Apple is clashing with the platform Fanhouse over whether it gets to take a cut of in-app payments to creators. The incident underscores just how little Apple understands about the creator economy, with the likely outcome being less money in creators’ pockets — and more money for one of the world’s most profitable corporations.
Founders of Fanhouse — which is basically OnlyFans without the nudity — say the platform will be kicked out of the App Store in August if it doesn’t start forking over 30 percent of the fees people pay creators when purchases are made through the iPhone app. One of Fanhouse’s creators, the streamer Breadwitchery, says that cut would mean losing two months of rent from her earnings to date. The company doesn’t have a lot of options to push back, but it’s launching a campaign today to pressure Apple into easing its rules around payments to creators.
Fanhouse is only the latest company to clash with Apple over App Store terms that are increasingly viewed as steep and domineering. Sure, it’s a small app, and its disappearance won’t necessarily cause problems for Apple, but the situation speaks to the challenges creator-focused apps face in the App Store. As the creator economy continues to grow, the rules mean Apple will be taking more money from not just businesses, but individuals.