Regulators will require Apple and Google to allow 3rd party payments for apps within the next few months. Like AI, this is a massive shift that will create confusion. The original sin was charging developers 30% for apps sold through the app store. Apple and Google had plenty of precedent for the 30% fee. Not long ago, mobile carriers charged 50% or more to carry a ringtone or a maps app on their devices. The problem today is that credit card companies charge between 2% and 5%, and in that light, 30% seems excessive and monopolistic.
Apple and others have invested hundreds of millions in tools like Xcode, content safety, privacy technology, and global payments to give a developer that chance to achieve global success solely based on creativity. We saw this play out time and again with games and productivity apps. All of this costs money; therefore, charging more than a credit card company does seem fair. But how much more? My answer is 10%. As a developer, receiving 90% of the revenue from my app sounds equitable. However, once regulators got involved, we moved past the point of adjusting the fee. Apple and others will undoubtedly lower the fees, but there will be other app stores. Expect one for games from Electronic Arts, another for media & entertainment from Disney, and one for productivity from Microsoft. Doesn't seem that crazy anymore, does it? 😁