Apple’s contingent pricing for subscriptions: Bundled subscription discounts in focus

Apple is testing a new feature called “contingent pricing for subscriptions” that allows app developers to offer bundled subscription discounts. With this feature, developers can entice customers with cheaper subscriptions if they already have other active subscriptions.


Apple’s new contingent pricing for subscriptions: Bundle those subscriptions and watch the savings roll in

This pilot program empowers developers to offer discounted subscriptions to users who already have other active subscriptions, either from the same developer or even their competitors. Imagine, your Apple Music subscription unlocking special deals on a fitness app or your news subscription lowering the price of a language learning tool.

Contingent pricing for subscriptions on the App Store — a new feature that helps you attract and retain subscribers — lets you give customers a discounted subscription price as long as they’re actively subscribed to a different subscription. It can be used for subscriptions from one developer or two different developers.

App Store

For developers, it’s a goldmine:

  • Attract new users: Are those hesitant about committing to your app alone? A bundled discount with their favorite fitness tracker might just do the trick.
  • Keep them coming back: Spoil your existing subscribers with sweet deals on other apps, boosting retention and loyalty (and, of course, recurring revenue!).
  • Team up and win: Partner with other developers for strategic synergies. Think music streaming + fitness apps, news subscriptions + language learning tools – the possibilities are endless!

Current limitations and considerations

Pilot Program:

  • This is currently a test, not a fully open feature. Only a chosen few developers get to use it, limiting its accessibility and hindering a thorough evaluation of its impact on the wider App Store ecosystem.

Apple’s gatekeeping:

  • Apple holds the keys to who can participate in the program. This raises concerns about fairness and competition. Small developers and new entrants might struggle to gain access and compete alongside established players with stronger bargaining power.

Transparency tangles:

  • Bundled subscription offers can also lead to complex pricing models. If not communicated clearly, this could create confusion for users and potentially hide unexpected costs. Transparency should be a priority to avoid frustrating users and maintaining trust.

Big bucks advantage:

  • Larger developers with existing user bases and brand recognition are likely to benefit more from this program. They can leverage their existing audience to attract new users to bundled deals, while smaller competitors might struggle to compete. This could potentially exacerbate the already existing power imbalance in the App Store.

Overall, contingent pricing has the potential to significantly impact the app subscription landscape. Whether it benefits all stakeholders equally and fosters a healthy competitive environment remains to be seen. As the program progresses, it will be interesting to observe its evolution and assess its long-term implications for both developers and users.

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