Apple is now allowing streaming providers to bypass its 30% App Store fee and enable customers to rent and buy movies and TV shows without having to navigate to a third-party website.
On Wednesday, Apple confirmed that a new programme for “premium subscription video entertainment providers” had been put in place to improve the consumer experience and support greater integration across its devices.
The move is a major shift for Apple as it previously mandated a 30% fee for any business offering its services on the App Store.
Amazon became one of the first providers to take advantage of the new programme in midweek when it updated its Prime Video app on iOS and tvOS to allow in-app purchases.
Customers using Amazon can now rent and buy within the app with payment systems set up on the platform rather than having to click on a title and purchase it on Amazon’s website.
“On qualifying premium video entertainment apps such as Prime Video, Altice One and Canal+, customers have the option to buy or rent movies and TV shows using the payment method tied to their existing video subscription,” Apple said in a statement.
The company’s 30% fee has drawn the ire of several large companies in the past, including Netflix and Spotify, which believed that it was an unnecessary “Apple tax”.
There is no official indication about why Apple has changed its stance on the issue recently, but it could be related to greater scrutiny by the EU and Department of Justice following concerns about the App Store acting as a monopoly.
Just last month, French antitrust authorities fined Apple $1.2bn for anti-competitive practices related to premium wholesalers and how they sell Apple products.
As Apple waives commissions and opens up its ecosystem, developers and third-party companies stand to benefit.
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