Apple Did Not Want to Leave ‘Money On the Table’ When Deciding on Apple TV Commission

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 27 Jan 2021

apple tv 4k

The ongoing Apple vs Epic battle has revealed quite a bit about just how careful Apple was when it came to deciding the App Store fees. One of the emails dating back to 2011 has now revealed how Apple handled the subscription fees via Apple TV and how it did not want to leave “money on the table.”

The email highlighted by The Verge features Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, discussing the commission that Apple should charge for subscriptions via Apple TV in 2011. The company considered charging a 40% one-time cut, a 30% one-time cut, a 30% recurring fee, or strike individual deals with different providers.

Apple TV email deals

Ultimately, Apple’s team decided to stick to the same 30% fees as the App Store. One of the emails clearly states that Apple was not interested in doing any deals “where we get less than 30%.” The company was also fine with a one-time bounty but it had to be “careful” to ensure this did not spill over to the App Store.

The thread then discusses how fees should work when Apple refers a new subscriber. Should the company insist on 30 percent of the initial subscription? 30 percent of the first year? Just insist that all subscription applications funnel subscribers through the App Store? Concerns are raised that Hulu Plus might not be able to afford that kind of cost. Cue responds that Apple should ask for 40 percent of the first year, but that it may need to work out a few deals first.

The most important thing to note here is that Apple executives were having this discussion back in 2011 when tvOS did not have an App Store of its own. The company just wanted to maximize its profits and did not really have a clear approach towards the platform. So much for Apple always thinking about the ecosystem.

[Via The Verge]