Another look at the Distimo data by Lattice Labs, with more discussion about which model developers should choose.
They argue for subscription being the best, but having built The Magazine as an auto-renewing subscription, I don’t think I’d use auto-renewing again, even if I could figure out Apple’s vague, ever-changing, usually-arbitrary definition of what types of apps are permitted to use them.
Auto-renewing subscriptions are implemented terribly for both developers and customers. Any revenue you get from “accidental” renewals is marginalized by customer anger, confusion, and the resulting support emails and 1-starrers.
If I had to implement a subscription model today, I’d definitely do the manual-renewal type (like how Instapaper’s search subscriptions are sold in-app).
To everyone wishing that your apps could get approved for auto-renewing subscriptions: Trust me, you don’t want that headache.