Apple’s App Store will get contingent pricing feature

Logo of Apple's App Store
(Image credit: Apple)

On Friday, Apple introduced news about a new feature on its developer’s website, which will allow developers to use “contingent pricing.” 

What’s contingency pricing? Here’s what Apple said about it in a post on the developer’s site: “Contingent pricing for subscriptions on the App Store—a new feature that helps you attract and retain subscribers—lets you give customers a discounted subscription price as long as they’re actively subscribed to a different subscription. It can be used for subscriptions from one developer or two different developers. We’re currently piloting this feature and will be onboarding more developers in the coming months. If you’re interested in implementing contingent pricing in your app, you can start planning today and sign up to get notified when more details are available in January.” 

Although there will be more information in January, it may take longer to implement the service of for consumers and subscribers to see the contingent pricing take effect online. 

According to 9to5 Mac, here's an example of how contingent pricing might work: “For example, you might offer Ocean Journal premium subscribers the opportunity to subscribe to Mountain Climber for a discounted price of $4.99/month instead of the regular $5.99/month. Customers pay the discounted price as long as they remain Ocean Journal subscribers.” 

More information on contingency pricing will be available in January

Apple says these pricing discounts, 9to5Mac reports, can be found “within your app, in off-platform marketing channels, and in planned placements on the App Store.”

According to a story on the Verge, Pete Hare, who's an engineering manager at Apple, wrote on LinkedIn about the upside of the new service. Apple will "handle all the eligibility checks and commerce work” and that customers can download and subscribe to apps being promoted “in one step directly from email links or the App Store.” 

Contingency pricing isn’t a new concept, though. In fact, it's used in various businesses to offer “firms and businesses an additional pricing option that they can use to drive business,” according to the Houston Chronicle. The website also noted that such pricing is “common in law firms, where the client pays fees based on the performance of the attorneys and the amount of money the attorney is able to get or save on their behalf."

Terry Sullivan


Terry Sullivan has tested and reported on many different types of consumer electronics and technology services, including cameras, action cams, mobile devices, streaming music services, wireless speakers, headphones, smart-home devices, and mobile apps. He has also written extensively on various trends in the worlds of technology, multimedia, and the arts. For more than 10 years, his articles and blog posts have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including The New York Times, Consumer Reports, PCMag, Worth magazine, Popular Science, Tom’s Guide, and Artnews. He is also a musician, photographer, artist, and teacher.