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As Apple CEO Tim Cook gears up to testify in an App Store antitrust hearing before the House Judiciary Committee next week, Apple has commissioned a study from Analysis Group [PDF] that's designed to demonstrate how similar Apple's App Store fees and practices are to those of other digital marketplaces like the Amazon Appstore and the Google Play app.

appstore.jpg

Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all paid apps and in-app purchases, along with a 30 percent cut of all in-app digital subscriptions during the first year. That drops to 15 percent in the second year.

appstorecommissionrates.jpg

Analysis Group compared Apple's commission rates to those used by 38 digital marketplaces for apps and software, video game platforms, and found that most also take a 30 percent cut of sales. The Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, Galaxy Store, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo all have similar commission fees.

gamecommissionrates.jpg

Since Apple also sells other digital goods like books and music, the study covered commission rates for other digital content platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing, Nook, and Kobo, all of which collect between 30 and 65 percent from book sales on their platforms.

bookcommissionrates.jpg

When it comes to e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Uber, Walmart, Ticketmaster, TaskRabbit, Poshmark, and more, fees range from 5 percent up to 37 percent.

ecommercecommissionrates.jpg

The study suggests that App Store developers earn "substantially higher share" of total sales than through brick-and-mortar channels. For video games, developers and publishers collect less than 45 percent of the retail price, and before digital marketplaces, 60 to 70 percent of software sales went to intermediaries rather than software creators.

As for Apple's rules that developers must use its in-app purchase options, the study suggests that's common for many e-commerce sites and services. Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Walmart all have rules preventing sellers from directing buyers to external sites, as do Airbnb, VRBO, TaskRabbit, Upwork, and Spotify's SoundBetter.

The study concludes that Apple's App Store commission rates are in line with those charged by other digital content marketplaces, it's cheaper to distribute software digitally than through a brick-and-mortar store, and that Apple's rules about "free riding" are similar to the rules enacted by other companies.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is likely to cite this study when he testifies in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. Cook is expected to be questioned about the App Store's fees and policies on rejection and competition. Cook's testimony is part of an antitrust investigation that won't directly lead to enforcement, but will govern future legislation that could regulate digital marketplaces.

The full Analysis Group study commissioned by Apple can be read here.

Article Link: Apple-Commissioned Study Finds App Store Fees in Line With Those at Other Digital Marketplaces
 

iBluetooth

macrumors 6502
Mar 29, 2016
374
886
Apple checks all apps and UI by a human. The other stores just distribute and some have robots scanning app code committed, but must charge the same!
I have come to expect that an app from stores (like the AppStore) have been verified by a human that there is no spying or spy code checking my keyboard inputs.
 
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MOFS

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2003
1,237
218
Durham, UK
Whilst Apple funded, you have to believe these numbers because they are easily confirmed. The issue could be if Apple are unique in disallowing developers to advertise an off-app subscription plan, or if they're treating developers significantly worse than other stores.
 

konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,694
Apple checks all app code and UI by a human. The other stores just distribute and some have robots scanning app code committed, but must charge the same!
I have come to expect that an app from stores (like the AppStore) have been verified by a human that there is no spying or spy code checking my keyboard inputs.

That's a myth. Developers have tracked this. They found that the reviewers poke around for a matter of seconds.

And if they actually checked, why did we have this big scandal about clipboard spying?
[automerge]1595442158[/automerge]
So you’re just going to pretend these numbers are fake? I’m a dev and I’ve long known the numbers were in line with other app stores.

Some of those numbers are blatantly misleading without context. For example, Xbox, Playstation and Ninendo's commission subsidizes the hardware. Uber, Lyft, Airbnb bundle services like insurance.

It's not the money, it's value... what you get for the money you pay.

A more honest comparison would be what each store's margin is.
 
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konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
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PlayStation Network, Steam and Xbox live are generally a better comparison and are 30% as a rule.

PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo subsidize hardware from their commission. This is a well known model (since the NES) and why game developers don't have an issue with that, but have an issue with Steam.
 
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iBluetooth

macrumors 6502
Mar 29, 2016
374
886
That's a myth. Developers have tracked this. They found that the reviewers poke around for a matter of seconds.

And if they actually checked, why did we have this big scandal about clipboard spying?
Which developers, as I am one, with apps in the store for a long time. You just pull facts out of ...
The clipboard usage was not shown in previous iOS and thus, people didn't notice when apps where using it, as many apps use it for honest reasons.
 

DummyFool

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2020
171
234
While both the Google Play Store and the App store charge the same there is a fundamental difference between the two. I don't have to use the Google Play Store if i don't want to pay. There is no such choice on the App store, that's what makes it it a monopoly.
 

Millah

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2008
841
446
That's a myth. Developers have tracked this. They found that the reviewers poke around for a matter of seconds.

And if they actually checked, why did we have this big scandal about clipboard spying?
[automerge]1595442158[/automerge]


Because Apple intentionally created an OS-level feature in iOS14 that notifies users of this activity. Not because the practice was forbidden and slipped through app review. Lol....
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,606
28,626
This has all been public knowledge for a long time. Apple set the bar for all of this pricing, everyone else has essentially matched it.

Expect the usual ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments and whataboutism.
So Apple is being a bit disingenuous here if everyone is essentially following Apple’s lead.
 
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Millah

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2008
841
446
While both the Google Play Store and the App store charge the same there is a fundamental difference between the two. I don't have to use the Google Play Store if i don't want to pay. There is no such choice on the App store, that's what makes it it a monopoly.

I think you just named the alternative. Its called Google Play store. The iPhone is not its own industry. Its a part of the smartphone industry, in which it has a minority share.
 

jonblatho

macrumors 68020
Jan 20, 2014
2,048
5,146
Missouri
Apple gives you the tools, infrastructure, and the audience to make a lot of money and people complain about a 30% fee? With a 70% profit, you earn more money than if you took all the 100% profit from other stores.
The issue is that developers — particularly those in direct competition with Apple such as Spotify, Netflix, etc. — aren’t able to choose which business model works for themselves, which puts them at a direct disadvantage against Apple and may pose harm to consumers. The antitrust case is actually very straightforward.

Which developers, as I am one, with apps in the store for a long time.
You're a developer and you don’t know that Apple employees don’t see (let alone “check”) your source code when you submit an app to the App Store? Alright then.
 

Deliro

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2011
1,003
1,020
PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo subsidize hardware from their commission. This is a well known model (since the NES) and why game developers don't have an issue with that, but have an issue with Steam.

Oh we do have an issue (I work at a AAA game dev/publisher). On closed systems like the consoles we negotiate deals to offset some using their platform for marketing impressions/exposure or lower rates. Smaller indie dev houses don’t have that leverage unfortunately.

For the PC you will see the shift from Steam continue.

With that said overall digital distribution, with the commissions and fees, is more profitable for us than physical media distribution.
 
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konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
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Which developers, as I am one, with apps in the store for a long time. You just pull facts out of ...

Again, wrong:
So what happened during the “in review” state besides the 5 minutes a reviewer actually used the app remains a mystery.
...
Third version: as always, it turned from “waiting for review” to the “in review” state in 3 days. It stuck to this state for 8 days. But no one ever used the test account during this period. No matter what, it was pushed to the store.


Most reviewers spend only a few minutes per app
 

konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,694
Oh we do have an issue (I work at a AAA game dev/publisher).

Of course, your ideal rate is Microsoft pays you $100 a copy. MS's Xbox commission buys you something, access to a lower tier of gamer, whereas Steam does not. There's a real cost to subsidizing the hardware.

With that said overall digital distribution, with the commissions and fees, is more profitable for us than physical media distribution.

Which goes back to my point, it's the value you receive, not the raw percentage, which is why the whole comparison of commissions, particularly among completely different industries (Uber) is completely flawed.

The only commonality between all of these rates is that they have apps.
 
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