Apple used to take 30 percent out of the in-app purchases and subscriptions on Apple News. Now the company is offering a 15 percent cut on the fee. It will only take a 15 percent cut from the publishers who agree to meet the requirements put forward by Apple. Publishers can avail of this offer by joining Apple’s News Partner Program. The requirements put forward by Apple, however, will largely profit Apple. The Verge reports that it goes “beyond just maintaining a channel in Apple News.”
The interested candidates must meet the following requirements:
It must maintain a separate News Channel in countries like Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The news must be published in the Apple News Format. While publishing in other regions, content is to be shared via an RSS feed. Apple wants the publishers to maintain their primary function as delivering original and well-authored content. They want the publishers’ app to be available on the App Store. Users should have the option to make auto-renewable subscriptions via Apple’s in-app purchase system. The requirements also lay out that “the Account Holder of an Apple Developer Program membership must agree to a separate addendum to the Apple Developer Program License Agreement.”
The publishers are requested to run their Apple News channel and publish content in the Apple News Format (ANF). They must maintain an app in the App Store that allows auto-renewable subscriptions and offer original content. Apple claims that the program will fund organizations that work with news media literacy and will also work towards diversifying newsrooms and news coverage.
It takes more effort in maintaining an app let alone publishing in an entirely different format. Apple might take away these strict regulations down the road. Apple used to take a 30 percent commission on in-app subscriptions. Before Apple News launched, there were talks that Apple will take a 50 percent cut. People were upset because of this rumour, especially because Amazon got special treatment.
Publishers like The New York Times were former publishers on the platform. We must wait and see if the News Partner Program will make such publishers happy.