You know what’s stupid? Paying for a subscription service multiple times so each person in your family can enjoy it. The good news is that those days are coming to an end thanks to Apple’s new iCloud Family Sharing for in-app purchases and auto-renewing subscriptions. Now you can share the junk you pay for over and over again with the rest of your family.
Developers will need to enable the feature, as it is off by default. Though, some may choose not to make their subscriptions shareable, depending on how the app functions. For example, developers of apps that use IAP for weather data may choose not to enable the feature, as dev-side weather services can be expensive. Thus, a shared subscription or in-app purchase could push the app into a place where it’s no longer profitable. Also, consumable purchases cannot be shareable for obvious reasons.
Apple’s developer portal says:
Family Sharing provides a streamlined convenient user experience and can help you attract subscribers, encourage paid subscriptions, increase user engagement, and improve retention. Sales and Trends reports will be updated soon to help you understand the performance of family subscriptions.
One of the first apps to enable this feature is the writing app Ulysses. I got an App Store notification this morning letting me know that my monthly subscription can now be shared with the rest of my family.
So far, this is the only app we’ve seen that has enabled this feature, but I’m sure more will come on as time passes. Developers will need to assess whether or not they can afford to enable it.