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Apple defends 30% commission on games, video subscriptions & apps

23 Jul 2020 | Rasmus Larsen |

Ahead of antitrust hearings in the US and Europe, a study commissioned by Apple concludes that the App Store commission rate is similar to that of Google, PlayStation, Microsoft, Xbox and others.

As antitrust cases loom

Apple and Google have both come under scrutiny for their practices and ahead of antitrust hearings Apple has commissioned a study on 'App Store and other Digital Marketplaces' from consulting firm Analysis Group. The study examines commission rates for games, apps, video/music subscriptions, ebooks, and other digital content sold through stores such as Apple App Store, Google Play Store, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Steam, and Microsoft Store. - "Our study shows that Apple’s App Store commission rate is similar in magnitude to the commission rates charged by many other app stores and digital content marketplaces. The commission rates charged by digital marketplaces most similar to the App Store, such as other app stores and video game digital marketplaces, are generally around 30%," the study concludes.

Apple app store study

Source: Analysis Group study

Digital marketplaces are still a relatively new concept but they have grown rapidly to become the de facto standard for purchasing new content on platforms such as TV, console, PC, and mobile. For example, Apple operates the tvOS App Store on Apple TV. Some developers and distributors have raised issue with the 70/30 split where Apple takes 30% of all sales – or 15% on subscriptions after a year. In an effort to avoid sharing recurring subscription revenue with Apple, streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify are not offering users any way to sign up for the service from without their tvOS and iOS apps. Apple's 30% commission rate goes back to the days of the iTunes Music store and was later implemented as part of the company's app store. In the most recent quarter, Apple reported $13.3 billion in services revenue, although not all of it comes from app store sales. The full study by Analysis Group can be found here.

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