Apple turns the screws on social platforms and Web3 – none of which helps new artists…

Hi there –

Apple has certainly taken the gloves off today, announcing a series of updates to its terms of service around its App Store, all of which move to derive more revenue through its commissions on sales.

A very notable shift is that the company is now seeking a share of the money spent on ad boosting via the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – a move that only last year the company said it would not do.

Now granted, the percentage of ad bookings made via the app is tiny, but it will now mean that those making use of it will quite definitely be paying more to advertise – and when that covers anyone from small businesses to rising DIY artists, that’s not a good thing at all at a point where everyone is being squeezed more than ever.

Apple isn’t stopping at ad revenues either, also adding measures that will seek to derive a share of NFT sales too, in a move that will doubtless irritate Web3 businesses currently trying to establish their own models.

Spotify has seized the moment too, once again decrying Apple’s app taxes, this time in the context of its attempts to sell audiobooks.

Total this all up then, and one can’t help get the impression that Apple is almost pushing and pushing to see how far it can go before regulators step in. After this latest move, I would imagine all efforts to change the App Store’s commissions will only increase.

Beyond that though, I suspect this also lends weight to developers evolving what is possible without apps, and it will certainly compel more people towards a Web3 world in which app taxes and suchlike might be more readily circumvented.

Oddly then, Apple’s move might not be such a bad thing, if only because it might spur innovation to work around these restrictions. Apple would argue that this puts users at risk, but equally I think only a very naive person would now claim that Apple is doing all of this with their user’s best interests at heart. This is about preserving strangleholds, and I’m curious to see if people will accept that.

Have a great evening,


🎶 written whilst listening to two promo CDs of DFA remixes that I picked up for £1 each in the Exchange in Notting Hill. They were never commercially released, but here’s a playlist that covers most of their contents. Enjoy!

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