Epic Games’ battle with Apple over the Cupertino firm’s cut of the action for in-app purchases in Fortnite, as well as the revelation that Apple made a discounted deal with Amazon Prime Video has emboldened other Apple partners to push for a better deal.
Major news organizations offering their content in the App Store want to keep a bigger cut of the action when it comes to subscription revenue from customers that subscribe to their service through the App Store.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Digital Next Content, a trade group representing the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and other publishers sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook pushing for a better deal that would allow them to keep more of the income from subscribers.
Apple currently wets its beak to the tune of 30% from first-time subscriptions made through an iOS app. The Cupertino firm’s cut of the action drops to 15% after the first year. Digital Context Next cited a deal Apple made with Amazon to take a reduced cut of the subscription action (15%) to convince it to launch its Prime Video app on the App Store and Apple TV. The publishers want the same deal.
“The terms of Apple’s unique marketplace greatly impact the ability to continue to invest in high-quality, trusted news and entertainment particularly in competition with other larger firms,” said the letter, which is signed by Jason Kint, chief executive of the trade body, Digital Content Next.
It is likely that the rebelling Apple partners are being emboldened by Epic Games’ ongoing battle with Apple over Apple’s cut of in-app purchases in the uber-popular game Fortnite on iOS devices. In a blog post, Digital Context Next highlights the conflict.
Recently, Epic joined the fray with a similar complaint. Epic added a feature to its popular game Fortnite that allowed players to purchase V-Bucks in the Fortnite app. It skirted the App Store rules prohibiting developers from accepting payments outside of the in-app purchase system. Apparently, this was a direct salvo from Epic. Just hours after the direct payment option was added, Apple pulled Fortnite from its App Store. And Epic immediately filed suit “to end Apple’s anti-competitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces.”
Digital Content Next claims Apple’s 30% cut of the action drives publishers away from direct audience revenue, pushing them into the “murky world of digital advertising.” The group is calling on Apple to “level the playing field” and provide transparency on its secret Amazon agreement.