News Publishers Climb On Apple App Store Commission Bandwagon

Apple Nears Record $2T Valuation

Major news companies are joining other firms that are trying to get better terms on Apple’s App Store, which is used often to draw new digital customers, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

A trade body, Digital Content Next, representing WSJ, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other publications sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook to open negotiations for better terms to keep more of the money garnered from subscriptions through the App Store.

Under the current terms, publishers pay Apple 30 percent of the first-time subscriber payments from iOS apps. The commission is then reduced to 15 percent after the first year.

The letter said the terms "greatly impact the ability to continue to invest in high-quality, trusted news and entertainment particularly in competition with other larger firms," WSJ reported. The letter was signed by Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint.

In addition, the letter goes into detail on another point of contention, in which Apple executive Eddy Cue sent a letter to Amazon's Jeff Bezos, outlining terms for a 15 percent revenue sharing agreement for customers signing up for Prime Video through the App Store. This was brought up during a Congressional hearing with the tech giants on July 29, WSJ reported. Kint, in the letter, inquired as to how the members of Digital Content Next could hash out a similar agreement.

The letter is the newest chapter in the public struggle over the terms of the App Store and how much money Apple makes as compared to the companies forced to host on its platforms, following a much-publicized lawsuit involving Epic Games and its Fortnite app, which Apple removed from the App Store.

And the news comes after an announcement in late July, following the Congressional hearing, that Australia passed a law that could force the tech giants to pay news outlets from the country to put out their content. The law aimed to fix "acute bargaining power imbalances."



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