Thursday, September 24, 2020

Apple Video Partner Program

Stephen Warwick:

Apple has published new guidance on its Video Partner Program, which caused controversy earlier this year after it emerged some video platforms don't have to pay Apple's entire 30% App Store cut.


The big benefit for providers is that they retain 85% of sales for customers who sign up using in-app purchases. Customers are also still able to sign up outside of the app, but can then still use the payment method for transactions inside of the app, for example, Amazon Prime Video.


Since 2016, the Apple Video Partner Program has enabled premium subscription video providers to participate in a new TV watching experience on the Apple TV app, helping customers discover the world’s best premium video content in one app, across all their devices.

Emphasis added.

Netflix does not participate, having abandoned IAP and AirPlay, but it still enjoys the “reader” clause in the guidelines, which exempts certain types of apps from having to offer IAP. The guidelines incentivize multi-platform apps. If all you have is an iOS version, IAP is required.

Damien Petrilli:

Same rules for all. Well this one was only for big corps er… hidden, but here, now it’s official. We cool?

I LOVE how Apple is basically just trying to legitimate their backroom deals by publishing some “official rules” before antitrust hearings to make a case they existed all along for everybody.


Update (2021-10-05): Internal Tech Emails, quoting Peter Stern (Hacker News):

I also explained that we run a principled App Store, and they [Netflix] have a unique arrangement because it was struck before the existing Video Partner Program came into effect.


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