Back in the day, developers who sold apps would typically sell it once and that was the end of it. However, over time developers started to realize it wasn’t particularly sustainable because it meant that they had to keep courting new customers in order to generate revenue, which is why the subscription model has seen an increase in popularity.
It turns out that many users don’t mind the subscription model either, at least according to a report from Sensor Tower. According to the data from the firm, it seems that spending on subscriptions has increased quite a bit in 2021 from 2020. The report claims that for 2021, iOS users spent a whopping $13.5 billion on subscriptions to the top 100 non-game apps.
This is an increase of around 31% from 2020 where iOS users spent $10.3 billion. This is also quite a huge difference in spending compared to Android, where in 2020, Android users spent $2.7 billion and in 2021, $4.8 billion. Given that there are obviously more than 100 subscription apps, the actual figure could be a lot higher.
This is also why we can imagine Apple isn’t so eager to introduce third-party payment support. Apple currently takes about 30% from all app and in-app purchases, including subscriptions, so giving that up would represent them losing quite a lot of money.
The company is said to have racked up $28 million in fines in the Netherlands for failing to comply with regulators, but as you can see, $28 million is but a drop in the bucket compared to the 30% cut they would have taken from the $13.5 billion in 2021.