Published 6:17 PM EST Feb 16, 2020
First Netflix. Then Spotify. Now YouTube TV.
YouTube TV subscribers will no longer be able to pay for the live channel streaming service via Apple’s App Store, starting March 13. Other entertainment apps have pulled away from splitting subscription revenue with Apple.
A YouTube spokesperson confirmed the news with CNET on Friday, adding that Apple is an “important partner for YouTube.” The move allows YouTube TV to keep all proceeds from new paying iPhone and iPad customers.
Apple device users can still watch YouTube TV’s content on iPhones and iPads, but they have to pay Google for it directly. Customers who check out in the App Store will have their subscription automatically canceled, the Verge reported.
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Without Apple playing the middleman, YouTube TV’s monthly service charge is cheaper – $49.99 vs. $54.99. YouTube TV hasn’t specified why it’s ditching the App Store; however, it’s not the first tech giant to do so.
The music streaming app Spotify discontinued the Apple payment functionality for new premium customers, and it accused the iPhone maker of unfairly collecting fees.
In 2019, Spotify lodged a complaint with antitrust regulators claiming that Apple uses its App Store power to unfairly penalize a “targeted” group of rivals. The company alleged that select digital services have to pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s system.
Apple disputed some of the claims and added perspective to the situation. Apple said Spotify wouldn’t survive without its app store.
In 2018, Netflix distanced itself from what was then iTunes, so new customers couldn’t pay for service via Apple.
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.