Subscribing for access to apps, rather than buying perpetual licenses is increasingly becoming the normal way of accessing software. While that makes sense with cloud-based applications, it’s also taking hold in traditional productivity applications such as Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite. And now Apple is getting in on the act, having held a secret meeting with developers.
A report by Business Insider says Apple held a secret meeting with about 30 developers to push the benefits of subscriptions. At the moment, subscriptions are only a small part of Apple’s revenue but the company clearly sees recurring revenue as a good thing, rather than one-off purchases.
I’ve already noted the creeping cost of subscription software. And clearly Apple’s model, which involves a 30% of whatever developers are paid through their App Store, would benefit by increasing this revenue stream.
It’s also good for developers as it encourages retention.
The bad news for us is that this could signal the end of the cheap app. I’m all for subscribing to a service like Netflix or Spotify that provides access to a library of ever-changing content. But it makes less sense for a small game or application.
Apple recently killed off their affiliate program, that shared revenues with websites that directed people to the App Store but that’s not stopping the trillion dollar company from looking for new ways to squeeze more from their App Stores.