John Oliver is shocked, shocked that Apple takes a 30% cut of app purchases

Excerpted from Sunday's "This Week with John Oliver":

John Oliver discusses tech monopolies, and how to address the hidden harm they can do.

Cue the Apple bit:

My take: I like John Oliver. I don't begrudge him the $15 million HBO pays him to produce 30 shows a year.

7 Comments

  1. Greg Lippert said:
    Shame on him, so superficial. I expected better from JO. For example, he neglected to mention that for developed making under 1M a year the commission rates are 1/2. Nor did he mention anything about building/maintaining the app store, paying merchant fees, security, privacy, etc

    And I’m a JO fan!

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    June 14, 2022
    • Fred Stein said:
      Ditto and upvoted.

      Also JO, and nearly everyone else, never mention that 85% of Apps are free even though the companies using these Apps to engage customers make $billions.

      And the big revenue generators (those paying 30%) are games, streaming entertainment, and dating. Neither streaming nor dating require the App approach. They could easily be deployed through browsers and avoid fees and controls. The choose App Store of Google Play because customers WANT the control, the walled garden. People would rather take their kids play in a city park than an abandoned industrial site.

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      June 14, 2022
      • David Emery said:
        At the risk of a biased generalization, ” games, streaming entertainment, and dating” developers are large AND GREEDY companies… 🙂 So with all these protests over Apple’s “closed store”, the question remains, “Cui Boni” – Who Benefits? There are mumbles about ‘consumers might benefit from greater competition” but not much data to show that is the case. I suspect Epic in fact shows the opposite, so it’s rather a redistribution of who gets the money.

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        June 14, 2022
  2. Something I’ve noticed since the App Store & Play Store were first introduced is that nobody has once complained to me about high app fees. At Ma Bell billing calls occasionally landed on my tech line. Recurring App fees were at once an income source & hassle for telco customer support. I issued credits or faced the wrath of Mabel. Something about $1.99 or $2.99 quickly seemed fair to most people. The average price of apps is actually 88 cents. We used to shell out $29 here & $700 there (Photoshop) for work applications on CDs. My point is, App Store fees & install are a non-issue for most smartphone users. Serious gamers may disagree but paying $35+ for NFTs is absurd. Smartphone security, especially within social network & photo/video sharing apps, is important to nearly everyone.

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    June 14, 2022
    • David Emery said:
      It would be very interesting to see data (from Apple?) on price vs download/subscription. I’m guessing the high end games are disproportionally expensive.

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      June 14, 2022
      • Fred Stein said:
        You might try App Annie for such data.

        From what I’ve read, the big money is in-App, or rather in-game, purchases, which have zero incremental cost to the game developers. My son-in-law says my grandson spends about $40 a month on such stuff.

        Paraphrasing Rudyard Kipling “And that, my best beloved, is why Epic wants to take the in-App business from Apple.”

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        June 14, 2022
  3. David Emery said:
    A comedian who does financial/business analysis? The difference between Oliver and most of the clowns on Wall St is that Oliver knows what his primary job is.

    I, for one, don’t give a rodent’s posterior what John Oliver says about anything. I don’t get news, facts, and analysis from TV talk shows. (But then, I don’t watch much of -anything- on TV.)

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    June 14, 2022

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