iPad新聞 "The Daily" で幕を開けたアップル App Store のサブスクリプション(定期購読)モデルが、その他のコンテンツプロパイダーにも開放されます。対象は雑誌、新聞、動画、音楽などで、週刊、月刊、隔月刊、年4刊、年2刊、年刊の設定が可能です。アップル税は例によって価格の30%。ユーザはワンクリックで定期購読をはじめることができます。

裏を返せばApp Storeではこれまで定期購読方法を公式に提供してこなかったため、各社の電子雑誌・電子新聞などでは、バラ売りに徹する、紙版の定期購読者に(無料 or 価格上乗せで)デジタル版も提供する、独自ストアで定期購読受付、などいろいろな模索が行われていました。今回の発表で重要なのは、(事前に噂されていたとおり)アップルはアプリ外の独自ストアを制限しないものの、独自ストアを提供する場合はApp Storeでも同じコンテンツを提供するように、という制限を明確にしたことです。価格・条件についても独自ストアと同等か、より良いものにすべしとのお達し。おまけに、アプリ内に外部の独自ストアへのリンクもあってはいけなという、たいへん厳しい制限になっています。

つまり、いま独自ストアで定期購読コンテンツを提供している業者にとっては、App Storeでも同じ条件で提供しなければならない、そうするとおそらく多くのユーザはワンクリックで利用できるApp Storeを選ぶ(そもそもリンクもなければ独自ストアに気付かない)、そして売上の30%がアップルに取られる、というコンボになります。とりあえずKindleアプリやReaderアプリのようなプラットフォーム自身が定期購読の雑誌を扱うのはまず無理という感じ。プレスリリースは続きに掲載しています。
Apple Launches Subscriptions on the App Store

CUPERTINO, California-February 15, 2011-Apple® today announced a new subscription service available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store℠, including magazines, newspapers, video, music, etc. This is the same innovative digital subscription billing service that Apple recently launched with News Corp.'s "The Daily" app.

Subscriptions purchased from within the App Store will be sold using the same App Store billing system that has been used to buy billions of apps and In-App Purchases. Publishers set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly). Then with one-click, customers pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged based on their chosen length of commitment (weekly, monthly, etc.). Customers can review and manage all of their subscriptions from their personal account page, including canceling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all payments, keeping the same 30 percent share that it does today for other In-App Purchases.

"Our philosophy is simple-when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers."

Publishers who use Apple's subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. For example, publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their web sites, or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers. Since Apple is not involved in these transactions, there is no revenue sharing or exchange of customer information with Apple. Publishers must provide their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers that have signed up outside of the app. However, Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app. In addition, publishers may no longer provide links in their apps (to a web site, for example) which allow the customer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app.

Protecting customer privacy is a key feature of all App Store transactions. Customers purchasing a subscription through the App Store will be given the option of providing the publisher with their name, email address and zip code when they subscribe. The use of such information will be governed by the publisher's privacy policy rather than Apple's. Publishers may seek additional information from App Store customers provided those customers are given a clear choice, and are informed that any additional information will be handled under the publisher's privacy policy rather than Apple's.

The revolutionary App Store offers more than 350,000 apps to consumers in 90 countries, with more than 60,000 native iPad™ apps. Customers of the more than 160 million iOS devices around the world can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Press Contacts:
Trudy Muller
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Tom Neumayr
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NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information visit Apple's PR website, or call Apple's Media Helpline at (408) 974-2042.