YouTube today sent out emails to customers who are subscribed to its YouTube TV service through Apple's App Store, letting them know that App Store subscriptions are going to be discontinued in March.
From the emails:
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.
There's no word on why YouTube is ending YouTube TV subscriptions through the App Store, but Apple does take a cut of all subscription purchases, so avoiding in-app purchases will allow YouTube to skirt that fee.
When it comes to subscriptions, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of the subscription price paid by each subscriber for the first 12 months, and then if a subscriber remains subscribed, Apple's cut drops to 15 percent.
The YouTube TV app will need to remove all references to subscribing and signing up from its app when in-app purchases disappear, as Apple does not allow apps to link out to third-party subscription purchase options.
Apps that offer subscriptions on Apple's platform have complained about Apple's cut for years. Some apps raise their subscription prices through the App Store to compensate for the fee, while others choose not to offer subscriptions in Apple's apps.
YouTube TV users will be able to continue using the YouTube TV app on Apple's platforms, but will need to sign up for a subscription on the website.