There are many that claim that the multimedia giant Apple has gotten somewhat greedy lately and a few new updates to their policies may have affirmed those accusations.
Early this year, Apple put up new policies that would be enforced June 30th of this year (that’s another two weeks from now). These new policies made more than a few jaws drop at their audacity. Section 11.13 of the policy states:
Apps can read or play approved content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video) that is sold outside of the app, for which Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues, provided that the same content is also offered in the app using IAP at the same price or less than it is offered outside the app. This applies to both purchased content and subscriptions.
This was placed on top of a 30% cut for Apple on In-App Subscription payments. Many publishers were astounded at these new policies that they would have to abide by if they wanted to have their products and subscriptions bought within the App store.
Many people believed that the market and the customers would decide if Apples new regulations would work. If publishers sought other means of advertising then Apple users would begin to notice a change and would be frustrated. This in turn would affect Apple and the company would be forced to change. Unfortunately for most publishers, this 30% cut for Apple would dig deeply into their revenue and the restrictions on In-App Subscriptions could quite possibly force a lot of publishers to look elsewhere.
Quick to seize an opportunity to take advantage of the rift that Apple had created between themselves and the publishers, Google set out new policies of its own on February 16th. Google’s new One Pass was a service that Google stated let publishers set their own prices and terms, and Google only took 10% of the revenue as opposed to Apple’s 30%.
After a few months consideration and with the deadline for the new policies to be enforced drawing nearer, Apple quietly released an updated version of their policy, Section 11.14. This new section is significantly different and while it doesn’t change the astronomically high 30% to Apple, it does address the In-App subscriptions:
Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app.
So what’s going to happen? Will publishers agree to Apple’s ridiculous rates and restrictions or will they seek new outlets for their advertising? These high rates will ultimately turn some publishers away, but there will be those whose eyes are on the sheer number of Apple users and will try to justify the cut they are paying to Apple because of it. If Google and other competitors can keep the pressure up though, hopefully Apple will change their ways sometime in the future.