Tuesday, February 18, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

YouTube App Ending In-App Purchase

Juli Clover:

YouTube today sent out emails to customers who are subscribed to its YouTube TV service through Apple’s App Store, letting them know that App Store subscriptions are going to be discontinued in March.

[…]

The YouTube TV app will need to remove all references to subscribing and signing up from its app when in-app purchases disappear, as Apple does not allow apps to link out to third-party subscription purchase options.

Chris Welch (tweet):

Other streaming TV services like Sling TV and Hulu with Live TV don’t offer in-app subscriptions. (Hulu does for its regular on-demand service, however.)

An increasing number of popular services, including Spotify, have stopped accepting new subscriptions through in-app purchases. But in Spotify’s case, the company allows existing customers to keep paying through Apple.

Apple’s developer terms require a 70 / 30 split in a customer’s first year of paying for a subscription through the App Store. After that, the developer gets 85 percent, and Apple takes 15. YouTube TV regularly costs $49.99, but subscribers who pay through Apple are charged a higher $54.99 to help offset Apple’s rules. But apparently, YouTube no longer wants to bother with that, either.

Even with the multi-year discount and charging iOS users $5 extra, Google was still ending up with less by using IAP. Prioritizing services revenue means Apple gets 30/15% of $0, customers get a worse experience, and Google gets their personal information.

Russell Ivanovic:

Let’s be honest. Apple taking a 30% cut for simply processing a transaction is beyond ridiculous. That it drops to 15% in year 2 isn’t better. Other payment processors charge 2.5% 🤪

Or put another way: if Apple gave you the option to use someone else how many people would keep using their service at the current pricing? If the answer is “almost no one” then it’s not a competitive or good service. It’s a monopoly

Previously:

6 Comments

Sören Nils Kuklau

>Prioritizing services revenue means Apple gets 30/15% of $0, customers get a worse experience, and Google gets their personal information.

Yup. All of those are important to remember.

>That it drops to 15% in year 2 isn’t better. Other payment processors charge 2.5% 🤪

Yes, but Apple doesn't see itself as a payment processor any more than your supermarket sees itself as a payment processor. (You can go to a different supermarket in a way you can't go to a different app store on iOS, but that's a whole other can of worms.)

I don't think 15% is quite right. But neither is 2.5%.

> (You can go to a different supermarket in a way you can't go to a different app store on iOS, but that's a whole other can of worms.)

I wouldn't care what Apple charged developers if they allowed said developers to implement their own payment processing through Stripe or whoever else, or even required Apple Pay with their far more reasonable rates. The only reason they can charge 15/30% and have anyone use their payment processing is that they prevent you from using anything else.

> but Apple doesn't see itself as a payment processor any more than your supermarket sees itself as a payment processor

And for the record, I don't freaking care how Apple views themselves. It couldn't be less relevant to the discussion at hand.

> I don't think 15% is quite right. But neither is 2.5%.

They should only charge whatever it costs them to process the payment. End of story.

Why take a percentage of the app price? That just punishes developers of high quality (say $10, vs 99 cents) apps by taking more of their money for NOTHING.

Otherwise, what's the rationale for Apple charging ZERO to download a free app?

It costs Apple the same amount of money to review and host free apps as it does paid apps, soo.....

If free apps cost nothing to download, then paid apps should be the same -- only the cost to Visa / Mastercard to process the transaction.

The other fair option is to have no free apps, and put a small (50 cents?) download fee on every app to cover the review and hosting costs.

Because seriously, what's the rationale if I sell a $20 app that Apple gets to keep $6 of it? Why? Versus the next gal, who sells a 99 cent app and only gives 30 cents to Apple. Versus another guy who gives away a free app and makes money by ads? None of it makes sense!

> You can go to a different supermarket in a way you can't go to a different app store on iOS, but that's a whole other can of worms

It's the same can of worm. People don't pay Apple money to put an app into the App Store because they appreciate what Apple is doing for them, they pay because Apple is essentially extorting them. If people had a choice, Apple could charge whatever they wanted, and people could decide whether being in the App Store was worth that amount. Since there is no choice, any amount above what a payment processor charges is bad.

I'm part owner of a business offering subscriptions through Apple and we are very close to discontinue them.

Besides from being overpriced it's also very difficult to support a customer who experience trouble with their subscription - the trouble could be our mistake, but we can't refund them ourselves. Our customer (not Apples) has to go through Apple to apply for an refund which they might get.

Theres no logic in giant services (like facebook) paying nothing to Apple while small services who are not based on mining data pay 30%.

Even if Apple lowered it to 5% it would still be a bad solution because they intervene with the relation we have with our customer.

Maybe they could charge based on the downloads an app gets. That way we might also get rid of those "We're giving you weekly updates, even though we have no fixes, but because marketing says we must stay top of mind".

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