- You can now buy TV shows and movies through Amazon Prime Video on your Apple devices.
- Amazon has gained an exemption for its streaming service from Apple’s controversial 30% tax on media purchases made through its app store.
- Apple claims it has a long-established program which grants exemptions to “premium subscription video entertainment providers.”
- Apple has historically locked horns with app makers over its right to levy the tax, which prompted music service Spotify to file an antitrust complaint with the EU.
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Apple has relaxed its usual 30% tax on App Store purchases for Amazon Prime, Bloomberg reports.
Apple confirmed the news to Business Insider.
The upshot is that anyone who has Amazon Prime Video on an Apple device can now – finally – buy TV shows and movies directly through the app. Previously, Amazon Prime users had to visit a separate web browser to make purchases.
Normally any media app that sells content like books or shows must pay Apple’s 30% levy on in-app purchases. Apple requires apps that it hosts through its App Store to use Apple’s payment system for any in-app purchases, on which it imposes the 30% tax.
But it seems Apple’s exemption will allow some apps to use their own payment system, thereby dodging the 30% levy.
An Apple spokesman said: “Apple has an established program for premium subscription video entertainment providers to offer a variety of customer benefits – including integration with the Apple TV app, AirPlay 2 support, tvOS apps, universal search, Siri support and, where applicable, single or zero sign-on.
“On qualifying premium video entertainment apps such as Prime Video, Altice One, and Canal+, customers have the option to buy or rent movies and TV shows using the payment method tied to their existing video subscription.”
According to Bloomberg, Canal+ signed up to the program in 2018, while cloud-based video service Altice One signed up in February this year.
Amazon reportedly only started benefiting from the program on Wednesday.
In the past, Apple has fiercely guarded its right to take a 30% cut of in-app purchases and subscriptions. Last year music streaming giant Spotify lodged an antitrust complaint with the EU about the tax, claiming that it unfairly disadvantages competitors when Apple has its own music streaming service, Apple Music.
Amazon has also withheld selling books through its e-book platform Kindle and audiobooks via Audible on the App Store to avoid the 30% tax. It still requires users to go onto a browser and buy individual books via the Kindle Store or via Audible’s website.
Millions of people being stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic has meant an uptick in streaming usage, forcing services including YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix to reduce their video quality to handle the strain of the increased traffic.