Elon Musk says he plans to ask Tim Cook to adjust the App Store fees X pays on subscriptions as part of a plan to boost creators earnings on the platform that was, until recently, known as Twitter. The remarks are the latest example of Musk calling out the “App Store tax” Apple takes from in-app purchases.
Musk framed the ask as part of a broader effort to help creators get paid more for paying subscribers. “While we had previously said that 𝕏 would keep nothing for the [first] 12 months, then 10%, we are amending that policy to 𝕏 keeps nothing forever, until payout exceeds $100k, then 10%,” he tweeted. “Apple does take 30%, but I will speak with @tim_cook and see if that can be adjusted to be just 30% of what 𝕏 keeps in order to maximize what creators receive.”
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It’s unclear if Musk’s request has any chance of success. Cook seems unlikely to make such a concession, as he’s long ducked criticism from numerous other developers about the App Store’s fees and the policies surrounding them. Apple and X didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
However, it’s not the first time Musk has publicly called out Apple’s App Store policies. He previously complained about Apple’s “secret 30% tax” on in-app purchases, and reportedly delayed the launch of Twitter Blue to avoid the fees. He’s also accused the iPhone maker of threatening “to withhold” Twitter’s from the App Store, though he later said that was a “misunderstanding” after a private meeting with Cook.
Regardless, Musk and X would greatly benefit from a boost in paying subscribers, which seems to be the motivation for Musk again calling attention to the issue. The company’s ad revenue is down more than 50 percent as many advertisers have yet to return to spending at the same level as before he took over Twitter. Generating more subscribers— via creators and Twitter Blue — could help the company become less reliant on ad revenue, though the company would need tens of millions of subscribers, if not more, to make up the deficit.