Google recently sent out an email to some of its YouTube TV subscribers with a warning: If you signed up for your YouTube TV live TV streaming subscription using an Apple App Store app (like YouTube TV for iPhone or iPad), your subscription is about to be automatically canceled.
As noted by MacRumors, the company is emailing YouTube TV customers with a warning that it plans to phase out support for in-app payments altogether in March. After that, Apple device owners will have to subscribe to YouTube TV via a web browser.
“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,” the company added.
The email does not explain why Google is removing one of the ways people can pay for YouTube TV, but the likely reason is that Google may be following the path of other services like Netflix and Spotify that bypass the App Store to avoid commissions. Currently, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of in-app subscriptions for the first year and a 15 percent cut in the following years.
An increasing number of popular services, including Spotify, has stopped accepting new subscriptions through in-app purchases. But in Spotify’s case, the company allows existing customers to keep paying through Apple.
Clearly YouTube was OK with the billing arrangement for a time or it would not have agreed to Apple’s terms, but something has changed. News that Google is considering adding premium subscription options to its flagship YouTube service may give us a clue as to why the change is coming now.