In-App Subscriptions - Adding and Managing In-App Subscriptions

In this article we discuss managing in-app subscriptions to offer to your readers.

Note: This article covers selling subscriptions in the associated marketplaces such as Apple iTunes, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore. If you are selling subscriptions from your own site, please read about the mag+ Subscription API to learn how to validate your users.

As of mag+ v4.2 for iOS, you can choose to disable in-app subscriptions if a user is signed in via the API. You can find that option in mag+ Publish Apps > iOS > Build Options.

Before You Begin

  1. Sign up for a developer account in the marketplace where you plan to offer your app:
  2. Create your app in your device marketplace in order to generate unique marketplace IDs to enter into the mag+ Publish portal

Note: The articles in the section "Setting Up Distribution Channels" walk you through the process of setting up your apps in the various marketplaces and gathering all the information you need to enter in the mag+ Publish portal. Read the articles in "Setting Up Distribution Channels" for more information.

About Marketplace Unique IDs

Each marketplace handles in-app subscriptions in their own way. Amazon and the Apple App Store offer subscriptions that are akin to traditional magazine subscriptions. Google Play handles subscriptions in a more Netflix approach. While you do not need to understand the underlying mechanics, thinking of these marketplaces in the way described above helps you understand why they behave differently.

To offer iOS, Amazon Store, and Google Play subscriptions, you must enter a unique ID to associate with the respective marketplace. The App tab in mag+ Publish contains settings for each platform (iOS and Android). The Apple Shared Secret is entered in the mag+ Publish portal under Apps > iOS > iTunes Connect Settings. The Google Play and Amazon Application ID are entered in Apps > Android > Market Settings > under the Amazon or Google Play links.

How to Create a New In-App Subscription

1. In the mag+ Publish portal, click on the "Subscriptions" tab to manage your app subscriptions.

2. Click on the "New Subscription" button to add a subscription to your app.

Click on the "New Subscription" button to add a subscription to your app.

3. Configure the subscription settings.

The following options are available:

  • Title: The title of the subscription as shown in the app
  • Description: The text that appears along with the subscription. This text is shown in the purchase window and preview window should this subscription be selected as featured content or shown in the issue grid.
Note: Apple typically wants to see the frequency of distribution included in the description. It should be described using language and not numbers, so descriptions should say "Monthly Subscription" and not "1-Month Subscription."
  • Available in app: Shows the subscription within the app
Note: Deselecting this box hides this subscription within the app, but continues to serve content to existing subscribers. This is useful for subscriptions that you are retiring but want to continue serving to those who signed up for it. For hidden subscriptions, we recommend you remove in-app purchases for them in your Apple and/or Android marketplace account and update your app description in the marketplace, if necessary.

4. Click "Save" to save your subscription.

How to Edit an Existing Subscription

Note: You can always update a Subscription with new images and text without having to rebuild your app.

1. In the mag+ Publish portal, click on the "Subscriptions" tab.

2. Click on the "Edit" button to the right of the subscription name.

3. Change your subscription options and click on the "Save" button when finished.

How to Delete a Subscription

Important Notes

  • You can always remove subscriptions that are no longer current by deleting them. You do not need to rebuild your app when you delete a subscription.
  • The mag+ Publish portal will not allow you to delete a subscription where users are owed content and will return the message "The subscription still has running subscriptions and can't be deleted." For example: you cannot delete a one year subscription after six months if there are users who signed up for the subscription. In cases such as this, you should hide the subscription from the Issues grid and wait until the original subscription period is over. You will then be able to delete the subscription.

1. In the mag+ Publish portal, click on the "Subscriptions" tab.

2. Click on the "Delete" button to the right of the subscription name.

3. You will be returned to the Subscriptions tab with a message indicating if the subscription was deleted successfully.


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