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In the perennial battle between Apple and companies trying to re-sell digital products in the App Store (Netflix, Amazon Video, Spotify, Audible, etc…) the 30% cut makes their business virtually impossible, and it's the customers who end up with a bad experience.

If you’ve not yet read this article from John Gruber, give it a quick read. The short version is that Amazon Video now allows customers to pay money for additional digital content, without using Apple’s IAP mechanism, but only if you’re an existing Prime subscriber.

From the official statement that Apple supplied to John:

Apple has an established program for premium subscription video entertainment providers

That may be true, but it also might be misleading. It's certainly the case that it’s only available to a very exclusive club right now.

The Verge has a somewhat sceptical view on whether this will ever roll out to other developers, and they certainly might be right. However, the fact that there is movement, no matter how small, on this issue has two benefits for the rest of us:

  1. It makes iOS a better experience for end-users, which is critical for the platform. The more people who are happy with iOS, and who stay with iOS, the bigger our potential market.
  2. Experiments like this, no matter how small and exclusive, tend to start broader conversations. I’d certainly not get your hopes up about significant changes to the business model of the App Store, but I’d love to this be the start of some experimentation.
Dave Verwer

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