Apple to add Search Ads and incentivise subscriptions in the App Store
Apple has started making announcements even before WWDC 2016. There are developer friendly changes headed to the App Store. Developers will be able to purchase advertisements in the App Store through an auctioning system. Developers will also get new options to manage subscriptions and Apple has changed the cut it takes from regular subscriptions.
You’ll now see relevant ads in search results
Search Ads are targeted advertisements that show up with a light blue background to distinguish the ad from regular App Store content. There are a number of regulations though, which have been put in place in an effort to ensure that the advertisements are not disturbing to the user. The advertisements will only be of other applications that are already on the App Store. The advertisement will only show up in the results of a search by a user. The Search Ads will be served only if the advertisement is related to the search term that the user has entered. It is not possible to purchase advertisements that prompt the user with an application unrelated to the search term.
Apple will automatically generate the advertisements based on the description, title and photos used by the app itself. A list of keywords to target the ad are automatically generated, but developers have the option of changing these keywords. There are other forms of targeting as well, based on demographics. Users can be targeted based on age, gender, location and device type. Ads can also be served to those who have downloaded other applications from the same publisher.
Subscriptions to be incentivised
The one important change in subscriptions is that Apple is going to start giving developers a bigger cut in subscriptions from the second year onwards. If the cumulative subscription of a subscriber hits the one year mark, Apple will reduce their cut of the revenue from 30 percent to 15 percent. This is a big incentive for developers to implement and maintain subscriptions. If a user cancels a subscription, there is a grace period of 60 days for Apple to continue considering the subscription as being in its second year. If a subscription is renewed after 60 days, Apple will revert the status of the subscription to a first year subscription, and take their regular 30 percent.
There are a bunch of options for managing subscriptions and changes in the pricing of the subscriptions. New pricing tiers can be introduced while allowing existing users to continue subscribing at the prices that they signed up at. It will also be possible to increase the price of subscriptions to existing users. If this happens, users will be prompted to continue with the subscription, and will be alerted about the price increase. Users can choose to discontinue the subscription. If the prompt is ignored, the subscription does not get automatically renewed.
The subscription roll out will happen across all markets. There are over 200 price points available across all currencies. The prices for each currency will have to be changed individually, if there are changes required. There is a new iTunes Connect pricing tool going to be made available as well, that allows publishers to easily manage subscriptions in different territories and currencies. There are two types of auto-renewable subscriptions, content and services. Content is regularly updated and it could be multimedia content, such as audio shows, vidcasts, or magazines. Services may include cloud backup, note keeping services, or a mobile massive multiplayer online role playing game and similar freemium titles.
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