PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 03: In this photo illustration, the logos of the applications, iTunes Store, … [+]
Purchasing subscriptions through Apple’s App Store could be costing you hundreds of dollars each year.
Some companies charge customers higher rates in iPhone apps than on their individual websites or in other app store, according to reporting by Nicole Nguyen of The Wall Street Journal.
For example, Tinder offers several tiers of paid memberships, including Tinder Gold, which allows subscribers to see “who likes you before you decide whether to Like or Nope.” A one-month subscription to Tinder Gold will cost you $29.99 via the Tinder app (price may vary based location and other factors), but you could get the same Tinder Gold one-month membership for only $13.49 on Tinder’s website. That means you’ll pay more than double the price by subscribing to Tinder through the Apple iPhone app than through Tinder’s website. Over the course of a year, monthly Tinder subscriptions through the Tinder’s iPhone app will cost you $198 more than going through Tinder’s website; a bulk 12-month subscription could set you back $75.49 more via the iPhone app.
Love may come at a price in today’s age, but it shouldn’t cost you double!
Why The Price Is Difference:
Apple charges companies a 30 percent fee on every purchase and subscription made through iOS apps, which declines to 15 percent after the subscriber’s first year. Apple also “requires all in-app purchases to go through the tech giant’s own billing software,” according to the Wall Street Journal, while other stores, like Google’s Play Store allow companies to use other payment systems. Furthermore, Apple’s strict rules do not allow companies to steer users away from the App Store within their iOS apps by listing better prices.
As a result, some companies, like Netflix NFLX , have decided to entirely block subscription sign-ups and payments through their iOS app. Others may not have this luxury and have resorted to differentiated pricing to offset the steep 30 percent commission.
Other Companies That Charge Higher Prices on Apple iOS Apps:
In addition to Tinder, there are several other apps that charge more if you purchase subscriptions through the iOS app:
- Tidal: The music streaming app charges $9.99 for a monthly subscription to its premium tier on the Tidal website, but $12.99 if you purchase it through Tidal’s iPhone app. While not a huge difference, why pay $36 more each year?
- YouTube Music (owned by Google): A monthly subscription costs $9.99 if purchased via the YouTube website, but $12.99 if want to purchase via the YouTube Music iOS app.
YouTube Music could set you back $9.99 or $12.99 each month depending on whether you make the … [+]
- Spotify: For close to two years, Spotify charged 30 perfect more for Spotify premium sign-ups via the iOS app; however, it ended the practice in May, 2016
- Art of Conquest – a thread on Apple’s Community site from 2017 highlights potential differences in games, like Art of Conquest. A user wrote that the game charges $4.99 for a monthly package on Android, but $6.99 for the same package in Apple iOS. The user also notes more dramatic differences including “some hero packages are $139.99 US for IOS and $99.99 for Android.”
As a consumer, don’t get suckered into paying higher prices via Apple’s App Store or through a company’s iOS app. At the very least, it behooves you to double-check the pricing on the company’s own website to see if you can save tens, if not, hundreds, or dollars.