Apple Cripples Its Own Streaming App In Stand Off With Google

from the meet-the-new-boss dept

As the battle for streaming market share accelerates, the fighting between companies has increasingly gotten dumber. Such as when AT&T’s streaming TV app was pulled from Roku customer hardware because the two companies couldn’t agree on data sharing parameters. Or when Google TV customers almost lost access to NBC content because those companies couldn’t negotiate like adults either.

Of course the bickering is happening on several levels. Between telecom and broadcasting giants and streaming hardware vendors. Or between streaming hardware vendors and big tech giants making inroads in TV. Or, when big tech companies bicker among themselves.

For example, Apple appears to have crippled content purchases in the company’s own app to avoid having to pay Google’s 30% commission fees. Ironic, given that Apple has been in a longstanding fight with Epic Games over Apple’s own commission fees. The feud has left users of the Apple TV app on both Google TV and Android TV unable to buy any content through the app:

“If this is the case, Apple is playing a dangerous game of hypocrisy, having recently defended its own fees after being sued by Fortnite maker Epic Games.”

When asked specifically if that’s what they were doing, Apple remained cryptic:

“We’ve updated the Apple TV app to comply with Google Play’s guidelines around purchases and rentals.”

Whether it’s cable TV retransmission feuds or big tech standoffs, this is all immeasurably confusing for consumers, who can’t be certain a service or app will work as advertised at any given moment. And as the financial stakes get bigger as streaming grows, this kind of petty bickering will only expand.

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Companies: apple, google

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Comments on “Apple Cripples Its Own Streaming App In Stand Off With Google”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yeah I did a Google search just after making that comment and listings for Apple TV in the Play Store came up (though they do say “Your device is not compatible”).

Incidentally, I found this page of compatible devices which lays out the devices that will see it available on the Play Store.

bluegrassgeek (profile) says:

At least they're not being hypocrites

Deciding to not allow in-app purchases to avoid the 30% fee Google charges is pretty much the same thing other groups have done in Apple’s store. So at least they’re consistent.

The Epic situation is very different, and would be as if Apple just blasted out the ability to subscribe in-app without giving Google the 30% that they agreed when putting the app in the Play Store.

terop (profile) says:

If 2 trillion dollar company cannot do it, how will random programmer do it?

Apple has 2 trillion dollars valuation in the stock market. They have enough money to buy any commission. Still they have troubles licensing the hollywood’s content.

If apple cannot do the steps, how are they expecting a random programmer from finland be able to do the same thing? This same operation would be required before the said programmer would be able to license hollywood’s content to his own web site supporting video decoding. This evil process was recommended as viable plan instead of meshpage. Basically whoever decided to go to that area had no other chance with hollywood’s content than go full pirate operation.

Happily we found out about this problem before the decision to invest into video decoding business. Thus we avoided the problem completely, and went with less popular but better copyright story.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

And nothing of value was lost…
Mainly because they’ve forgotten the customer in all of this stupidity.
Someone will come along and offer them something even slightly better & people will move towards it if they are treated well.

Customers… treat them like pawns in your pissing contest… see how that goes for you.
Y’all might own the big ecosystems, but where do they go when they are done being shit upon??
That far off tropical island where they get a parrot, pegleg, eye patch and don’t feel bad for it at all… cause they are fed up with exploited.

marurun (profile) says:

Modeling expected behavior

In a way Apple is modeling the kind of behavior they expect to see from other companies who don’t want to pay the commission: don’t do an end-run around the app store rules, just turn off purchasing. In the legal battles with Epic Apple has never contended that they opposed Epic not wanting to pay the commission, just that Epic’s attempt to eat its cake and have it too was not a contractually legal way to do it. Apple is doing here what they have insisted Epic should do, for the very same reason.

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