New emails in the Apple Vs Epic Games case, reported on by The Verge lifted a lid on internal discussions around subscription fees at Apple. Specifically, one batch showed executives working out how to ensure they were not “leaving money on the table” when it came to Apple TV subscription fees.
Discussion of Apple TV Subscription Fees
The documents show that various options were discussed by Eddy Cue, Jai Chulani, and Jeff Robbin, with Josh Lippman also added. These included taking a one-time cut of either 40 or 30 percent, a 30 percent ongoing fee, or cutting specific deals with specific services such as the NBA and MLB. They concluded that Tunes-based transactions or subscriptions should keep with the 30 percent cut seen in App Store.
While the emails are threaded in a way that is not so simple to follow who exactly is saying what, there are some enlightening moments in the conversation. For instance, at one point, there is speculation that “you won’t get 30% from Hulu Plus… they can’t afford.”
Another section says that “ideally” sports services will sign up users through iTunes and Apple will take the usual 30 percent. One exec also said that “I don’t want to do any deals where we get less than 30%,” on Apple TV. “That is what it is on the app store and we can’t be making a different deal here. If that’s not possible than I want a one-time bounty but we need to very careful here so this doesn’t spillover to the app store.” (All quotes as written in emails.)