YouTube TV to cancel subscriptions purchased through Apple in-app payments in March

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in General Discussion
Google's YouTube unit this week informed YouTube TV customers of a change in policy that will see a discontinuation of subscriptions purchased through Apple's in-app payments mechanism, forcing users to subscribe elsewhere or cancel the service.

YouTube TV


According to a letter sent to YouTube TV customers, the company will stop accepting payments for subscriptions through Apple's in-app system on March 13.

As noted by MacRumors, current members of the service can continue to watch YouTube TV content on Apple devices, meaning the service itself is not being pulled from the App Store.

"You'll be billed for one final month of service and then your in-app purchase subscription will be canceled automatically on your billing date after March, 13, 2020," the letter reads.

YouTube failed to clarify the change in policy, but Apple's traditional 30% cut of all in-app payments likely played a role in the decision. In a bid to encourage adoption of subscription payment models, Apple lowers its take of App Store fees to 15% for users who hold a monthly subscription for over a year.

To compensate, YouTube TV customers who pay in-app on Apple devices are charged $54.99 a month, higher than the typical $49.99 fee applied to all other customers. YouTube put a halt to new subscriptions made via in-app purchases on iPhone and iPad months ago, but has until now allowed existing users to continue to use Apple's mechanism to process monthly payments.

The change in YouTube TV's terms comes amid rumors that the company is mulling an expansion of its service that allows users to sign up and subscribe to premium third-party streaming services. Apple currently offers a similar product in Apple TV Channels.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    Not at all surprising since YouTube TV is seeing good success with paid subscriptions. Based on how AI has worded it I would expect those who are impacted can simply subscribe directly and as a bonus eliminate the $5 premium charge they were paying simply because it was through Apple. I doubt this will affect too many AI members if any since there haven't been new signups offered via in-app purchase for some time.
    edited February 2020
  • Reply 2 of 22
    Apple should drop the YouTube app from the App Store. It’s hot garbage.
    olsrazorpitcrossladwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    Apple should drop the YouTube app from the App Store. It’s hot garbage.
    Hot garbage doesn't seem like something Apple uses as a reason to remove an app. 
    With that said YouTube and YouTube TV are two almost completely different products that serve different markets.
    edited February 2020 chemengin1
  • Reply 4 of 22
    ktappektappe Posts: 808member
    This is likely linked to the recent YouTube changes in terms that we got a chance to read this week. I actually skimmed thru them. Looks like YouTube has been turned into a separate LLC, now controlled by Alphabet. As such they are likely looking at ways to be self-funding instead of sucking at Google's teat, and part of that is maximizing subscription profit.  As such they want to cast off Apple's 30% fee for purchases thru the Apple App Store. It's annoying to Apple product users, but straightforward from a business perspective.
    gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    This sounds like what Netflix did, except Netflix was eating the Apple Tax rather than customers (if I remember correctly).

    Eventually it will only be the little devs and micro-payments going through Apple.

    I wonder if Apple is ever going to do something to reverse this trend, or if they care...

    Would making it 5% bring everyone back on board, and have the transactions go through Apple?  There must be a number...
    baconstangarlomedia
  • Reply 6 of 22
    It’s funny, I thought they had already done this months ago....  I had updated my payment method back during late summer because of this change!
  • Reply 7 of 22
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    Just charge Google more for being the default search engine.
    olsrazorpitbaconstangLeoMCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Beats said:
    Just charge Google more for being the default search engine.
    Mmmm. Hadn’t thought of that. 
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    YouTubeTV cost more than basic cable.  But good for them to break from Apple and their ridiculous app surcharge. 
  • Reply 10 of 22
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,109member
    ktappe said:
    This is likely linked to the recent YouTube changes in terms that we got a chance to read this week. I actually skimmed thru them. Looks like YouTube has been turned into a separate LLC, now controlled by Alphabet. As such they are likely looking at ways to be self-funding instead of sucking at Google's teat, and part of that is maximizing subscription profit.  As such they want to cast off Apple's 30% fee for purchases thru the Apple App Store. It's annoying to Apple product users, but straightforward from a business perspective.
    Would it not be 15% for anyone who had subscribed for more than a year, which would be everyone currently still subscribing through the  app.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,901member
    Apple should drop the YouTube app from the App Store. It’s hot garbage.
    To be honest, YouTube is a great 'go to' resource for free, helpful resources on all manner of subjects. There is a fair amount of garbage too but that is very easy to avoid.

    I sometimes get the offer to sign up to a YouTube subscription service but I really don't need that. The ads are more in your face than before on some channels but not enough to avoid like the plague.
    razorpit
  • Reply 12 of 22
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple should drop the YouTube app from the App Store. It’s hot garbage.
    To be honest, YouTube is a great 'go to' resource for free, helpful resources on all manner of subjects. There is a fair amount of garbage too but that is very easy to avoid.

    I sometimes get the offer to sign up to a YouTube subscription service but I really don't need that. The ads are more in your face than before on some channels but not enough to avoid like the plague.
    Youtube is good, I agree with that. There is of course a lot of garbage on Youtube, but a lot of useful content too. I'm not a fan of their political censoring of course, but that is a different subject.

    He was talking about the app though, and I agree with that, the app is garbage. I never use the app on my iPhone or iPad. It is very limited and far worse than when I just go to Youtube on my Mac using a browser.


    Beats
  • Reply 13 of 22
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,216member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple should drop the YouTube app from the App Store. It’s hot garbage.
    To be honest, YouTube is a great 'go to' resource for free, helpful resources on all manner of subjects. There is a fair amount of garbage too but that is very easy to avoid.

    I sometimes get the offer to sign up to a YouTube subscription service but I really don't need that. The ads are more in your face than before on some channels but not enough to avoid like the plague.
    I agree..We subscribe to Youtube Premium and use it daily. It eliminates the adds and also continues to play when the phone locks, which is nice for audiobooks and sports shows that I subscribe to that don't require watching video. That is worth the 9.99 for me..

    baconstang
  • Reply 14 of 22
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,216member
    YouTubeTV cost more than basic cable.  But good for them to break from Apple and their ridiculous app surcharge. 

    I am not sure where you are located, but basic cable where I am at is more than 54.00 a month?  Basic cable alone with no bundled service discount starts at $59.99 a month and that doesn't include the equipment rental ( Tivo or digital box ). Most of the cheaper deals are bundled or only a 1 year new customer price. I think they are all too expensive and don't subscribe, but felt the need to add my 2c on the rip off pricing of "Basic" cable.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,216member
    gatorguy said:
    Not at all surprising since YouTube TV is seeing good success with paid subscriptions. Based on how AI has worded it I would expect those who are impacted can simply subscribe directly and as a bonus eliminate the $5 premium charge they were paying simply because it was through Apple. I doubt this will affect too many AI members if any since there haven't been new signups offered via in-app purchase for some time.

    I stopped paying via subscription through the app store almost 2 years ago with Youtube Premium..Realized Google was including the 30% app store surcharge in my rate... $12.99 to pay through the App store or $9.99 if I pay Google directly using Paypal.


  • Reply 16 of 22
    avon b7 said:
    Apple should drop the YouTube app from the App Store. It’s hot garbage.
    To be honest, YouTube is a great 'go to' resource for free, helpful resources on all manner of subjects. There is a fair amount of garbage too but that is very easy to avoid.

    I sometimes get the offer to sign up to a YouTube subscription service but I really don't need that. The ads are more in your face than before on some channels but not enough to avoid like the plague.
    I’m only talking about the app itself, which is completely terrible.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,901member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple should drop the YouTube app from the App Store. It’s hot garbage.
    To be honest, YouTube is a great 'go to' resource for free, helpful resources on all manner of subjects. There is a fair amount of garbage too but that is very easy to avoid.

    I sometimes get the offer to sign up to a YouTube subscription service but I really don't need that. The ads are more in your face than before on some channels but not enough to avoid like the plague.
    I’m only talking about the app itself, which is completely terrible.
    Maybe my use is basic by today's standards but where is the app not hitting the mark for you?

    I use it on Android of course (both phone and TV).

    My biggest gripe on the T.V version is that there are no comments available (for reading or writing) and that I can't seem to search within a channel.

    On the phone, I can't get back to the search box without first minimising the video and then closing it.

    Or is it the aesthetic angle?
  • Reply 18 of 22
    That is green lighting every developer to do the same with the play store.
    Why should we pay the fee when they are not willing to do the same?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    LeoMC said:
    That is green lighting every developer to do the same with the play store.
    Why should we pay the fee when they are not willing to do the same?
    Why not if it costs less and you profit more by marketing and distributing your own apps? There was a game developer not all that long ago who decided to go it alone with their Android game and sell direct instead of via the Play Store. Other companies have chosen to bypass the App Store and market direct to Apple users, the most well-known being Netflix.

    If a developer is prominent  enough and already has their own sales channels of course they should consider it. That's the way a good business is run. Whether to do it or not varies with each app and situation. 
  • Reply 20 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple should drop the YouTube app from the App Store. It’s hot garbage.
    To be honest, YouTube is a great 'go to' resource for free, helpful resources on all manner of subjects. There is a fair amount of garbage too but that is very easy to avoid.

    I sometimes get the offer to sign up to a YouTube subscription service but I really don't need that. The ads are more in your face than before on some channels but not enough to avoid like the plague.
    I’m only talking about the app itself, which is completely terrible.
    Maybe my use is basic by today's standards but where is the app not hitting the mark for you?

    I use it on Android of course (both phone and TV).

    My biggest gripe on the T.V version is that there are no comments available (for reading or writing) and that I can't seem to search within a channel.

    On the phone, I can't get back to the search box without first minimising the video and then closing it.

    Or is it the aesthetic angle?
    The article here of course is about Android TV, a hybrid live broadcast and streaming content service entirely separate from the YouTube service other than in subsidiary. Google should have made that obvious by using dissimilar names but whatever. Even DED seems to be confused by it.
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