscriptions “from one developer or two different developers” as long as both subscriptions remain active, opening up the possibility of partnerships between different companies.

According to 9to5Mac, the discounts can be used in App Store advertising and marketing outside of it, in addition to within the app itself.

Pete Hare, an Apple engineering manager, said in a LinkedIn post that the company will “handle all the eligibility checks and commerce work” and that customers can download and subscribe to apps being promoted “in one step directly from email links or the App Store.” It could be a while before the benefits of the program are visible out in the wild, as Apple says it is bringing developers on board over the “coming months.”

In the EU, where Apple will soon allow third-party app stores, simply having a store won’t be enough — Apple will have to make it attractive for developers and customers, too. That means helping developers make the most money they can for their efforts and giving them more ways to draw customers is part of that.

Correction December 17th, 2023, 2:21PM ET: The original version of this article stated the pilot allows developers to compete on subscription pricing. In fact, the program only lets developers offer customers discounts on active subscriptions when both developers enable the offer. We regret the error.