Friday, December 2, 2011

Apple Sends’s App To The Dog House For Untaxed Subscription Payments Josh Constine

Those look­ing for love won’t find it in the App Store. Apple has removed‘s iOS app because it allowed the lone­ly to pay for Match sub­scrip­tions with a cred­it card through an exter­nal link rather than using the in-app pur­chas­es sys­tem. That meant Apple wasn’t get­ting its 30% cut. In June Apple revised its pol­i­cy to state that “Apps can read or play approved con­tent that is sub­scribed to or pur­chased out­side of the app, as long as there is no but­ton or exter­nal link in the app to pur­chase the approved content.” Apple and are now nego­ti­at­ing how the app must change before their rela­tion­ship can be rekin­dled and they can have an earth-shattering make­up rev­enue split. You may remem­ber the con­tro­ver­sy back in Feb­ru­ary when Apple unveiled its orig­i­nal sub­scrip­tion pol­i­cy which required apps to offer their web­site sub­scrip­tions through the in-app pur­chas­es sys­tem at an equal or lower price. appar­ent­ly dodged the 30% tax on in-app pur­chas­es by dis­play­ing a but­ton to pay them direct­ly. This was the exact type of behav­ior Apple banned with its June pol­i­cy revi­sion, but I guess it took a while for it to notice was mess­ing around on the side.’s app pri­mar­i­ly serves as a mobile access point to its subscription-based web ser­vice. Those who’ve already down­loaded it can con­tin­ue look­ing for their soul­mate through the app. Still, new users could cre­ate an account and start pay­ing with­in the app, so the removal may be tak­ing a small toll on’s onboard­ing rates. That’s a prob­lem since they have high churn rates.  See, any suc­cess­ful match­mak­ing ser­vice per­ma­nent­ly solves the prob­lem it address — mar­ried peo­ple don’t need mar­riage apps. Even a tem­po­rary removal from the App Store can also have a last­ing impact since it caus­es an app to fall off the leader­boards, reduc­ing dis­cov­ery poten­tial. will have to decide whether to stop allow­ing users to signup and pay through the app, or agree to pay Apple’s 30% tax. The for­mer seems more lucra­tive.  If you’re set­ting up your pro­file on the go, you’re prob­a­bly not putting your best foot for­ward, you won’t meet peo­ple, and you’ll stop pay­ing any­ways. Even bet­ter, could pro­vide lim­it­ed func­tion­al­i­ty in the app and only offer the full expe­ri­ence if they’ve paid online, but not offer any link or but­ton to its web pay­ment sys­tem. This way it could still hook up with new users through the app, but be free to col­lect 100% of their sub­scrip­tion fees. You could call it an open rela­tion­ship.

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