Apple will Reduce its Commission to Developers

It will lower the commission charged for each application sold: if the apps do not bill more than a million dollars a year, it will be 15%…

Starting in January 2021, Apple will lower the commission it charges small developers for each app sold on the AppStore. If the apps do not bill more than a million dollars a year, the sales commission will be 15%, half of the current one.

The program, which Apple has presented as a support to small companies and independent developers, will be known as the App Store Small Business Program, and all independent companies and programmers who in 2020 have billed less than the aforementioned amount or who start marketing their applications on the App Store in 2021.

If at some point in the year its apps bill more than a million, Apple will once again charge the usual 30 percent commission. Similarly, if a developer’s business falls below the $ 1 million threshold during one calendar year, they will be eligible for the 15 percent commission the following year.

The measure, according to consultancy Sensor Tower, will benefit almost 98% of active developers, but surprisingly, it may not have a significant impact on Apple’s accounts. That 98% only accounts for 5% of the store’s turnover, since the biggest revenue generators are usually games and apps with virtual purchases developed by large companies and that far exceed one million dollars in annual turnover.

The gesture, however, could help reduce the growing tension that exists between the community over the conditions of the App Store, and that have led the company to alienate some important developers such as Epic Games, creators of the popular Fortnite.

Last August, Epic sued Apple for anti-competitive practices by forcing the use of its payment gateway (and therefore obtaining a 30% commission) when buying virtual items in the game.

The demand has been joined by other large companies, such as Spotify or the dating app Match, and together they have created the so-called Coalition for the Fair Treatment of Apps, which seeks to change the balance of power in the Apple store. These companies argue that the current rules are unfair to developers.

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Apple, in addition, is also beginning to suffer greater scrutiny from governments, specifically by the US Congress and the European Commission, precisely because of its practices in the AppStore, which could be damaging free competition.

Apple, for its part, maintains that the commissions in the AppStore are similar to those of other virtual stores on the market and that the same conditions apply to all developers. Over the years, however, it has created exceptions for certain businesses and types of apps that lower that initial 30% commission, for example, for applications that offer subscription content, such as Netflix or Amazon’s Kindle and Prime Video stores.

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