Fanhouse protests Apple's 30% commission on payments to creators

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 10
Content creator platform Fanhouse is launching a campaign protesting Apple's 30% App Store commission on payments to creators.

Credit: Fanhouse
Credit: Fanhouse


Founders of Fanhouse, a platform that allows creators to get paid by their fans for exclusive content, say that Apple is threatening to kick them off the App Store by August if they don't pay the 30% cut on payments that users make to creators on the platform.

"People who are relying on their creative income as a means to support themselves will now find themselves being taxed by Apple more than they would by their own government. Someone making $10,000 would now only make $6,000," said founder Jasmine Rice. "For some people, that difference can be life or death."

Fanhouse is a platform where creators can set up what is essentially a private social media page that only paying fans can access. Founded in 2020, the app managed to make it onto the App Store without Apple noticing that it offered payments that bypassed its in-app purchase platform.

Rice said that Fanhouse only takes 10% of the income that creators make on the platform. While she added that she's okay with Apple taking 30% of the company's revenue, but not 30% of the money made by creators.

In a statement to The Verge, Apple said it is working with Fanhouse to bring the app into compliance with its guidelines. It also said that Fanhouse was previously rejected because of a similar guideline violation.

Apple takes a 30% cut of app and in-app purchases on the App Store, a commission that has become a point of contention for developers. Apple's requirement that developers use its own proprietary payment platform with that fee was the catalyst for the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit.

Apple in 2020 launched a small business program cutting its commission to 15% for app companies making less than $1 million in revenue from the App Store. Fanhouse makes more than that, but pays nearly all of its revenue to creators.

It's worth noting that Apple's guidelines didn't explicitly cover content creators until Monday, when the company updated its rules to allow creator-made content as long as it's moderated and Apple gets its 30%.

Rice, for her part, is encouraging other creator-based companies to urge Apple to change its policies.

"Apple, take your heavy cut from our profits, or allow us payment exceptions like you do other platforms," Rice said. "But please, let creators have a place where they can earn a fair income for their content. These people deserve the lion's share of their earnings and nothing less."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    glennhglennh Posts: 43member
    As an Apple shareholder, I say PAY UP! The only thing one gets for free on this planet is a butt kicking or an opinion. Those two will comes together or something separate but either way everything else one has to pay for including making money in the App Store!  cha-ching!

    😜
    bloggerblogwilliamlondonkkqd1337jony0
  • Reply 2 of 39
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,563member
    The easiest thing to do is simply remove these non-payers from the App Store. They're violating the contract they signed so they have no grounds for anything. Just dump them. I'm tired of these developers complaining while they receive 70% for doing nothing other than submitting an app. Apple does all the rest, which isn't free.
    BeatswilliamlondonDetnatordavpscooter63jony0
  • Reply 3 of 39
    mobirdmobird Posts: 582member
    Maybe Apple should create a new platform / marketplace for "creators" that has a totally different payment scheme, aligned with other markets found online and brick & mortar. Maybe a "starving artist"... Just thinking out loud.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,230member
    The problem is if they are dependent on Apple to provide a service they don’t have a platform. They are using Apple’s platform to offer a service. Notice they said a creator making $10,000 would only get $6000. Well, if the creator did it themselves with a simple app, they would either get $10,000 or $8500 @ 15%. It’s this company being sneaky that is the problem. 
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  • Reply 5 of 39
    mrd10mrd10 Posts: 3member
    The people would have no platform without Apple. Period. You rely on Apple’s infrastructure and that is why they take 30%. You don’t like it? Get off. I’m so tired of these people stomping their feet and complaining like children. This is the reality. Accept it or move on. 
    Beatsrob53baconstangwilliamlondonDetnatorpscooter63jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 39
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,049member
    They make it sound like Apple is controlling access to all platforms by all manufacturers. It’s just one company, these creatives should be posting their work on Windows and Android too
    Beatsmrd10baconstangdavpscooter63jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 39
    mobirdmobird Posts: 582member
    I was suggesting that Apple create the "creators" platform or store front with a different pricing structure.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,445member
    GET THE FU** OFF THE PLATFORM!!I’m getting sick of these entitled whiners.

    ”For some people, that difference could be life or death” STFU.

    mobird said:
    I was suggesting that Apple create the "creators" platform or store front with a different pricing structure.

    Apple doesn’t owe anyone anything. Why should Apple spend time and resources to appease some crybabies. It’s also a bad idea because scumbag companies like Epic will find loopholes to slither into that second fragmented store.  

    mrd10davpscooter63jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 39
    longfanglongfang Posts: 232member
    genovelle said:
    The problem is if they are dependent on Apple to provide a service they don’t have a platform. They are using Apple’s platform to offer a service. Notice they said a creator making $10,000 would only get $6000. Well, if the creator did it themselves with a simple app, they would either get $10,000 or $8500 @ 15%. It’s this company being sneaky that is the problem. 
    That would mean Fanhouse charges 10% right? If they were sooo concerned about creators they would not mind cutting into that right?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 39
    barthrhbarthrh Posts: 109member
    longfang said:
    That would mean Fanhouse charges 10% right? If they were sooo concerned about creators they would not mind cutting into that right?
    In fairness, they did say that Apple should be taking 30% of their 10% cut, not 30% of the full amount.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,407member
    This sounds kind of like Patreon.   Has anyone looked at the Patreon iOS app?  I am not on Patreon.   Can you donate to your favorite “creators” on the iOS Patreon app?  
  • Reply 12 of 39
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,016member
    mobird said:
    Maybe Apple should create a new platform / marketplace for "creators" that has a totally different payment scheme, aligned with other markets found online and brick & mortar. Maybe a "starving artist"... Just thinking out loud.
    The margin on bricks and mortar store compared with wholesale price would be closer to 100%. (ie 50% of the retail price is wholesale. It depends on what it is. I used to work in a rural supplies shop. The same farmer that would negotiate you down to a $1 profit on a $200 drum of herbicide on a Wednesday, would unquestioningly pay 200% markup when he comes in on the weekend with daughter to buy horse gear.
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  • Reply 13 of 39
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 736member
    If you can't survive on what you're making, raise your prices.

    If that doesn't work, learn to do something else.
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  • Reply 14 of 39
    I guess when your parents name you after a food staple your outlook on the universe is somewhat different.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 39
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,411member
    Sometimes it’s hard to predict who will win, but this time it is easy.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,837member
    barthrh said:
    longfang said:
    That would mean Fanhouse charges 10% right? If they were sooo concerned about creators they would not mind cutting into that right?
    In fairness, they did say that Apple should be taking 30% of their 10% cut, not 30% of the full amount.

    If Apple agreed then what’s to stop Fanhouse hiking the cut from their customers to make up for it?
    kmobergpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 39
    While I am typically 100% in favor of Apples 30% cut, I see where Fanhouse is coming from on this one. For example if Epic sells me a token pack in game for $10, Apple gets $3 and Epic gets $7. Pretty straight forward. Epic made the token pack, sold me the token pack and keeps the money from its sale. But for Fanhouse, if I purchase a $10 private social page from someone inside the fanhouse app, Apple gets $3, Fanhouse gets $1 and the content creator gets $6. The content creator made what I’m buying, not Fanhouse. In essence, the content creator pays Apples 30% AND the Fanhouse 10% fee, when Fanhouse should be the one paying the 30% because its their app. Fanhouse is proposing $9 to the content creator, $0.30 to Apple and $0.70 to Fanhouse, which may be how the ebay and amazon apps work. When I sell on ebay I am using the ebay platform and have agreed to ebays fees, but I certainly dont see a variation in my pay out based on whether or not someone purchased the item via the web or app, I just see ebay take their standard cut.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 39
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,016member
    I guess when your parents name you after a food staple your outlook on the universe is somewhat different.
    I had to do a double take in that. Ah well, if that is her maiden name I guess her career choices were either a job in tech services or as an axe murderer with her parents starring as the victims. 
    There is also the possibility it is her married name and when she met some dude named Rice they both realised it was inevitable.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    602warren said:
    When I sell on ebay I am using the ebay platform and have agreed to ebays fees, but I certainly dont see a variation in my pay out based on whether or not someone purchased the item via the web or app, I just see ebay take their standard cut.
    Apple doesn’t take 30% from ebay sales because you are selling physical goods. The 15/30% only applies to digital content. 
    602warrenget serious
  • Reply 20 of 39
    amar99amar99 Posts: 79member
    There's this platform called Android see, and ... oh wait they charge the same amount. So why not go after Google instead? /s
    kmobergwilliamlondondav
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