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MacRumors
Jun 28, 2013, 04:41 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/28/os-x-mavericks-adds-auto-renew-subscriptions-for-mac-app-store/)


While iOS apps like Evernote (http://appshopper.com/productivity/evernote) and Instapaper (http://appshopper.com/news/instapaper-pro) are able to provide users with in-app auto-renewing monthly subscriptions for services, the same functionality is not available in the Mac App Store at the current time.

For example, Evernote (http://appshopper.com/mac/productivity/evernote) is able to offer a renewable monthly subscription to its premium service (http://evernote.com/premium/) via iOS, charging $5 per month. On the Mac App Store, however, Evernote cannot offer a subscription, instead requiring users to sign up each month or purchase a year of service in advance.

As 9to5Mac notes (http://9to5mac.com/2013/06/28/apple-adds-auto-renewable-subscriptions-for-mac-app-store-apps-in-os-x-mavericks/), that is set to change in OS X Mavericks, with the introduction of Auto-Renewable Subscriptions for Mac Apps.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/06/subscriptions-mavericks-osx-01-800x550.png
With the release of Mavericks, Mac developers will be able to provide services on an ongoing monthly basis with charges routed through the App Store's in-app purchase system.*As with the iOS App Store, developers will be able to offer both ongoing subscriptions and subscriptions that expire after a set time, automatically charging a user's iTunes account.

Mac App Store subscriptions in Mavericks will be managed in the Mac App Store's account information panel, which has been updated with a new subscription management setting.

OS X Mavericks was previewed (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/10/apple-announces-mac-os-x-mavericks/) at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. It is currently available (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/10/apple-gives-developers-access-to-os-x-mavericks/) for developers, and is expected to be released to the public in the fall.

Article Link: OS X Mavericks Adds Auto-Renew Subscriptions for Mac App Store (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/28/os-x-mavericks-adds-auto-renew-subscriptions-for-mac-app-store/)



monkeybagel
Jun 28, 2013, 04:52 PM
Hmmmm... All we need is another way for software companies to encourage subscriptions instead of perpetual licenses.

appleguy123
Jun 28, 2013, 05:03 PM
Good for companies, not so good for consumers.

Icaras
Jun 28, 2013, 05:22 PM
Good for companies, not so good for consumers.

Why? It would save me the trouble of remembering when to renew and to manually do it.

Good addition IMO.

macs4nw
Jun 28, 2013, 05:24 PM
Hmmmm... All we need is another way for software companies to encourage subscriptions instead of perpetual licenses.

Hey, why not get on the cash-cow bandwagon, right? :mad: Let's not give them any ideas.
Unfortunately, too late now. That train has left the station.....

ArtOfWarfare
Jun 28, 2013, 05:30 PM
How about supporting paid updates? I know some developers like Microsoft and Adobe aren't so fond of those, since they require adding useful, pay worthy features to existing apps, thus why they're moving to subscription models, but they're relatively popular with consumers, I think.

IE, if I want to majorly improve an app right now, my options for funding that are:

#1 - Don't. Everyone gets a free update and I go broke.
#2 - Sell it as an entirely seperate app. Many consumers won't discover it ever.
#3 - Charge subscription fees. Annoying to users who feel they're paying repeatedly for something I did once.

nutmac
Jun 28, 2013, 05:43 PM
It's just a matter of time before Apple starts subscription-based plans itself. As a user of many Apple software, I personally would welcome the move. But those using just a few would probably hate it.

SJism23
Jun 28, 2013, 06:09 PM
How about supporting paid updates? I know some developers like Microsoft and Adobe aren't so fond of those, since they require adding useful, pay worthy features to existing apps, thus why they're moving to subscription models, but they're relatively popular with consumers, I think.

IE, if I want to majorly improve an app right now, my options for funding that are:

#1 - Don't. Everyone gets a free update and I go broke.
#2 - Sell it as an entirely seperate app. Many consumers won't discover it ever.
#3 - Charge subscription fees. Annoying to users who feel they're paying repeatedly for something I did once.

I agree completely. There also needs to be a way to sell educational discounts on an individual basis.

RaggieSoft
Jun 28, 2013, 06:53 PM
I agree completely. There also needs to be a way to sell educational discounts on an individual basis.

As a College Student, I would gladly submit documentation (for example, my student email address) to be tied to my Apple ID. With my DreamSpark account, I have to renew yearly to prove that I'm still a student.

For developers who chose to offer Educational Discounts, the price could be automatically shown since Apple would recognize that my Apple ID is a registered student.

Thoughts?

maxosx
Jun 28, 2013, 06:56 PM
It's just a matter of time before Apple starts subscription-based plans itself. As a user of many Apple software, I personally would welcome the move. But those using just a few would probably hate it.

Either you work for Apple, or simply love giving them more and more of your money. :D

scottsjack
Jun 28, 2013, 07:23 PM
It's just a matter of time before Apple starts subscription-based plans itself. As a user of many Apple software, I personally would welcome the move. But those using just a few would probably hate it.

I think you have a point there. The more stuff people buy from Apple the more Apple is encouraged to sell. At this point I think the content is more important to Apple than their hardware.

I try to buy software, music and movies from other sources so as not to encourage the walled garden effect.

bedifferent
Jun 28, 2013, 07:54 PM
I'm still in disbelief with Adobe's move to subscription based app's. Not so much for monetary reasons, but the concept of "renting" applications doesn't sit well. I thought it may be to deter pirating, but I've already seen some download the app's and use the well known hosts modifications.

The App Store needs to support upgrade pricing. A lot of companies and developers offer discounted pricing for major updates, which the Mac App Store doesn't support.

springsup
Jun 28, 2013, 08:18 PM
The subscription model is a curse. Too many good companies' products get aped because the finance guys running them can't withstand the allure of recurring monthly revenue.

I've worked at plenty of companies that (still) do this.

EDIT: Should clarify, that doesn't include us! Sterling doesn't have subscriptions :P

theBB
Jun 28, 2013, 08:36 PM
How about supporting paid updates? I know some developers like Microsoft and Adobe aren't so fond of those, since they require adding useful, pay worthy features to existing apps, thus why they're moving to subscription models, but they're relatively popular with consumers, I think.

IE, if I want to majorly improve an app right now, my options for funding that are:

#1 - Don't. Everyone gets a free update and I go broke.
#2 - Sell it as an entirely seperate app. Many consumers won't discover it ever.
#3 - Charge subscription fees. Annoying to users who feel they're paying repeatedly for something I did once.
It should be relatively easy to tell them about your new app in your scenario #2 through a splash screen. If the message comes up once every three months or some other infrequent interval, it will not be all that annoying.

For a basic app #3 would be annoying, but if it is a more complicated app with frequent updates and improvements along with some customer support beyond self-help options, subscription pricing is not all that bad.

In any case, discounted upgrade pricing is the best option for at least some apps, so it would be nice if the app store supported that business model. It would give the customers the confidence that the little known developers will get paid extra only if they actually update their apps rather than at pre-set time intervals based on a vague promise of updates.

Pakaku
Jun 28, 2013, 08:38 PM
if I want to majorly improve an app right now, my options for funding that are:

#1 - Don't. Everyone gets a free update and I go broke.
#2 - Sell it as an entirely seperate app. Many consumers won't discover it ever.
#3 - Charge subscription fees. Annoying to users who feel they're paying repeatedly for something I did once.

Would #4 - an in-app purchase for a major new feature be a bad idea?

furi0usbee
Jun 28, 2013, 08:51 PM
I don't "rent" my software, so no harm no foul in my eyes.

WhackyNinja
Jun 28, 2013, 09:01 PM
Auto subscriptions? Yuck.

ValSalva
Jun 28, 2013, 10:34 PM
I'm still in disbelief with Adobe's move to subscription based app's. Not so much for monetary reasons, but the concept of "renting" applications doesn't sit well. I thought it may be to deter pirating, but I've already seen some download the app's and use the well known hosts modifications.

The App Store needs to support upgrade pricing. A lot of companies and developers offer discounted pricing for major updates, which the Mac App Store doesn't support.

Unfortunately Adobe is making a killing with CC. People aren't exactly voting with their wallets.

Dagless
Jun 29, 2013, 01:36 AM
Auto subscriptions? Yuck.

That's what I thought, Doctor.

ArtOfWarfare
Jun 29, 2013, 01:40 AM
Would #4 - an in-app purchase for a major new feature be a bad idea?

I feel like that potentially leads to spaghetti code, having to check that the feature has been paid for on a regular basis. It's easier to just make the assumption that if they're running the version of code you're writing, it means they paid for the features already. But maybe you're right and I should revisit IAP (when I last tried using it about 2 years ago I found it was a huge headache and most users didn't bite. Since then I've just avoided IAP like the plague...)

RaggieSoft
Jun 29, 2013, 01:53 AM
Throw my name in the hat for "I would support paid updates."

Hypothetical Example: 1.0 to 1.1 would be free, and it fixes bugs. Then, 2.0 comes out. Major new features. Yes, I'd pay. I also wold support an upgrade discount too :)

sexiewasd
Jun 29, 2013, 03:18 AM
It's nice to see more payment options, maybe Adobe will revisit the App Store with it's creative cloud apps. It would be fantastic to see those two models working together in harmony. I wonder if apple's 30% cut will keep them away, it's not like Adobe really needs the exposure.

For those who dislike the subscription model, yes generally the company will get more of your money, but it is really easy for a user to decide, ok they aren't updating this enough, or to think hey look that program xyz is doing something better, and the recurring payment makes it a really easy choice to switch. It won't take that long for the company to realize, oh 5#!+ we just lost half of our now much lower monthly profits! It works out to be better at keeping a developer interested in innovating than does a larger almost lump sum spike in sales after a yearly release because that recurring monthly -$50 is in front of the user every month. This is why adobe has a two year creative cloud contract. It's those minimum subscription contracts that you should boycott, that is what isn't ok, and will hurt innovation, and users.

GermanyChris
Jun 29, 2013, 04:34 AM
I'm still in disbelief with Adobe's move to subscription based app's. Not so much for monetary reasons, but the concept of "renting" applications doesn't sit well. I thought it may be to deter pirating, but I've already seen some download the app's and use the well known hosts modifications.

The App Store needs to support upgrade pricing. A lot of companies and developers offer discounted pricing for major updates, which the Mac App Store doesn't support.

On the windows side it was cracked and function 3 days after the announcement. They didn’t deter piracy thay pissed off customers.
==================================================

FWIW, if software requires a subscription I won’t buy it. I will also not recommend it my bosses when they ask. I’m just one guy and no one cares but at some point a line has to be drawn.

monkeybagel
Jun 29, 2013, 07:28 AM
On the windows side it was cracked and function 3 days after the announcement. They didnít deter piracy thay pissed off customers.
==================================================

FWIW, if software requires a subscription I wonít buy it. I will also not recommend it my bosses when they ask. Iím just one guy and no one cares but at some point a line has to be drawn.

Well said.

bedifferent
Jun 29, 2013, 07:31 AM
Unfortunately Adobe is making a killing with CC. People aren't exactly voting with their wallets.

Ugh :(

----------

On the windows side it was cracked and function 3 days after the announcement. They didn’t deter piracy thay pissed off customers.
==================================================

FWIW, if software requires a subscription I won’t buy it. I will also not recommend it my bosses when they ask. I’m just one guy and no one cares but at some point a line has to be drawn.

Agree. I wish there was the ability to have both, buy the suite or individual app's and/or use the subscription model. Forcing consumers into one model seems extreme.

PS I'm jealous you're in Germany. I miss Europe. If you are adopting lol

GermanyChris
Jun 29, 2013, 08:08 AM
Ugh :(

----------



Agree. I wish there was the ability to have both, buy the suite or individual app's and/or use the subscription model. Forcing consumers into one model seems extreme.

PS I'm jealous you're in Germany. I miss Europe. If you are adopting lol

I've lived here for just about 9 years. I won't go back to the states unless forced to. My daughter goes to German schools and my wife has a great job at the local university she graduated from working for the professor who supervised her thesis.

c'mon over there should be jobs here in the next couple years

bedifferent
Jun 29, 2013, 08:29 AM
I've lived here for just about 9 years. I won't go back to the states unless forced to. My daughter goes to German schools and my wife has a great job at the local university she graduated from working for the professor who supervised her thesis.

c'mon over there should be jobs here in the next couple years

Believe me, if my parents weren't in their 70's in NY, I would have moved overseas a long time ago. Family is family, and I need to spend as much time with them as I can.

I have many friends who have moved to the U.K., Spain, Germany, even Israel, and they're living far better since 2000-01 than anyone I know in the states. Amazing (and sad) how quickly things change.

Being of mostly German ancestry, I have wanted to live there again, and it will happen. I'll keep you posted :)

roadbloc
Jun 29, 2013, 08:35 AM
I only want to pay for my software once. Screw subscriptions. Not a welcome addition.

katewes
Jun 29, 2013, 08:45 AM
This subscription issue was the focus of revulsion, if you read the comments below 4 articles on dpreview.com announcing Adobe's shifting Photoshop and other software into subscription-only availability. There were thousands of comments below each article, probably being among the most commented articles on dpreview.com

95% of dpreview readers hated subscriptions, particularly because if you stop paying you lose the ability to use the software to open data (you retain the data, but can't open it) - but of course Adobe is not doing this to please customers, but to maximise profits.

So basically it is a frog in the kettle. The money-debased corporations are heading software in this direction, and the minions (that's you) can squeal all you want, but the powerful corporations are heading towards subscriptions.

50548
Jun 29, 2013, 09:57 AM
That's what I thought, Doctor.

Same here.

katewes
Jun 29, 2013, 10:29 AM
Incidentally, does that mean if I do not upgrade to Mavericks, then I am immune from having to use subscription-only software? :)

Michael Goff
Jun 29, 2013, 11:05 AM
Incidentally, does that mean if I do not upgrade to Mavericks, then I am immune from having to use subscription-only software? :)

No, it simply means you won't have the option to auto-renew the subscriptions.

itickings
Jun 30, 2013, 05:56 AM
How about supporting paid updates? I know some developers like Microsoft and Adobe aren't so fond of those, since they require adding useful, pay worthy features to existing apps, thus why they're moving to subscription models, but they're relatively popular with consumers, I think.

IE, if I want to majorly improve an app right now, my options for funding that are:

#1 - Don't. Everyone gets a free update and I go broke.
#2 - Sell it as an entirely seperate app. Many consumers won't discover it ever.
#3 - Charge subscription fees. Annoying to users who feel they're paying repeatedly for something I did once.

#4 - Attract new users by improving the app. Those major improvements you are talking about should be something users would actually have use for, right? Especially since you want them to pay for them... ;)

Developers providing decent free updates to apps I've purchased are very likely to have me buying other apps they release as well, and I'll most certainly recommend the apps to other people. It is obviously not entirely easy to predict how revenue from that would compare to upgrade fees, of course.

One practical problem with paid updates could be that the Mac App Store FAQ (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4461?) states that updates are free. Paid updates to the same app could be tricky, but perhaps a discount on a separate app (the new version) if you already own another one could work?

On the other hand, there are already developers who use paid updates today with the current rules. One of the apps I had paid for suddenly had all functionality removed, and a mandatory in-app purchase added to restore the functionality it had when I bought it. Needless to say I will never ever again give any money at all to that developer.

Had the mentioned update been released as a new app and left the one I bought functional, I probably would have paid for the new one it since I used the old one every day. But trying to force existing customers to pay again for the same thing? Not a great way to deal with customers IMHO.

What looks good on paper won't necessarily translate to a positive cash flow in the future. Don't alienate your users, be gentle when trying to squeeze more money out of them.

ArtOfWarfare
Jun 30, 2013, 08:33 AM
#4 - Attract new users by improving the app. Those major improvements you are talking about should be something users would actually have use for, right? Especially since you want them to pay for them... ;)

Developers providing decent free updates to apps I've purchased are very likely to have me buying other apps they release as well, and I'll most certainly recommend the apps to other people. It is obviously not entirely easy to predict how revenue from that would compare to upgrade fees, of course.

One practical problem with paid updates could be that the Mac App Store FAQ (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4461?) states that updates are free. Paid updates to the same app could be tricky, but perhaps a discount on a separate app (the new version) if you already own another one could work?

On the other hand, there are already developers who use paid updates today with the current rules. One of the apps I had paid for suddenly had all functionality removed, and a mandatory in-app purchase added to restore the functionality it had when I bought it. Needless to say I will never ever again give any money at all to that developer.

Had the mentioned update been released as a new app and left the one I bought functional, I probably would have paid for the new one it since I used the old one every day. But trying to force existing customers to pay again for the same thing? Not a great way to deal with customers IMHO.

What looks good on paper won't necessarily translate to a positive cash flow in the future. Don't alienate your users, be gentle when trying to squeeze more money out of them.

I figure paid updates would work just like they always have if you buy an app anywhere else. Every year or so an app gets a major update that adds a lot of new features and existing users are informed about how an updated version is available. They may continue using the old version - they have paid for it, after all - but if they want the best version, they should go to the store and get the updated version with new features. Of course bug fixes and minor features can be free as they are now.

mw360
Jul 1, 2013, 07:40 AM
How about supporting paid updates? I know some developers like Microsoft and Adobe aren't so fond of those, since they require adding useful, pay worthy features to existing apps, thus why they're moving to subscription models, but they're relatively popular with consumers, I think.

IE, if I want to majorly improve an app right now, my options for funding that are:

#1 - Don't. Everyone gets a free update and I go broke.
#2 - Sell it as an entirely seperate app. Many consumers won't discover it ever.
#3 - Charge subscription fees. Annoying to users who feel they're paying repeatedly for something I did once.

At this stage is pretty obvious it isn't coming.

My belief is that its Apple trying to coerce the market away from the purchase/upgrade pricing model to one where everybody pays the upgrade price. Technically that's good for the customers (remember the delight at the initial MAS pricing for Aperture and FCPX?) and cheaper software sells Macs, but the customers will soon forget the price drops, and think they're getting ripped off at the next round of updates (FCPX-2).

RMo
Jul 2, 2013, 02:04 PM
It's just a matter of time before Apple starts subscription-based plans itself. As a user of many Apple software, I personally would welcome the move. But those using just a few would probably hate it.

Just because Adobe went subscription and included a large number of their products under a single Creative Cloud name doesn't mean Apple will include all of their products under a similar, singly priced bundle.

To expand: Apple has a variety of products (Office-like software, supposedly pro video/photo software, the former iLife components--not to mention OS X upgrades and whatnot) that I can't see them offering under one single subscription. So, I'm not sure how much using multiple products will help here.