Apple, Facebook discussed revenue-sharing before privacy battles

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 12
Before Apple's privacy feud with Facebook, the two companies reportedly discussed "revenue-sharing agreements" such as an ad-free, subscription-based version of the social media platform.

Facebook app
Facebook app


The talks between Apple and Facebook reportedly occurred between 2016 and 2018, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The report claims that Apple was in talks about various deals that would give it "a slice of Facebook's revenue."

According to one source, Apple approached Facebook and said it wanted to "build businesses together." One of those ideas included a subscription-based version of Facebook that was ad-free -- and would allow Apple to collect a 15% to 30% cut of revenue.

Facebook, which eventually rebranded itself as Meta after a series of controversies, decided against a subscription model.

When approached by The Wall Street Journal, an Apple spokesperson said that the iPhone maker routinely meets with developers to "make suggestions, address concerns, and help them continue to grow their businesses."

Additionally, the spokesperson said that there wasn't any connection between partnership talks with Facebook and Apple's eventual release of privacy features like App Tracking Transparency (ATT).

ATT is a feature that allows users to control whether apps can track them across other apps and services. The feature has dealt a blow to Facebook's ad revenue, which led the social media juggernaut to launch an all-out campaign against Apple and ATT.

In total, Facebook says it will take up to a $10 billion revenue hit in 2022 because of ATT.

Although Apple has its own nascent-but-growing advertising business, the company has also denied that its privacy features were meant to boost its own first-party offerings.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    designrdesignr Posts: 754member
    Interesting. Very interesting.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    thttht Posts: 4,628member
    designr said:
    Interesting. Very interesting.
    If what happened was Apple proposed to Facebook to develop an iOS app that has an ad-free subscription tier, it's a nothing burger.

    That's standard retail store or App Store practice. For a while, Apple was pushing everyone to develop a subscription tier. Apple proposed to Amazon that if they get someone to subscribe to Amazon Prime through the iOS app, Apple gets a cut of the subscription. Just replace Amazon Prime with Netflix, Spotify, Disney+, any service that has a subscription, Apple wants a cut if the customer subscribes through the iOS app. Some big fish went for it in the beginning, but they gradually just got people to subscribe through their own websites or other vehicles, like ATT and HBO Max.

    Facebook with a paid ad-free tier? That idea did make the rounds a while back. Facebook didn't test the waters.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    What a joke of a hit piece by the WSJ.

    Companies are always discussing different scenarios. The only thing that counts in the end is what the company did, not the dozen or more scenarios they talked about.
    williamlondonwatto_cobraJaiOh81
  • Reply 4 of 14

    In total, Facebook says it will take up to a $10 billion revenue hit in 2022 because of ATT.
    Is it really because of ATT, though?

    https://pxlnv.com/blog/ad-tech-revenue-statements-app-tracking-transparency/

    It seems pretty reasonable there are other factors at play in FB’s revenue hit. FB blaming ATT just helps them frame Apple as the bad guy to add a little more negative press.
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    JP234JP234 Posts: 515member
    Talk about the worst idea in Apple's history!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,471member
    Facebook with an ad free subscription seems like a good idea. Don’t sell my info. Let me pay in dollars rather than my privacy and security. 

    Solid idea. 
    watto_cobraJaiOh81crowley
  • Reply 7 of 14
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,684member
    At least referring to Apple 15/30% commission as "revenue sharing", is more accurate than calling it a "tax". 
    watto_cobraJaiOh81
  • Reply 8 of 14
    thttht Posts: 4,628member
    davidw said:
    At least referring to Apple 15/30% commission as "revenue sharing", is more accurate than calling it a "tax". 
    It's a fee, not revenue sharing. Fee as in retail fee, ie, App Store fee. The media also uses Facebook's term of "Boosted Post" as if people understand it, or don't recognize it as a term of art. That's a pay-to-get-exposure service from Facebook. That is, an advertisement. So, if someone pays to get an ad on Facebook through the iOS app, Apple wants its App Store fee.

    Not sure who want would to pay for a Facebook subscription through the iOS App Store. Facebook can just tell it's customers (that's not its users, but the advertisers that use them) that they can get ad space for a touch cheaper directly through Facebook and call it a day.

    The whole thing is basically a waste of time and no wonder it never got beyond "proposal" stage.
    JaiOh81
  • Reply 9 of 14
    - Platform holder goes to app maker
    - Platform maker says: we are going to take steps that will screw your business model.
    - But if you work with us, we’ll team up with you, promote you and push you to the top, but we want 15%/30% of your business.
    - If not, good luck. 

    This is straight up evil.

    The only reason this isn’t completely obscene is knowing Facebook would behave exactly the same if they’d control one of the duopolies.

    derekmorr
  • Reply 10 of 14
    Facebook with an ad free subscription seems like a good idea. Don’t sell my info. Let me pay in dollars rather than my privacy and security. 

    Solid idea. 
    However, it does not work. Nobody will pay a subscription fee for a social media platform. It just doesn’t work. People would leave, and only a handful would stay and pay.
    Apple is pushing the subscription model, and look what happens: the most ridiculous apps are now subscriptions and >90% are losing money.

    There could be a hybrid model, sure (free=ads), but building a platform based on two business models is hard to balance. 

    Perhaps Apple should try to build a social media platform, once again. They’ve been so successful at it 😅
  • Reply 11 of 14
    - Platform holder goes to app maker
    - Platform maker says: we are going to take steps that will screw your business model.
    - But if you work with us, we’ll team up with you, promote you and push you to the top, but we want 15%/30% of your business.
    - If not, good luck. 

    This is straight up evil.

    The only reason this isn’t completely obscene is knowing Facebook would behave exactly the same if they’d control one of the duopolies.


    Liar. You have no proof this is what happened and are assuming Apple initiated this as it supports your anti-Apple bias.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    What a joke of a hit piece by the WSJ.

    Companies are always discussing different scenarios. The only thing that counts in the end is what the company did, not the dozen or more scenarios they talked about.
    How is this a hit piece?  It doesn’t make anyone look bad.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    - Platform holder goes to app maker
    - Platform maker says: we are going to take steps that will screw your business model.
    - But if you work with us, we’ll team up with you, promote you and push you to the top, but we want 15%/30% of your business.
    - If not, good luck. 

    This is straight up evil.

    The only reason this isn’t completely obscene is knowing Facebook would behave exactly the same if they’d control one of the duopolies.


    Liar. You have no proof this is what happened and are assuming Apple initiated this as it supports your anti-Apple bias.

    The irony is that you have a bias that I have an “anti Apple bias”. I’m critical of them, like any large tech company, but that’s about it.

    So before you start to personally attack someone by saying “liar”, you should ask yourself whether you are free of bias yourself. Let me be clear, I will report you if you keep attacking me personally, especially when you’re not moving beyond saying things like “liar” without debating me like an adult person.

    Remember when iOS had Facebook integration?
    Apple was perfectly fine with profiting off Facebook’s anti-privacy business model for many years, and only when Facebook declined did Apple go on its holier-than-thou privacy crusade against Facebook’s ads business. 

    Apple’s privacy position is pure marketing, and any time Apple needs to choose between money and privacy, money wins every time. Whether it’s Google paying Apple billions to be the default search provider on iOS, Apple handing over all Chinese users’ data to the Chinese government, or now, in dealing with Facebook, Apple will choose money over privacy every time.




    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 14
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,337member
    - Platform holder goes to app maker
    - Platform maker says: we are going to take steps that will screw your business model.
    - But if you work with us, we’ll team up with you, promote you and push you to the top, but we want 15%/30% of your business.
    - If not, good luck. 

    This is straight up evil.

    The only reason this isn’t completely obscene is knowing Facebook would behave exactly the same if they’d control one of the duopolies.


    Liar. You have no proof this is what happened and are assuming Apple initiated this as it supports your anti-Apple bias.

    The irony is that you have a bias that I have an “anti Apple bias”. I’m critical of them, like any large tech company, but that’s about it.

    So before you start to personally attack someone by saying “liar”, you should ask yourself whether you are free of bias yourself. Let me be clear, I will report you if you keep attacking me personally, especially when you’re not moving beyond saying things like “liar” without debating me like an adult person.

    Remember when iOS had Facebook integration?
    Apple was perfectly fine with profiting off Facebook’s anti-privacy business model for many years, and only when Facebook declined did Apple go on its holier-than-thou privacy crusade against Facebook’s ads business. 

    Apple’s privacy position is pure marketing, and any time Apple needs to choose between money and privacy, money wins every time. Whether it’s Google paying Apple billions to be the default search provider on iOS, Apple handing over all Chinese users’ data to the Chinese government, or now, in dealing with Facebook, Apple will choose money over privacy every time.




    What are you arguing about exactly? Apple can get along sell Apple devices without these other companies ie Google, Microsoft, and Facebook the so-called gatekeepers as defined by the EU, Apple doesn’t have a extensive catalog of software within/on their ecosystems but that’s not true the other way round for the gatekeepers, most of the crying in recent years have been companies wanting FREE access with no strings attached.

    Apple is slowly being driven to offering a pure Apple device smartphone/Apple Watch/iPad device without the extra fluff (noise). By the way Apple just talking about this possibility for the EU isn’t evil. (In the non English speaking countries sorry Ireland).
    edited August 14
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