Amazon Prime Video gets rid of iOS in-app purchases, who will win with Apple?

The Amazon Prime Video app on Apple iOS makes a subtle change to the experience of buying or renting TV shows and videos. This is not just a big deal, but also a tempting deal. Who will be the real winner? Apple or Amazon? The opinions are divided.

For the four views of people: Amazon wins, win-win situation, Apple wins and win-win situation 2, the author gives his own analysis and views. He believes that Apple made a clear trade-off, but the real winner is Amazon. In addition, the author is more certain that Prime Video on Apple TV is an exchange.

The Apple-Amazon deal involved Netflix. Netflix uses freely available content, leverages their user base and financial resources to increase brand awareness, expand user base, and build strong financial resources. In the future, many of the paid content of streaming services may be sold to Netflix, because Netflix has a large purchase user base. Facing the common enemy Netflix, Apple and Amazon need to stand on the same side and unite against Netflix.

Amazon Prime Video gets rid of iOS in-app purchases, who will win with Apple?

Original text from Stratechery​

In early April, the Amazon Prime Video App on Apple iOS was updated in a low-key manner, subtly changing the experience of buying or renting TV shows and videos.

The screenshots on the pictures are not purchased in the Apple App. By convention, in-app purchases are the only way to buy digital content on iOS devices. This means that although Apple has nothing to do with the production of e-books, music, videos and other apps, it still obtains 15% to 30% of sales and subscriptions; in addition, it can also be explained by "renting", thanks to Apple ’s The dominant position of portable devices, especially high-end devices.

Apple cautiously stated that this is not a special transaction for Amazon and stated in a statement:

Apple has set up a service offering a variety of customer benefits for paid subscription video entertainment providers, including support with Apple TV App, AirPlay 2, tvOS App, universal search, Siri support, and single sign-on or no need if applicable log in.

On eligible paid video entertainment apps such as Prime Video, Altice One and Canal +, customers can use the payment methods associated with their existing video subscriptions to choose to buy or rent movies and TV shows.

The deal with Canal + is likely to be related to the paid channel ’s decision to provide Apple TV set-top boxes in 2018 to replace its own set-top boxes; Altice One did a similar transaction earlier this year. However, both companies are existing TV distributors. Amazon Prime Video has its own exclusive content and is a top streaming service company, so the scale of this transaction is much larger than what Apple's statement implies.

In addition, this deal is full of temptations. You can say that this is better for Amazon, better for Apple, good for both, or bad for both-depending on your point of view.

Opinion 1: Amazon wins

Starting from the narrowest point of view: Amazon can now sell and rent TV shows and movies on iOS devices such as iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, which is a huge victory for Amazon. The reason is simple: for Amazon, paying 30% to Apple is already a lot, but now Amazon does not need to do so.​
But this is not a victory: Amazon still cannot sell e-books in the Kindle App. In this case (as with the previous Prime Video), Amazon lets consumers decide that they must log in to Amazon in the Safari browser to make purchases; Apple does not even allow apps like Kindle or Spotify to suggest consumers to be online Subscribe or buy.​

Opinion 2: A win-win situation

Of course, Apple can't close this deal out of thin air. The company's statement implied that the Amazon Prime Video App appeared on Apple TV only a few years ago, incorporating all the features of the Apple TV App.​
The idea of the Apple TV App is to become the main interface for all TV viewing. Different video providers may have their own apps, but the content of these apps appears in the same interface.​
In some ways, this is a victory for consumers. Consumers can go directly to the program they want to watch instead of browsing multiple apps to find a program, which is also beneficial to Apple. They have interaction points with customers and can effectively commercialize their supply.​
In fact, many analyses of this transaction can lead to the conclusion that both Amazon and Apple get what they want, and consumers also benefit-this is a win-win situation.​

Opinion 3: Apple wins

However, the fact is that Amazon has been doing what it does best, becoming a distributor, and earning a lot of video revenue. As early as 2018, there were reports that Amazon accounted for 55% of all direct-to-consumer video subscriptions. In addition, the entire profit margin of streaming equipment company Roku is based on the same business.

In other words, Apple TV + is actually about Apple TV Channels. Give consumers a reason to use the Apple TV App, and then sell HBO, Showtime, Crunchyroll and other subscriptions.

This is of course the best way to understand Amazon Prime Video: Although there is not enough content to challenge Netflix, there are programs worth watching, which makes the Amazon Fire TV set-top box worth owning, and the Prime Video App is worth using, which means Amazon can Get more subscriptions that keep its share growing.

Therefore, according to this view, it is clear that Apple is the winner. Amazon just improved the interface of Apple TV, which means that Apple can sell more subscription services for Apple TV Channels, probably at the expense of Amazon. I think there are several reasons why Amazon is willing to do this:

1. Apple ’s best customers (customers who own an Apple TV and use the Apple TV App) are unlikely to buy Amazon Fire or use Prime Video as their main interface. Therefore, they do not really exist in the targeted market of Amazon Channels.

2. Whether it is promoting Amazon Prime Video, or selling and renting personal TV shows and movies, Amazon can better reach Apple ’s best customers; in addition, Amazon does not need to share revenue with Apple. These are additional factors.

Opinion 4: Win-win situation 2

Apple and announced a second collaboration this month: The iPhone manufacturer ’s music streaming service will be launched on Amazon Echo devices in December. This move makes Apple Music the most popular voice-controlled speaker and Apple's distribution channel outside of its own devices.

Users can control Apple Music through the Amazon Alexa digital assistant, which is the first time Apple has used an assistant other than Siri to open the music service.

The decision makes Apple Music service more used in the living room, while at the same time, Apple's own Internet connection speaker HomePod sales are not as good as competitors. Considering the breadth of Alexa speakers on the market, this move can also increase Apple ’s own subscriptions.