Earlier this week we quoted a creator-economy startup founder who predicted Apple would keep chipping away at its rules on in-app payments to make it easier to bypass the company’s 30% fees on digital purchases. That forecast is coming true more quickly than we expected.
Late Wednesday, the iPhone maker said it would allow reader apps, such as Spotify and Netflix, to provide links in their apps for customers to set up and manage their accounts on their websites. The changes will go into effect globally by early next year.
Like Apple’s concessions last week on in-app payments, which included the small step of allowing developers to email customers about other ways to pay, the changes are tied to legal and regulatory challenges. In the most recent situation, Apple said the agreement closes an investigation opened by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.
The latest changes are a big deal for some apps that rely on monthly or yearly subscriptions. But it doesn’t satisfy developers of apps outside what Apple considers reader apps, or those that provide previously purchased content and subscriptions like books or music.