updated 12:35 pm EST, Wed February 2, 2011
Option already available to publishers
Apple will "soon" make another announcement about iTunes subscriptions, according to the company's VP for Internet services, Eddy Cue. In-app subscriptions were introduced today with The Daily, an iPad-only news publication created by News Corp.. While other publishers may already be implementing the option, which companies are involved and what arrangements they might have will only be publicized at a later time.
The new scheme is in part believed to be a means of addressing common complaints about publishing newspapers and magazines on the App Store. If content is not free, people must normally either buy issues on a per-copy basis, or else go through an outside subscription, for instance tied one tied to paper distribution. Apple is however thought to be eliminating outside subscriptions, or at least forcing companies to provide an equivalent in-app option. Apple typically takes a 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases, though it is not certain if the same rate applies to the new subscription model.