Apple Backtracks On Streaming App Commissions

Apple has announced it will end its practice of taking a cut of streaming revenue from Amazon’s Prime Video and other such platforms for some services on iPhones and other devices.

Previously Apple had users pay solely through its own payment service, taking a cut of between 15 and 30 percent before passing the remainder onto a third-party service like Amazon.

Other streaming services like Netflix do not have that policy, instead asking users to sign up outside the App Store with a credit card, essentially making Netflix and other such apps more like login screens than a participant in the payment.

Apple has now reneged on that practice, at least for some of its purchases. In an email, a spokesperson for the tech giant said there would be some exceptions for “qualifying” services like Prime Video, Altice One and Canal+. On those services, users will now be able to purchase and rent media with the credit card they originally used to sign up rather than going through Apple’s machinery.

The tech giant also said users will be able to ask voice assistant Siri to find shows and movies on Prime Video or other means when utilizing Apple products.

None of these changes have a specific start date as of yet, and Apple did not clarify whether Netflix or Spotify would be invited to the party.

Spotify in particular has already clashed with Apple over this issue in the past, filing a lawsuit over alleged antitrust issues last year. Spotify said Apple had made it too difficult for users to sign up for Spotify via the iPhone, instead seeming to have made Apple Music easier to access.

In response, the European Union has been investigating Apple’s practices in that arena since last May. The EU could eventually decide to slap Apple with fines over antitrust issues, according to people familiar with the situation. Apple has said the allegations were “misleading,” and said Spotify had reaped the benefits of its App Store but did not want to give anything back.