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Apple explains controversial Video Partner Program in new guidance

Amazon Prime Video Store Iphone 11 Pro Hero
Amazon Prime Video Store Iphone 11 Pro Hero (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has published new guidance on its Video Partner Program.
  • The program caused controversy earlier this year after it emerged some video streaming platforms don't have to pay Apple's full 30% App Store fee.
  • Apple says the program has run since 2016 and has more than 130 partners.

Apple has published new guidance on its Video Partner Program, which caused controversy earlier this year after it emerged some video platforms don't have to pay Apple's entire 30% App Store cut.

The new developer listing (opens in new tab) states:

Since 2016, the Apple Video Partner Program has enabled premium subscription video providers to participate in a new TV watching experience on the Apple TV app, helping customers discover the world's best premium video content in one app, across all their devices.

As Apple notes, the program is made for apps with premium subscription video entertainment services, and all participating apps are required to integrate key Apple technologies:

This program is designed for apps that deliver premium subscription video entertainment services. Participating apps are required to integrate with a number of Apple technologies, such as Universal Search, Siri, AirPlay, and single sign-on or zero sign-on, to ensure a seamless experience for customers.As a result of this integration, these apps are featured on the Apple TV app and throughout tvOS, and their content is discoverable through Universal Search and Siri.

The big benefit for providers is that they retain 85% of sales for customers who sign up using in-app purchases. Customers are also still able to sign up outside of the app, but can then still use the payment method for transactions inside of the app, for example, Amazon Prime Video.

Apple says that there are more than 130 partners worldwide including Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, and more. Apple details all the eligibility requirements for apps that wish to join the program. You can read the full page here. (opens in new tab)

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.