Starting March 13, YouTube TV subscribers will no longer be able to pay for the channel through Apple’s App Store.
Apple iPhone and iPad users will still be able to watch YouTube TV on their devices, but will need to pay directly through the channel’s parent, Google.
YouTube had already stopped accepting sign-ups through Apple apps, and is now telling existing customers that in-app subscriptions will be automatically cancelled as of their next billing dates after March 13, at which point they will need to subscribe again through a web browser.
Apple takes 30% of subscriptions made through the App Store for their first year, and 15% thereafter.
The good news for subscribers (and YouTube TV): With Apple cut out of the transaction, the per-month fee is $5 cheaper ($49.99, instead of $54.99).
But even with the price break, an unknown number of these subscribers won’t opt to sign up again.
Which means that YouTube would rather risk losing these subscribers than continue giving Apple a portion of the subscription price, noted MacRumors.
YouTube isn’t the first to cut the payment cord with Apple.
Last year, Spotify not only dropped the in-app option for new premium subscribers -- it filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission, alleging that Apple is hurting consumers and competitors by selectively attaching a 30% tax to some purchases made through the App Store.
Apple responded by saying that Spotify had for years been using the App Store to grow its business, although only a “tiny fraction” of Spotify’s free, ad-supported subs made a financial contribution to Apple — and now, Spotify is trying to eliminate even those minimal contributions.
In 2018, Netflix stopped taking new ioS subscriptions through Apple’s store, which at that point was still called iTunes.