Major news organizations who offer their content in the App Store want to be able to keep a larger cut of subscription revenue from customers who subscribe to the service through Apple’s platform, reports The Wall Street Journal.
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 seeking a better deal that would allow them to keep more of the money from subscribers.
Apple takes a 30 percent cut from first-time subscriptions that are made through iOS apps, which drops down to 15 percent after the first year. Digital Context Next in its letter cited a deal made with Amazon for reduced fees, which surfaced as part of an antitrust hearing into Apple’s App Store practices.
For Amazon Prime Video, Apple offered Amazon a special deal where it took just 15 percent of subscription revenue, and the publishers want the same deal. The letter asks Apple to “clearly define the conditions” that Amazon met to garner that agreement.
“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.
In a blog post, Digital Context Next highlights the recent Epic Games vs. Apple conflict, which saw Epic Games publicly revolting against Apple’s App Store policies by implementing a direct purchase option in Fortnite that violates the rules, which led to the Fortnite app being removed from the App Store.
Digital Content Next complains that Apple’s 30 percent fee drives publishers away from direct audience revenue, pushing them into the “murky world of digital advertising.” The group also points out that Apple CEO Tim Cook during his recent antitrust testimony said that the reduced deal made between Apple and Amazon was “available to anyone meeting the conditions,” and calls on Apple to “level the playing field” and provide transparency on its secret Amazon agreement.