This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. This is a collection of past column.
Crowds on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and other sites are increasingly asking followers to pay to support them. We may do this to access additional features such as personal chat or newsletters from our favorite online characters, or to get good vibes from online business support. line that we love.
And if there’s one thing that keeps a lot of people trying to monetize fan payments, it’s annoyance at Apple.
You probably know that some app makers are angry about the fees Apple charges from some digital purchases in the iPhone app. If you buy extra lives in a video game app or sign up for a dating service on your iPhone, Apple will collect up to 30 cents for every dollar you spend.
But many people who earn an income from their online work also pay these fees to Apple, indirectly.
Here is an example: Please say you like this cycling channel on YouTube and click on the YouTube app on your iPhone to become a member for $5 a month. Your money is divided in three ways. Apple gets $1.50. YouTube takes $1.05. The Cycling Channel gets $2.45, or less than half of what you thought you were paying it.
Many internet creators say Apple doesn’t deserve a large portion of their earnings because of what they see as the company’s small involvement in the relationship between creative online work and fans. And they say Apple’s fees – higher than those from sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter – make it even harder to pursue an already difficult innovation.
“It’s a ridiculous tax for which they have no excuse,” online personality Hank Green said of Apple’s charges.
An Apple spokesperson told me that fees for a small number of what people do in apps are fair compensation for the company’s role in the internet economy and to make it easy for you to pay for your bills. stuff from our phones. People also feel more confident paying with a credit card on file with Apple than handing over account information to people on YouTube or Instagram.
He stressed that Apple doesn’t cut back when people make personal payments online from a web browser or when people use virtual currency jars on apps like Twitch.
This week, On Tech is focusing on economy for online creators, who are so good at entertaining or sharing information online that they turn it into a job. Tensions between creators and Apple will likely only increase as fan payments become more common, both in popular application and from specialist subscription services like Patreon, OnlyFans and Substacks. (OnlyFans and Substack don’t have apps. Patreon, a service for people to pay musicians, online personalities, and broadcasters, doesn’t hand over fees from creators to Apple.)
Apple’s fees may not be a big burden for Green and other creators who make a good living. But Jasmine Rice, the co-founder of a service named Fanhouse for video creator subscribers, they say payments to Apple can amount to monthly rent or other expenses for the majority of people hustling for an income from online work. their.
Fanhouse choose a public war with Apple last year to pressure the company to change fees on creators. Rice told me her company tried to convince Apple to give up its commission or cut from 10 percent commission that Fanhouse collects from creators, not the full amount that fans pay. Apple said no, Rice said, and gave Fanhouse a six-month grace period to pay the fees in full.
One thing I’ve heard over and over from these online experts is that Apple is getting in the way of not only creator earnings, but promising ideas as well.
Li Jin, an investor in companies that create the internet, says she comes across business ideas that don’t succeed because Apple’s fees erode profit potential.
“There are a lot of mouths to eat, and the revenue cut in the app is really high,” said Jin. (She Written more on this topic last year.)
The internet economy and income potential for creators would be much smaller if Apple hadn’t made smartphones the most popular computer in history. But now, we are seeing the standards and financial systems set in the early days of digital life sometimes getting in the way of the Internet of 2022.
Tomorrow on Tech: how an online personality monetizes digital work in a trillion different ways.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/26/technology/apple-fees-online-creators.html Why online creators are crazy about Apple fees