Apple Moves Tip-Based Content Monetization to Mainstream

Apple Moves Tip-Based Content Monetization to Mainstream
Stephen Yagielowicz

LOS ANGELES — Changes are afoot at Apple’s App Store, some of which indicate that even if it is aloof to the industry’s overtures, it may be inspired by its successes.

According to the company, apps are changing the world, enriching people’s lives, and enabling developers to innovate like never before. As a result, its App Store has grown into “an exciting and vibrant ecosystem for millions of developers and more than a billion users.”

Unfortunately for adult entertainment professionals, few of the industry’s developers are counted among this roster.

“The guiding principle of the App Store is simple — we want to provide a safe experience for users to get apps and a great opportunity for all developers to be successful,” states an Apple spokesperson, who notes the company has updated its App Review Guidelines with that principle in mind, and to “provide more context.”

Among the updates to its policies, Apple is embracing tipping as an in-app monetization mechanism. This perennially popular payment practice has proven profitable for adult’s live cam industry, and now Apple wants to get in on the gravy train by allowing tips via virtual currency — while reportedly taking a 30 percent share of the take. As part of this plan, Apple has clarified its stance that tips are “purchases” and not “donations” — a distinction once used by publishers seeking to skirt Apple’s transaction fees on in-app purchases.

Although the App Store is unlikely to open its well-traveled showroom to erotic entrepreneurs, it is paving the way for a retraining of consumers to more widely use alternative payment platforms, cryptocurrencies, micro-transactions, and premium content services, which benefits all digital media marketers.

For an insight into what is allowable in 2017, Apple’s updated guidelines provide a hint, if not a bright-line of do’s and don’ts.

“We have lots of kids downloading lots of apps. Parental controls work great to protect kids, but you have to do your part too. So know that we're keeping an eye out for the kids,” the spokesperson adds. “We will reject apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, ‘I’ll know it when I see it.’ And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.”

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