Apple buys advertising space on Google for several popular apps. It claims a number of major app developers, reports Forbes.
Free advertising is not usually something companies complain about, but in this case it is not about a charity towards the developers but according to them about a new way for Apple to increase its own revenue.
The apps in question have one thing in common: Expensive subscriptions that can be purchased either in the app (with Apple’s buy-in app) or directly from the developers on the web. In the latter case, the developers get all the revenue, while they have to share 30 or 15 percent with Apple in the former.
The developers who are making the accusations against Apple are behind well-known apps such as Babbel, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, HBO and Masterclass. Some of their subscriptions run into thousands of dollars a year and therefore it is cheap for Apple to pay upwards of a hundred bucks for each “conversion” as it is called in the advertising industry when someone who sees an advertisement goes ahead and buys the product in question.
The app developers call Apple’s behavior “advertising arbitrage” and in addition to lower revenues, the developers complain that it leads to them not getting any connection to the customers and thus can not provide support with subscriptions and other things.