Apple Explores App Store Discount Packages to Boost Developer Subscriptions

Apple has launched a pilot of a new App Store feature called “contingent pricing” to attract customers with discounted subscriptions based on their existing purchases. The model allows developers to offer discounts to customers who already have subscriptions to other services, whether it’s their own apps or those of participating partners. The feature is currently being tested with a select group of participants before being made available to more developers in the coming months.

According to a post on the Apple Developer website, contingent pricing for subscriptions on the App Store “helps you attract and retain subscribers” by offering discounted subscription prices to active subscribers of a different subscription. This can apply to subscriptions from one developer or two different developers. These bundled discounts will be prominently displayed to customers on the App Store and in off-platform marketing channels.

The new feature is being introduced amid ongoing scrutiny of Apple’s App Store practices and its handling of in-app purchases, particularly in light of the company’s legal battle with Fortnite developer Epic Games. Although Apple recently asked the Supreme Court to reverse a ruling requiring it to allow developers to support outside payment systems and circumvent its 30 percent transaction fee, it is still seeking ways to improve its relationship with developers. Apple plans to provide more information on the new program next month.

Correction, December 17, 2023, 3:30PM ET: This story originally stated that contingent pricing allowed developers to offer cheaper plans than competitors. It actually only works between participating parties. We apologize for the error.