Originally from my blog @ dbarnetson.wordpress.com
Here’s an unusual problem – how do we stop users from paying for a service that no longer exists?
We pulled TVAnytime down from the apps stores in Feb/12 and finally shut down the servers and website in May/12 when it was clear that the revenue was not funding the operating costs. However, it didn’t really have any effect on our subscription revenue streams.
We setup monthly and annual catalog subscriptions through iTunes for our Apple users and through Paypal for our Android users, as Google’s Play subscriptions weren’t ready yet.
Paypal subscriptions were always a mess – poor user experience in signing in, low execution rate as many paypal accounts don’t seem to be funding consistently – roughly 50% of subscription renewals failed.
iTunes subscriptions, on the other hand, have been very strong – Apple doesn’t report when subscriptions fail but almost a year after we shut down the service, subscription revenue is still 70% of its peak.
Apple claims it is possible to cancel subscriptions deep in the menus of iTunes; apparently for some users its not worth $1.99/month to find out. Perhaps Apple would consider giving developers the ability to stop renewals of a subscription in a future update?
For now we’ll leave it open – perhaps we’ll get our investors money back yet.