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Working with subscriptions for iOS


1. Standard subscriptions or all access subscriptions in article-based apps

Standard subscriptions or all access subscriptions in article-based apps

If you want to offer a subscription in an article-based app, there are two options:

  • Standard Subscription: this is the traditional type of subscription where you get access to new collections (i.e. issues) that are added during the period of your subscription.
  • All Access Subscription: this can be compared to e.g. Spotify or Apple Music type of subscriptions: you get access to all content in the app, as long as your subscription remains valid.

1.1. iTunes Shared Secret

Go to https://itunesconnect.apple.com -> Manage your Application -> Select your application -> Manage In App Purchases -> Select 'View or generate a shared secret', then copy and paste it into the iTunes Shared Secret field of the Settings.

1.2. Default issue

(For standard subscriptions only)

Lets you determine whether new subscribers will automatically receive the latest collection added to your app, or whether you are going to manually choose that collection.

2. Free or paid (issue-based apps)

Free or paid (issue-based apps)

If you want to offer a subscription in a legacy issue-based app, it is going to be either a Free or an Auto-Renewable (paid) subscription.

3. Managing issues

Every time you add a new issue/collection, you can decide whether it is part of a subscription or not. In the main Subscriptions overview, there's a list of all the issues/collections that are part of the subscription.

Selecting 'Subscription issues' will allow you to: 'Add/Remove issue' from a subscription and 'Set a default issue'. The default issue is the issue that new subscribers will automatically get access to.

3.1. Add/remove issue

This checkbox only defines whether a specific issue is part of the subscription or not. When removing an issue from the list, it will no longer be available as part of the subscription, but the issue itself will not be deleted.

3.2. Set default issue

When the user purchases a new subscription, he/she needs to have access to a first issue. Here you can select which issue the user will be able to download after purchasing the subscription.

4. Adding a duration

Adding a duration

To create a duration for an auto-renewable subscription, you need to specify the following details:


The name a user will see in the list of subscriptions on the device.

Product identifier

A unique reverse-DNS for this duration. This product identifier has to be the same as the one entered in iTunes Connect / Google Play Developer Console, otherwise the subscription won't work correctly.


The interval of the subscription. On iOS, it is either 1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months or one year.


Although the duration for a free subscription is indefinite, you need to define this and make sure the product identifier matches the one in iTunes Connect or Google Play.

Important note: also add a duration for a free subscription

5. Adding subscription in iTunes Connect

Go to https://itunesconnect.apple.com -> Manage Your Application -> Select your application -> Manage In-App Purchases -> Create New

Choose the correct type of subscription (Free or Auto-Renewable) and create a new subscription family or select an existing subscription family.

Just like on the Twixl Distribution Platform, you have to add a duration for the subscription. You need to use the same product id(entifier) & matching duration as on the Twixl Distribution Platform, for example com.mycompany.myfirstmagazine.subscription.1month


A user is entitled to all issues within the subscription for the period he has prepaid. If he cancels his subscription before the renewal, he will still get the issue(s) within the current period.

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