Apple has been busy this week revising its App Store guidelines, first with the revision of its DUI checkpoint app policy, and now switching up the guidelines for in-app purchases. Section 11.13 of Apple’s App Store guidelines has been angering quite a few publishers as of late, forcing them to offer subscriptions through in-app purchases. In other words, Apple gets a 30 percent cut for each edition sold of any given magazine, newspaper, or book. The section also included audio, music, and video publishers.
The dreaded Section 11.13 has now been revised to allow publishers to sell their content outside the App Store. But there’s one stipulation: publishers can’t include a link or button in their apps that send the user to a website where they can conduct a transaction.
11.13 Apps can read or play approved content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video) that is sold outside of the app, for which Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues, provided that the same content is also offered in the app using IAP at the same price or less than it is offered outside the app. This applies to both purchased content and subscriptions.
11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app.