Digital Content Next, which represents publishers like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg, has asked Apple to give it the same 15% revenue share deal that it gives to Amazon.
Amazon has a deal with Apple for Prime Video through which it only shares 15% of the revenue from subscriptions with the company. Usually, the revenue share is 30% for any in-app purchases made through the App Store on iOS devices. Apple even allowed some streaming services to use their own payment methods earlier this year, allowing them to completely bypass Apple's payment mechanism and revenue share.
While the 15% revenue share deal being requested by Digital Content Next is inspired by the Amazon deal, the type of apps they represent are completely different than streaming services. However, developers have been increasingly demanding Apple to either reduce its revenue share or open up the App Store to allow alternative payment mechanisms.
As per Bloomberg, the CEO of Digital Content Next, Jason Kint, has written in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook:
“We would like to know what conditions our members -- high quality digital content companies -- would need to meet in order to qualify for the arrangement Amazon is receiving for its Amazon Prime Video app in the Apple App Store,”
It is understood that Apple's special revenue-sharing scheme with Amazon was intended to be mutually beneficial. The deal was made to ensure that Amazon would launch its Prime Video app on the App Store and Apple TV, along with support for native iOS and tvOS features which include meta-data for Siri and Spotlight search, support for Siri shortcuts, support for the TV app on Apple TV, and more.
However, despite the unique deal with Amazon, Tim Cook has stood firm on his statement that Apple treats every developer the same. He said the same thing during his appearance in front of the antitrust committee in Congress.
Apple has been facing a few antitrust investigations and accusations this year from the likes of Spotlight and Epic, as well as the United States, European Union, and other countries. Although Apple has gradually updated the policies for the App Store with time to allow for a variety of subscriptions, bundles, and cheaper commission from the second-year onwards from digital subscription-based apps, it is clear that the company needs to move faster and offer more to incentivize developers.