There is no doubt that Apple and Google have provided a great opportunity for publishers to sell digital editions in the app stores, however there are some restrictions that you need to be aware of. In order to understand these, let us first explain how the Realview subscription works.
When a reader decides to purchase your publication, they would create themselves an account (login and password), select the purchase (either a single issue or a subscription) and then enter their credit card details to complete the transaction. You as the publisher can decide on the price for a single issue and what subscriptions are available - generally for a period of time or a number of issues and at what price. Once the subscriber has created their account and paid, they can then use the login and password to access your digital edition on desktop, tablet (iOs and Android), smartphone and through the Realview app.
Another advantage of the Realview Subscription is that you can choose to collect additional information about the subscriber and you get access to all of the subscriber information.
When a reader decides to purchase your publication through an app or from the Apple Newsstand, it is a simple processes, as the reader simply presses the purchase button (for a single issue or a subscription) and after confirmation, the transaction is deducted from the readers iTunes account. This seamless process is great for the subscriber, but comes at a cost to the publisher. Apple takes 30% of all purchases through the store and also you do not get subscriber information. Because the app is not aware of the user details, the subscriber can only access the digital edition on the device which it was purchased.
Additionally, you do not decide on a discreet amount for your subscription, but select from price 'bands' which are then converted into the local currency for the subscriber.
Thankfully Realview provides an option that combines the best of both subscriptions and lets the reader decide on how they purchase your digital editions. Apple does not allow you to provide a link from the app to an outside web page where your readers can purchase a subscription and you can avoid the 30% commission WITHOUT PROVIDING AN IN APP PURCHASE option. So you CAN provide a link to an external subscription page, provided you also provide the option for readers to purchase using their iTunes account. A login button within the app enables subscribers to access your content without having to purchase through iTunes - and this is a perfect solution for you to allow your print subscribers to access your digital editions from with an app.
We hope that casts some light on how subscriptions work in different environments and what your options are. If you have any questions or want to learn more about the different subscription options, please contact your account manager.