Apple Releases a New Study to Justify 30% App Store Commission

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 22 Jul 2020

Apple App Store

Apple is facing criticism for taking a 30% cut from the App Store transactions. Now the company has come up with a study that supports 30% commission. The new study highlights Apple’s App Store commission rate is not out of place and is similar to other digital marketplaces.

The study takes into account 38 digital marketplaces, and the list includes apps and software, and other digital content. As per the study, companies like Amazon, eBay, and Uber sometimes take more than 30% commission. Furthermore, the study says that the App Store commission is similar to the ones charged by offline retail channels like book stores, and others.

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%.

Marketplaces that distribute digital content such as videos, podcasts, eBooks, and audiobooks generally charge commission rates of 30% or more. Commission rates charged by e-commerce marketplaces vary by industry but sometimes exceed 30%.

The following table from the study show commission rates for select app stores. The table shows Google is charging 30%, and so are other marketplaces like Amazon Appstore, and Microsoft Store. The study claims other app stores like Aptoide also charge commissions “in the 25-30% range.” That’s not all; in China, app stores like Tencent’s MyApp and others charge a commission of as much as 50% and sometimes even more.

Our Take

The study seems like a desperate measure by Apple to justify the App Store commission amidst pressure from antitrust regulators and the developer community. Recently, Apple rejected Hey! Email app for not adding in-app purchases(approved later). That apart, the EU is investigating Apple with regards to specific App Store and Apple Pay practices. The 30% revenue and the mandatory use of In-App Purchases are part of the investigation.

Do you think it is fair for Apple to charge a 30% commission on App Store transactions? Let us know in the comments below.

[via Analysis Group]