Apple's App Store rules are once again a subject of contention as a startup geared toward allowing creators to monetize their content struggles to prevent Apple from taking a huge chunk of the in-app payments its users receive.
The Big Tech behemoth, on the other hand, wants that 30 percent cut from all purchases taking place in the iPhone app of Fanhouse, the startup in question.
Fanhouse, founded in 2020 as part of the so-called creator economy, already takes 10 percent of all transactions on the platform, which means that bowing down to Apple's demand would remove a significant portion of their earnings from creators.
Creators on Fanhouse – which is said to be modeled after OnlyFans, but actually prohibits adult content – can make money via monthly subscriptions and fans tipping their posts or direct messages, and also, much like Cameo, can allow fans to pay them for greeting videos.
When it comes to Apple's demand, Fanhouse has little to no wiggle room as Apple has given it until August to start paying the 30 percent, or be removed from the store. The one thing the startup can do is try to raise awareness about Apple's practices and hope that the giant will change them at least when it comes to taking money from individuals, i.e., creators.
On the other hand, Apple is recognizing that the creator economy is growing and clearly wants to be able to earn from that as well, rather than taking its high App Store “tax” only from companies. And this policy was formalized very recently – only last week – when App Store terms received an update explicitly mentioning that it allows creator-made “content and experiences” – but only if it can take a share of their profits.
Fanhouse co-founder Jasmine Rice, who also earns a living on the platform as a creator, told The Verge that they are trying to convince Apple to take 30 percent of the startup's profit but leave that generated by the creators alone.
Apple's only response so far has been that it is “working with Fanhouse” to make sure the app complies with its rules.