Apple relaxes subscription rules for publishers

Apple is relaxing its iPad subscription rules in a move likely to be welcomed by newspaper and magazine publishers building applications for the popular tablet in a bid to increase revenue.

Apple will no longer require publishers to offer subscriptions through its App Store at the same price or less than offered elsewhere, according to the website MacRumors.

Apple takes a 30 percent cut of subscriptions purchased through the App Store.

Some publishers had criticized the size of the cut and expressed displeasure with some of the guidelines laid down by Apple when it unveiled its subscription service for digital newspapers and magazines on the iPhone or iPad in February.

Apple said at the time that there would be no revenue sharing for digital subscriptions sold through a publisher's own website.

But "that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less" within an application on the Apple devices, the company said.

According to MacRumors, Apple has removed that requirement in the latest version of its subscription guidelines, which are due to take effect on June 30.

"Content providers may offer in-app subscriptions at whatever price they wish and they are not required to offer an in-app subscription simply because they sell a subscription outside the App Store as well," MacRumors said.

Apple's subscription service was first offered with The Daily, a digital newspaper for the iPad tablet computer launched earlier this year by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

With print advertising revenue and circulation declining, Murdoch and other newspaper and magazine publishers have been looking to the iPad and the Web to boost revenue.