Posted in Concepts, Marketing
16/02 2011

How to get around Apple’s new in app charging requirement


Apple has caused a lot of dissent in the content world by promising to apply rules requiring an in-app purchasing option for content also sold outside an app after 30th June.

In this fashion, Apple will take a 30% cut of the publisher’s revenue to pay for customer acquisition costs. Whether this is fair or not is another debate.

How can publishers get around this? Offer incentives to customers who purchase through their own site. This can be in the form of an enhanced purchasing experience, for example, showingcomments on the web and not in iOS; or they could offer points such as air miles for purchases through the web and jack up their prices by 10% to cover the cost of iOS purchasing. After four ebook purchases, your would be eligible for a free one. Hey, that even engenders loyalty. Thanks Apple!

How about variable pricing for consumers? If you regularly purchase through iOS you pay 30% more than a user who regularly pays through the web, whether your buying through iOS or not.

Time to get creative people!

  • heri

    would be interesting if all media companies rallied together and all decide to boycottt Apple. also, what I am more interested in is if all those creative hacks would work against Apple. If there is no challenger, that means the technology industry would forever go into the distribution platform model

  • Richard Beck

    Heri, a boycott may work, but my guess is that media is too fragmented for it to happen. I also wonder, at the end of the day, if they work out their costs of not using Apple, it may turn out to be more…Certainly though, the lack of competition within the iOS environment is worrying. If Amazon were to remove the Kindle, I’d be screwed as I have quite a few books on there now.

  • bulzak

    Does the 30% rule apply only to ‘media’, or does it apply to physical or virtual goods as well(i.e. coupons or hardware bought via mobile app)?

  • Richard Beck

    That’s a totally good question. I would think you have to extend Apple’s logic that they are bringing the customer and therefore they should take the retail margin on anything sold through an application. I don’t know if they limit their stake just items that are consumed actually on the iPhone.