Apple has modified its App Store policies and will now allow tipping for content publishers through in-app purchases, reports TechCrunch. The publication noted that this was instituted as a number of Chinese live-streaming apps like Yinke and Yizhibo allow content publishers to get tips via virtual currencies. Apps may add in-app purchase currencies for tipping purposes, but Apple will get 30% as commission.
Note that streaming apps like Periscope and Facebook Live announced it started testing ad breaks that interrupt on-demand video as potential revenue for content creators. However, the companies keep 45% of the ad revenue and content creators get 55%.
Last month, the Cupertino-headquartered company started cracking down on apps with unofficial tipping and showed that the tips were donations instead of purchases. Reportedly, Apple told several Chinese social networking apps, including WeChat, to disable their tip functions or risk being kicked off the App Store. However, some social-networking apps have likened Apple’s tactic to arm-twisting, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. But Apple will look at it as another revenue stream. However, Mac Rumours reports that Chinese companies may approach the government for intervention.
Meanwhile, developers will have to ask themselves whether they take a cut of the tips or pass the full 70% on to the content creators.
Note that during the Q1 2017 call with analysts, CEO Tim Cook said the App Store continued to rake in a lot of revenue for Apple and app developers. “The quarterly increase in the number of paying accounts was the largest that we’ve ever experienced,” Cook said. Citing an App Annie report, he added that the App Store had generated twice the revenue of Google’s Play Store in the March quarter. Apple Music and iCloud subscriptions, plus third party subscriptions on the App Store, exceeded 165 million. Apple did not provide a service-wise or territory-wise breakdown of numbers here.