If you subscribe to YouTube TV through Apple’s in-app purchase system, you should probably check your email. YouTube is sending out notices to users that it will no longer offer in-app purchases for subscriptions on Apple’s App Store, starting March 13th. Any existing subscriptions will end automatically on the next billing date after the 13th.
Like other platforms, Apple takes a cut from every app purchase, be that the app itself, single in-app purchases, or subscription options. The company is particularly stringent on its requirements and doesn’t allow apps to mention other methods for purchasing subscriptions.
But 30% (and 15% after the first month for subscriptions), isn’t a small amount of loss (even if it is somewhat standard). Some companies (like Spotify), which have a separate process in place for purchasing subscriptions, object to the rules that prevent advertising those options, which would see a higher takehome.
Now YouTube TV has started sending emails to anyone subscribing to its service through Apple’s in-app purchase system. According to MacRumors, the email states:
You’re currently subscribed to YouTube TV through Apple in-app purchases, so we’re writing to let you know that, starting March 13, 2020, YouTube TV will no longer accept payment through Apple in-app purchases.
YouTube TV members will still be able to watch YouTube TV content on Apple devices.
You’ll be billed for one final month of service and then your in-app purchase subscription will be canceled automatically on your billing date after March, 13, 2020.
The email doesn’t specify why YouTube decided to end in-app subscription purchases, but Apple’s cut is a likely bet. The company says that the app will continue to work, and you can continue to stream YouTube TV on Apple devices. You’ll just have to figure out on your own that you need to go to the YouTube site and start up a subscription.