App Store Policy Changes & TikTok Overtakes YouTube - Moburst

App Store Policy Changes & TikTok Overtakes YouTube

Jess Ailion | 13.9.21

Apple’s App Store Policy Changes

Apple’s most recent App Store policy changes surround in-app monetization, particularly their 30% cut of all in-app purchases generated from App Store users. The monopoly Apple holds in this arena has been under threat for a while, propelled significantly by Epic’s court battle against Apple for this very reason. 

Ruling in Apple’s favor, the courts did not find Apple to have the monopoly for which they were accused of having by Epic Games. As a result, Apple does not have to allow third-party app stores or alternative third-party payment systems inside apps on its devices. Apple described the decisions as a “huge win for Apple”, whereas Epic Games have revealed plans to appeal the decision. 

Apple has not yet announced whether it will restore Fortnite, Epic’s developer account, on the App Store. However, this hasn’t stopped Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney from declaring that Fortnite will only return to the App Store when the platform offers fair competition in regards to in-app payments. 

Apple also announced that it will allow developers to redirect users to sign up for services on websites as opposed to just using the App Store’s in-app purchases system. So signing up for and managing subscription services will be possible through third-party websites.

Daniel Ek, Spotify founder and CEO, commented on the policy changes that he believes they’re “a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t solve the problem”. 

Users Spend More Time on TikTok than YouTube

Short-form video is paving the way to the future as TikTok overtakes YouTube in terms of average time spent on the app per user in both the UK and US. A big increase in time spent on TikTok correlates with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data comes from App Annie, a company that monitors apps and analyzes the market. 

What are the numbers?

  • US: users spend an average of 24 hours on TikTok per month vs 22 hours and 40 minutes on YouTube.
  • UK: users spend an average of 24 hours and 30 minutes on TikTok per month vs 14 hours and 30 minutes on YouTube. 

This is all despite the fact that YouTube has more monthly users (two billion) than TikTok (700 million). Does that indicate that short-form video is more engaging? More successful? It’s a good sign, if anything. 

With the tough competition, YouTube has not sat back and let the race go on without it. YouTube recently launched Shorts, its own short-form video feature, and a $100 million fund to go towards creators using Shorts to engage with their audience. 

Short-form video is often touted as the best way for creators to generate engagement among their audience. Bearing that in mind, it’s unsurprising that TikTok is experiencing the rapid success it has been for the past couple of years.


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