An app with In-App Purchase is offered for free in the App Stores, but will allow users to pay to access documents within the app. All purchase transactions happen via the user’s iTunes or Google Play accounts. Users may purchase digital subscriptions in increments of one year, one month or one week starting with the current document, or purchase individual documents.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Approval processes are subjective and may change without notice. The information provided here is based on GTxcel’s best understanding at this time regarding what Apple & Google will and will not allow for the In-App Purchase model.
Selling digital subscriptions through your app:
- If a digital subscription is sold outside the app (e.g. on a publisher’s website), Apple requires that the paid subscription also be offered within the app via In-App Purchase. This is not a Google requirement at this time.
- Apple does not allow apps to link to any website outside of the app to make purchases, so you can not use the app to promote other subscription sales channels. This is not a Google requirement at this time.
- Email addresses for subscriptions acquired outside the app must be supplied to GTxcel either through our instant delivery beacon or through subscriber files. Instant delivery allows the user to access the most current document immediately, but you must provide subscriber files for each new document for ongoing access.
- Purchase price for digital subscriptions, specified in terms of iTunes price tiers.
- Purchase price for single issue sales, specified in terms of iTunes price tiers.
- Subscribe URL
Digital-only single-documents and/or a digital-only auto-renewable subscriptions are available through the In-App purchase access model.
Digital only subscriptions:
- The start document will be the most current live document and extends for the term of the selected subscription.
- The subscription is based on the term and is not tied to the number of documents. The subscriber will be given access to all documents that publish within the term.
- All subscription purchases will default to auto-renew through iTunes or Google Play.
- Users must opt out of the auto-renew if they wish the auto-renew feature to stop. This can be done through the App Store by going to View Account and then Manage App Subscriptions.
- Opting out of the auto-renew does not cancel a current subscription. It simply will not renew the subscription for another term.
- In-App subscriptions do not allow access to back documents, though back documents will be available for purchase individually.
Single Document sales:
- Single document purchases will give the user access to only the specific document purchased.
- Print-plus-digital, print-only, and gift subscriptions are not currently available through the In-App Purchase functionality due to Store restrictions on product offerings.
- Purchasing a single document or a subscription in the app will allow the user to have full access to the document(s) on all platforms (webreader, mobile webreader, Apple app and Android app) and multiple devices, IF the user provides an email address during the account creation step in the purchase process.
- If no email address is provided during the purchase process (Apple requires this to be optional), the user will only be able to access the document(s) through the device on which the app was purchased.
Pricing for the digital-only subscription and single documents is determined by you. GTxcel must have this information prior to submitting the app for approval.
- Pricing must be specified in terms of iTunes price tiers (GTxcel will translate for Google Play).
- The stores will disable the auto-renew feature if you increase the subscription price during an active subscription period.
Apple & Google Play will retain 30% of each sale and remit 70% back to you.
Reporting on Subscriber Data and Sales
Apple limits the data that is required to be collected during the In-App Purchase. Because of this, providing any personal data cannot be required during the In-App Purchase process.
Following the iTunes purchase process, GTxcel will present the subscriber with an opportunity to ‘share their information with the publisher’. If the user opts in to sharing this information, you will have access to the subscriber’s Name, E-mail and Zip Code. If the subscriber opts out, no subscriber information will be made available.
Google Play offers all subscriber & sales information to you, via the Developer portal.
*Note: Requirements for audit reporting for ABC and BPA for app usage have not yet been defined. As ABC and BPA establish these requirements, GTxcel will work to incorporate the appropriate information gathering and reporting.
Apple Restore Feature
If a user would like to access the document(s) they have purchased via an iTunes or Google Play account on a different mobile device than the document(s) were purchased on, they may use the restore feature. This is especially useful for users who upgrade to a new phone/tablet, or lose their phone/tablet and have not created an account with GTxcel. The app must be downloaded again using the same account the purchase was originally made on.
Refunds and Cancellations
If a user would like to cancel their subscription, they must opt out of the auto-renew feature through iTunes or Google Play.
If a user would like a refund, they must do so in the iTunes or Google Play stores since the purchase was made through the store. GTxcel does not have the capability to issue a credit to the user’s account. Officially, they do not offer refunds on In-App purchases. All sales are considered final. However, occasionally they will allow a refund and credit the user’s account. If this happens, that amount will be deducted from the next remittance to the publisher.
Back Document Access
Currently, new purchases through the In-App feature will not grant access to any back documents. Users will have to purchase those through the single document purchase option.
Any existing print or digital subscriber that has access to a back document on GTxcel’s webreader can gain access to the same document in the app by signing in with their email address.
Serving New Documents for Subscription Purchases in the App
- When a new document is made live, it will be available immediately in the app as well.
- Users who purchased a subscription including the new document will receive a push notification to let them know a new document is available.
- Push notifications will only appear if the subscriber has opted in to receive them.
- A red circle badge will appear on the corner of the app icon indicating that a new document is available.
- How a reader receives push notifications is up to their selected settings. They can turn on alerts, badges and sounds – or turn off 1 or more of them.
Publisher-Hosted “Manage my account” URL
The purpose of this page is to allow current subscribers who do not have an email address on record in the GTxcel database to identify themselves as subscribers and gain access to documents within their existing subscription. This url is not required but recommended to give existing subscribers the best possible user experience.
Subscribers can access their documents in the app via the sign in feature in the app. The sign in feature uses an email address to recognize a subscriber. If the email address is not in the GTxcel database, the user will not have access to restricted access documents. If a user’s email address is not recognized, the user will be presented with an option to update their information via a link to a web page provided by you.
The more robust the functionality available on this web page, the better the user experience will be. There are several items to consider.
- You are responsible for creating, hosting, and maintaining this page.
- Functionality on this page can be as simple as allowing a user to send an email with their correct email address or ask a question. You would process the request and follow up with the user and GTxcel as needed. For example, you may need to include the user in the next subscriber file so that the user is loaded into the GTxcel database.
- Functionality on this page can be as robust as allowing a user to update their subscription information on the page. Ideally, an Instant Delivery beacon or Gateway call will be triggered to send the updated information to GTxcel in real time. This would allow the user to update their information and gain immediate access to their documents in the app.
- This page cannot include an option to purchase a subscription, Apple will most likely reject the app submission or pull the app from the store if this option is added after the app is live in the store.
The page can also launch the app upon completion of any changes. This is handled via a URL that your GTxcel Customer Success Manager can provide you. The app can be launched to a specific issue or article.