Thursday, March 24, 2022

Apple Removes In-App Google TV Purchases

Hartley Charlton:

Apple has seemingly removed the ability to buy and rent TV shows and movies in the Apple TV app for Android TV and Google TV in the latest update to the app.


FlatPanelsHD suggested that Apple may have stripped back the functionality to avoid Google’s 30 percent commission on in-app purchases. Not all TV in-app purchases were covered by the commission previously, but it is possible that Google introduced new terms, prompting Apple to scale back the app.

Nilay Patel:

There was a meeting where someone at Apple was like, “Okay, let’s reduce the functionality of the Apple TV app to avoid Google’s platform fees” without even a hint of irony

Turning computers into endless shopping malls with tedious fee disputes has paid for a lot of Ferraris, but down here on the ground all that’s happened is a bunch of apps with annoying user experiences by design

Could we please stop hearing about how the goal is to make the best products that delight customers?

John Gruber (tweet):

I can confirm via, as they say, sources familiar with the matter, that this is entirely about Apple and Google not being able to reach mutually agreeable terms on in-app payment commissions. Until this update, Apple had been running on an exemption not to use Google’s IAP. The exemption expired, so Apple TV on Android TV is now “reader only”. Apple TV on Amazon’s Fire platform has long been “reader only” as well for the same reason: Apple would rather not sell or rent any content at all on these platforms than do so while paying Google/Amazon the commissions they demand.


What’s hypocritical is Apple offering a “How to Watch” button, with a simple clear explanation of how you can buy or rent new content to watch on Android TV by making the purchase on a different device. That’s not allowed on Apple’s own platforms — Apple has a rule against explaining the rules.

Nick Heer:

This reminds me of Amazon’s deal with Apple, allowing it to sell some of its media through its own purchase flow in its Apple TV app, thus exempting it from Apple’s commission. These deals between giant companies are ever-changing, which creates an unpredictable and often worse experience for users, and are generally unavailable to smaller developers.


1 Comment RSS · Twitter

I don't know how anyone can be an excited Apple fan these days. Things can change, but what they are right now isn't laudable.

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