CyberWarfare / ExoWarfare

Mobile Apps für Apple sind lukrativer

Android dominiert den Smartphone-Markt und ist auch darüber hinaus das mit Abstand am weitesten verbreitete mobile Betriebssystem.

Trotzdem ist Apple für App Publisher immer noch die deutlich lukrativere Adresse, wie ein aktueller Report von Sensor Tower zeigt. Demnach erzielten die 100 größten iOS-App-Publisher im ersten Quartal 2019 durchschnittlich 84 Millionen US-Dollar Umsatz, verglichen mit 51 Millionen US-Dollar bei den erfolgreichsten Android-App-Herstellern.

Insgesamt hat Apple bislang mehr als 120 Milliarden US-Dollar ab Entwickler ausgezahlt (Stand: Januar 2019) – davon 60 Milliarden US-Dollar in den letzten beiden Jahren.

from: https://de.statista.com/infografik/18480/durchschnittlicher-bruttoumsatz-der-top-100-app-publisher/

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Apple: Spotify argumentiert mit falschen Zahlen
Spotify-Gründer Daniel Ek hatte Mitte März bei der EU-Kommission ein Prüfverfahren gegen Apple eingeleitet. Der Grund: Apple erhebe von Anbietern 30 Prozent Gebühren für Käufe über den App Store, beispielsweise wenn ein Spotify-Kunde sein Gratisabo auf die Premium-Funktion upgrade. Apple wirft dem Streaming-Anbieter nun vor, wissentlich mit falschen Zahlen zu argumentieren. Von den 30 Prozent seien nicht etwa alle Nutzer betroffen, sondern nur jene, die ihr Abo zwischen 2014 und 2016 abgeschlossen haben – etwa 680.000 Kunden. Zudem habe deren Gebühr nur bei 15 Prozent gelegen. spiegel.de

 

 

ARCHIV – ILLUSTRATION – Kopfhörer hängen am 17.03.2014 in Berlin vor einem Apple Iphone 5s, auf dem das Logo vom Musik-Streaming-Dienst Spotify angezeigt wird. (zu dpa “Milliardenklage gegen Spotify wegen Autorenrechten” vom 03.01.2018) Foto: Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa +++(c) dpa – Bildfunk+++

Streit um Abo-Kosten Apple wehrt sich gegen Spotify-Vorwürfe

Apple schlägt gegen Spotify zurück: Der Konzern kassiere keine überhöhten Provisionen von Kunden des Streamingdienstes, wie dessen Chef Daniel Ek behauptet. Ek nutze falsche Zahlen, heißt es in einem internen Dokument.

Es waren schwere Vorwürfe, die Daniel Ek erhob. Apple sei zwar ein Konkurrent seiner Firma, schrieb der Gründer und Geschäftsführer des Musik-Streamingdienstes Spotify, und das sei auch gut so. “Aber Apple verschafft sich immer noch bei jeder Gelegenheit Vorteile”, schimpfte Ek Mitte März. Deshalb habe Spotify Beschwerde bei der EU-Kommission eingelegt.

Zur Begründung behauptete Ek, dass Apple von Spotify eine “Steuer” in Höhe von 30 Prozent auf Käufe über Apples Bezahlsystem erhebe – etwa dann, wenn Spotify-Nutzer von einem Gratis- auf ein kostenpflichtiges Premiumkonto umsteigen. Das würde Spotify zwingen, seine Preise “künstlich aufzublasen”, und zwar deutlich über das, was Apple für seinen eigenen Streamingdienst Apple Music verlange.

 

Daniel Ek, CEO of Swedish music streaming service Spotify, poses for photographers at a press conference in Tokyo on September 29, 2016.
Spotify kicked off its services in Japan on September 29. / AFP PHOTO / TORU YAMANAKA

 

Apple wehrt sich jetzt gegen diese Vorwürfe – und beschuldigt Spotify, wissentlich mit irreführenden Zahlen zu operieren. So erwecke Spotify den Eindruck, dass die 30-Prozent-Abgabe für alle Nutzer von Apple-Geräten fällig werde. Dabei gehe es um nur 680.000 Nutzer, wie es nach SPIEGEL-Informationen in Apples Stellungnahme an die EU-Kommission heißt, die Ende Mai in Brüssel eingetroffen ist.

Apple: Spotify operiert mit irreführenden Zahlen

Die Kommission von 30 Prozent sei nur bei jenen Spotify-Kunden erhoben worden, die ihr Abo über Apples In-App-Kauffunktion von Gratis auf Premium umgestellt hätten. Diese Funktion sei aber nur von 2014 bis 2016 in der Spotify-App aktiv gewesen – und in dieser Zeit hätten nur 680.000 Kunden davon Gebrauch gemacht. Für alle anderen Abo-Upgrades vorher und nachher hat Apple nach eigenen Angaben keinen Cent kassiert.

Spotify hatte laut seinem letzten Geschäftsbericht Ende des ersten Quartals 2019 weltweit rund 100 Millionen zahlende Nutzer – eine Steigerung von 32 Prozent gegenüber dem Vorjahr. Apple Music kommt aktuell auf gut 50 Millionen Kunden, wuchs zuletzt aber schneller als der schwedische Wettbewerber. Europa ist die wichtigste Region für Spotify. In den USA hat Apple Spotify zuletzt offenbar überholt.

Spotify lässt Anfragen unbeantwortet

Auch für die betroffenen 680.000 Spotify-Abos verlangt Apple offenbar – anders als Ek in seinem Blog schreibt – nicht 30 Prozent, sondern nur die Hälfte. Schon vor einiger Zeit hat die Firma die Kommission für Abo-Kunden gesenkt: Nach einem Jahr Mitgliedschaft fällt sie von 30 auf 15 Prozent. Da die 680.000 Spotify-User ihre Abos vor drei bis fünf Jahren abgeschlossen haben, muss Spotify für sie nach Apple-Angaben nur noch 15 Prozent abführen.

Warum Ek dennoch behauptet, dass Apple bis heute eine Kommission verlange und diese 30 Prozent betrage, ist unklar. Spotify hat auf mehrere Anfragen des SPIEGEL nicht reagiert.

Ek hat in seinem Blogpost eingeräumt, dass Spotify die Gebühr an Apple umgehen könne, indem man die Apple-eigene Bezahlfunktion nicht nutze. Dann aber erschwere Apple die Kommunikation zwischen Spotify und seinen Kunden, blockiere App-Updates oder halte Spotify von Produkten wie der Assistenzsoftware Siri, dem vernetzten Lautsprecher HomePod und der Computer-Uhr Apple Watch fern. Apple weist diese Behauptungen als unwahr zurück.

Vestager erinnert an Milliarden-Bußgelder gegen Google und Microsoft

Die entscheidende Frage im Prüfverfahren der EU-Kommission ist nun, ob Apples App Store eine dominante Plattform ist, die den gesamten Musikstreaming-Markt beeinflussen könnte, und ob Apple seinen eigenen Streaming-Dienst bevorteilt. “Wir haben eine Plattform, die Kunden zu verschiedenen Anbietern leitet, und dann beginnt die Plattform, solche Geschäfte selbst zu machen, also selbst zum Anbieter zu werden”, sagte EU-Wettbewerbskommissarin Margrethe Vestager im März über den App Store. Das sei ein Muster, “das wir schon kennen”. Es war eine Anspielung auf die milliardenschweren Bußgelder gegen Google und Microsoft.

Bei Apple hält man diesen Vergleich schon deshalb für falsch, weil das iPhone in der EU nur einen Anteil von 25 Prozent des Smartphone-Markts hält. Nahezu der gesamte Rest entfällt auf Handys mit Googles Android-Betriebssystem. Zudem sei Apple Music auch nicht dominant auf dem Markt der Streaming-Anbieter.

Zu Dauer und Stand des von Spotify angestrengten Prüfverfahrens wollte die EU-Kommission auf Anfrage keine Angaben machen.

from: https://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/spotify-beschwerde-bei-eu-kommission-apple-wehrt-sich-a-1273755.html

 

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Any transaction that Apple processes for you will be subject to the 30% transaction fee. Any direct “in app purchase.”
Essentially, anything that can be delivered via the app that’s “digital content” is taxable.

If you have a basic eCommerce app where you sell physical products but you yourself process the payments, Apple will not take 30%.

from: https://www.startups.com/community/questions/381/does-the-30-apple-transaction-fee-apply-to-physical-goods-purchased-on-an-app

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According to Apple’s official guidelines:

If you want to unlock features or functionality within your app (by way of example: subscriptions, in-game currencies, game levels, access to premium content, or unlocking a full version), you must use in-app purchase. Apps may use in-app purchase currencies to enable customers to “tip” digital content providers in the app. Apps and their metadata may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.

You must use in-app purchases and Apple’s official API’s, if it’s not a physical item.

Otherwise your app will be rejected.

from: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/48058415/is-there-a-way-to-avoid-in-app-30-fee-for-any-purchases-in-ios

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In-App Purchases. What you need to know before developing a Mobile App

So you’re building an iOS app. Great! Let’s get to the brass tacks; how are you going to make money on it? Will there be some kind of purchasing ability within the app?

If your app is going to be anything like the majority of the 1.6 Million apps in the App Store, whose in-app purchases account for nearly $24 Billion annually – you need to know how purchasing works on iOS.

In-App Purchases vs. Apple Pay:

Apple has built two ways to pay for things directly into iOS: Apple Pay and In-App Purchase (IAP). Apple Pay is similar to a credit card transaction: it takes a small percentage of the transaction, plus a flat-fee. IAPs use the iTunes store purchasing system, and therefore take a 30% cut on all purchases, whether they’re one time uses or subscription based.

Based on the fee structure alone, it sounds like you’d be a fool to not go with Apple Pay. Well, the plain truth is you can’t use Apple Pay everywhere. In fact, unless you fall into a few specific use cases, you can’t use Apple Pay, or any other payment processor, at all.

Taking a Deeper Look at IAP – It’s important!

Regardless of whether you’re a CEO or a developer, do yourself a favor and read up on the purchasing guidelines for IAP and the ones for Apple Pay too. It’s important to understand the specific rules, so you don’t find yourself crashing into a brick wall later.

The gist is: any time you offer new/renewing content that users will pay for in-app (like news articles), they must be processed via IAP. Similarly, if you want to restrict some functionality, such as “Pro” features, that must be IAP. Finally, if you want to sell tokens/credits/gold coins/gems or whatever as consumables in a game or other service, they also must be through IAP.

One of the toughest decisions to make is whether or not to process subscription sign-ups through your app – or somewhere else like your website (more on that later). If you do decide to allow purchases within the app, then those must be through IAP too.

Given the fact that every In-App Purchase gives Apple a 30% cut, it can throw a really big wrench in your business plan if you aren’t expecting it.

What Doesn’t Fall in Apple’s In-App Purchase Policy:

Ok, when can you avoid using IAP? The simple answer is, when you’re selling physical goods and services.

My favorite example is Uber or Lyft. They can have their own credit card processing system (or Apple Pay) because the customer is paying for an actual ride from one place in the real world to another. When the customer purchases something from Amazon, they are buying a physical product, so Amazon can use their own payment system as well. However, you will notice that you cannot buy books in the Amazon Kindle app. You can download samples and add to a wish list, money does not change hands in the Kindle app.

Curiously, you can buy a Kindle book in the normal Amazon store app, using Amazon’s own payment processing. I don’t know if Amazon worked out a special deal with Apple, or they just snuck it in there. When you’re on Amazon’s size you can get just a small bit of leeway.

The trouble is 1) there aren’t a lot of businesses that offer these types of products or services that transact on mobile applications, and 2) it may not be immediately obvious that your pricing model falls under the IAP umbrella. If there is any doubt, submit your application for review as early as possible to validate this. It is far easier to adjust a business model months before launch than hours.

What about Software-as-a-Service businesses?

If you sell a SaaS subscription within an iOS app, it’s just another subscription in Apple’s eyes; you have to use an IAP subscription and give Apple 30%.

You can however, sell the subscription on your website and still have a companion iOS app. Take a look at the Basecamp iOS app:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/basecamp-3/id1015603248

This is the first screen you see when you launch the app. There are no IAPs for their subscription model. Instead, Basecamp has you sign up and pay for their subscription service on their website, not in their mobile app.

https://basecamp.com/via

So you’re saying there is a loophole?

Yes. Well, maybe… You can certainly avoid paying the 30% fee for IAP, but there is a Shaq sized catch. You CANNOT advertise anywhere in an app that you are selling something outside of iOS.

This is a pretty tough decision to make, as it has implications not only for product development, but also user acquisition, engagement and retention.

Originally, Netflix did not allow you to sign up for their $10/month plan inside of their iOS app, instead forcing every user to activate their account online. They held steady on that for a long time, opting to avoid the IAP fees for a clunkier user experience. That was until they determined that the number of signups they received by the convenience of activating subscriptions right there in the app outweighed the 30% hit on revenue.

I cannot stress enough that you will be rejected if you link to a website that displays a payment form. Even if you link to your homepage, and that links to a payment page, you’ll be rejected. Notice that there is no link to basecamp.com in that screenshot above. (Bonus tip: if you have a link to an Android version on that homepage, you’ll also get rejected. Life is fun sometimes.)

What this means for your business. And your app.

All too often we have a tendency to rush into things. Apps, and software development, are notoriously hard to estimate regardless. There is always an unknown wrench that will be thrown into your plans, but your business model and how you scale revenue should always be in your hands.

Apple’s IAP policy might seem a little imperious, and it is. Apple has $528 billion reasons that allow them to get away with it though and they won’t be changing anytime soon. With a little bit of foreknowledge your business and your development plan can adapt.

from: https://blog.tallwave.com/2016/04/13/in-app-purchases-what-you-need-to-know-before-developing-a-mobile-app

 

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[Google is no different: it also has a 30% cut in its Google Play Store]

Opinion: Google’s 30% cut of Play Store app sales is nothing short of highway robbery

Congratulations: You’ve finally developed your million-dollar app. You took a great idea, implemented it, built it into a polished UI, and tested it until you tracked down every last bug. Now it’s ready for public release, so you can sit back, relax and … earn just 70% of what users pay for your software? That doesn’t sound right. Yet it’s a position that mobile app developers everywhere find themselves in, one that’s perched somewhere on the intersection between wildly unfair and mild extortion.

As you’re probably aware, Google takes a 30% cut of all software sales going through the Play Store — that counts for both for the initial sale of apps, as well as any supplementary in-app purchases. In the context of the industry, this practice doesn’t seem too outlandish; Apple does the same thing with iOS software distribution through its App Store, and we see similar arrangements in the PC sphere on platforms like Steam.

But just because it’s commonplace, does that mean it’s fair, or even right? How did we get to this place where paying a developer 70 cents on the dollar for their hard work seems OK?

Back before the days when software distribution was primarily online, developers had it a lot worse. First you had to find a publisher, who was going to want their cut. Then you had the cost of physical media to consider, as well as designing and manufacturing some attractive packaging. You had to pay to ship your software to stores, and to even get it on shelves meant giving retailers their slice of the pie. And of course, with all these parties involved and them wanting to ensure as high sales as possible, you’d probably also be paying for an expensive advertising campaign.

In the end, the developer would be very lucky to end up with even 20% of the ultimate sale price (and forget about that if we’re talking console games, with royalties to the console manufacturer knocking things under 10% easily).

But that’s not the world we live in today, and so many of those costs have either seriously diminished or become irrelevant altogether. There’s no need to fight for retailer shelf space, no unsold merchandise taking up space in warehouses, and no need to pay so many middlemen along the way — heck, why even bother with a publisher when you can be a one-man app studio yourself?

from: https://www.androidpolice.com/2018/09/22/opinion-googles-30-cut-play-store-app-sales-nothing-short-highway-robbery/

 

Buying software used to mean a trip to the mall, with retailers and distributors taking a big cut. Now with digital sales, is Google’s 30% take still fair? (Image: Mike Mozart)

 

 

 

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