For the longest time ever, the most popular way to make money from apps and software in general was to sell it outright. However in recent times we’re starting to see many companies shift towards a subscription-based model, like Adobe and Microsoft. It seems that this is/was an agenda that Apple was pursuing as well, according to a report from Business Insider (paywall; via Cult of Mac).
According to the report, it seems that back in 2017 Apple held a secret meeting with developers in an effort to convince them to change their business model from selling an app outright, to selling a subscription instead. This is because subscription models are more sustainable, especially when Apple takes a 20% cut from it.
There is also a benefit for users as well, because apps that managed to bring in developers a sustainable revenue means that they will have resources and incentives to keep the app updated with new features and improvements. That being said while we can’t confirm if the meeting from last year was true, it makes sense.
Earlier this year an analyst suggested that Apple should move to a subscription model for both software and hardware, indicating that there is potential in that idea. It was also revealed that in Apple’s financials from earlier this year that it looked like Apple’s Services sector could potentially overtake the iPhone as a revenue driver.