Apple reportedly gets 15% cut of MLB.TV, HBO Now and other subscriptions on Apple TV

“Apple and HBO haven’t disclosed the terms of their partnership, which gives Apple a three-month digital exclusive for the streaming service,” Peter Kafka reports for Re/code. “But Apple’s existing deals with some video services give us a sense of what the company might be doing with HBO — and what the new economics of ‘over-the-top video’ could look like.”

“When any publisher, including a video service, signs up a subscriber via an Apple app on an iPhone or iPad, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of the monthly fee,” Kafka reports. “But Apple didn’t extend its 30 percent policy to developers on its Apple TV platform. While Apple and its partners have never talked about it publicly, my understanding is that a handful of video services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus and pro-baseball’s MLB.TV, give Apple 15 percent of their monthly fees for any subscriber who signs up on Apple TV.”

Kafka writes, “Whether Apple is charging 15 percent or 30 percent a month, it’s giving distributors a much better deal than the 50 percent that pay TV providers usually charge premium networks like HBO.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Reasonable pricing gives Apple a nice carrot to offer programmers as they build their “skinny” bundle(s) for their reportedly forthcoming Internet TV service.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. For all these services, I had signed up on their original website, before Apple TV supported them. HBO no, but I have that through DirecTV.

    Since I use Netflix on my Apple TV, along with any other device in my home, that supports it, does Apple get anything from that?

    1. No, if you signed up outside of Apple TV (regardless of when), Apple gets no revenue even if you’re using the service exclusively on Apple TV. The only way to change this would be to cancel your subscription, and then sign up for a new account via Apple TV.

  2. Time Warner had a free weekend of HBO. Now they want me to sign up for $10.00 a month for a year. Trying HBO in the Apple TV. Still have yet to watch anything. Don’t see a lot that interests me personally. Have all the gizmos, HTDV Apple TV etc…. I think I’m watching less tv now, than anytime in my life. Competition is good. TV in general, not so much.

  3. I’m a week in on the free trial. I won’t be renewing it- a few episodes of this and that, big whoop. HBO has never attracted me, as pay per view has never attracted me. Now that HD digital is OTA, I really have no need for any cable TV services, if I ever did.

  4. …the 50 percent that pay TV providers usually charge premium networks like HBO

    I reach for a barf bag every time I see that figure. ‘Outrageous’ doesn’t cover it. Now, let’s hope this lower % charge on TV translates into a proportionally lower costs to the customer. Wouldn’t that be incredibly sane and fair?!

    But NO BUNDLES. Not gonna deal with that Apple.

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