Apple is testing App Store discount packages so developers can pull users into more subscriptions

Contingent pricing would let developers offer discounts to users who are ‘actively subscribed to a different subscription.’

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Apple says it has begun piloting a new App Store feature called “contingent pricing” that will help developers lure in customers with cheaper subscriptions based on their other purchases. The contingent pricing model will let developers offer discounts to customers who already have subscriptions to other services, be it those developers’ own apps or participating partners’. It’s starting with a select group of participants before rolling it out to more developers “in the coming months.”

“Contingent pricing for subscriptions on the App Store — a new feature that helps you attract and retain subscribers — lets you give customers a discounted subscription price as long as they’re actively subscribed to a different subscription,” Apple wrote in a post on the Apple Developer website. “It can be used for subscriptions from one developer or two different developers.” Per 9to5Mac, Apple further explained that these bundled discounts will be highly visible to customers both on the App Store and “in off-platform marketing channels” so they can easily find and get in on the perks.

It comes at a time of ongoing scrutiny into Apple’s practices with its App Store and how it handles in-app purchases, which came to a head in Apple’s battle with Fortnite owner Epic Games. Just this fall, Apple asked the Supreme Court to reverse its previous ruling that required it to allow developers to circumvent its 30 percent transaction fee by supporting outside payment systems. But it's still looking for ways to get back in developers' good graces. The company says it will release 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.