Apple is dipping its toes into new revenue sources by building communities of digital content creators.
The company has added an update to its App Store regulations which will allow voluntary tips to be made in addition to in-app purchases. This has the potential to change the way app developers split their revenue. They could now offer content creators tips as opposed to upfront revenue splits.
It’s not an entirely new idea. For example, Yingke the Chinese live video app has already implemented tipping and virtual currency gifts from viewers to show their admiration for stars or performances.
Initially, Apple threatened to delete apps such as WeChat that allowed donations – essentially getting around having to make a contribution to Apple. However, it seems the company has taken a u-turn on that policy and instead made it all official.
App developers can now add their own tipping features, as long as they’re happy to give Apple a 30% cut.
The move opens up a whole new revenue stream and developers can decide on how they wish to share the tips. For example, video streaming platforms could entice content creators to join in by offering a 50% cut of the tip. Indeed, musicians, actors or famous people are all in a positions to benefit from the addition, as long as the platform they choose to stream their content on offers splits.
This potentially also eliminates disruptions from in-app adverts if developers no longer need to rely on such revenue streams.