App developers who earn less than one million dollars per year on apple's download platforms will pay a lower royalty on their digital revenue in the future.
Instead of the usual 30 percent, it will be 15 percent for the following year, apple announced on wednesday. The iphone company said it wanted to support developers in the corona crisis and at the same time sees the move as an evolution of its app store generally. Apple faced increased criticism for high levy.
The program will start with the coming year. The basis for this will be the revenue generated in 2020 after deduction of the app-store levy paid. If these amounted to up to one million dollars, the developer qualifies for the 15 percent levy for 2021. If its revenue exceeds the one million mark next year, the 30 percent levy will apply from that point onwards. If revenues later fall below the million threshold, the developer can participate in the 15 percent program again the following year. The model is to apply permanently.
Apple had already set the levy for digital products and services at 30 percent when it launched the app store in 2008. The levy is payable on the sale of apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions, for example. In 2016, apple had already reduced the subscription fee from 30 to 15 percent from the second year onwards.
The 30 percent levy was recently criticized by smaller app developers, among others, as being too high. Apple previously said the platform offered them benefits such as easy access to customers and security. At the same time, some rough app providers like epic games and spotify are just attacking the business model of the download platform as a whole. The makers of the popular online game "fortnite" sued apple for offering in-app purchases without a levy. Music streaming market leader spotify accuses apple of unfair competition because the group is not burdened by a levy on subscription lottery tickets for its in-house service apple music. The controversy surrounding the app stores has already come under political scrutiny in the U.S.
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