After having vexed almost the entire populace of the world by emending Twitter to ‘X’, Elon Musk is opportunely condemning Apple for nixing the entirety of subscription fees for creators, affirming that Twitter does not take a cut of it. Musk has expressed his intention to discuss Apple tax with the tech giant’s CEO, Tim Cook.
Musk and Tim Cook’s conversation will revolve around Musk imploring Cook to reconsider the 30 percent commission foisted by Apple on in-app purchases.
Elon Musk’s Apple Tax Talks With Tim Cook
Elon Musk is widely praised for his visionary leadership and contributions to multiple industries. But a majority of his affiliation with Twitter/ X has heralded criticism, owing to the temperings he’s made with the social media platform, or how becoming Chief Twit has been detrimental to his responsibilities as the leader of rocket company, SpaceX and revolutionary automotive company, Tesla.
Musk is advocating for a modification in which Apple only levies a 30 percent commission on the portion of the payout retained by Twitter. Currently, Apple applies a 30 percent fee on all in-app purchases made on iOS, encompassing subscriptions facilitated by creators via Twitter, or X.
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People from every corner of the world post incredible content on 𝕏, but often live in tough circumstances, where even a few hundred…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 2, 2023
Musk plans to request Tim Cook for a reduction in the App Store fees that X pays for subscriptions, aiming to enhance earnings for creators on the platform. Musk framed this adjustment as a broader attempt to make Apple’s fee a percentage of what X retains, thereby maximizing creators’ income.
Musk also mentioned a change in Twitter / X’s approach to cuts from creators. Instead of deducting 10 percent of subscription revenue after 12 months, the new model will involve Twitter taking 10 percent only after payouts exceed $100,000, with no deductions during the initial 12 months.
This isn’t the first instance of Musk challenging Apple’s App Store policies. Last year, Musk juxtaposed Apple’s charges on in-app purchases to a “hidden 30% tax on the Internet” and postponed the release of Twitter Blue on iOS to evade these fees. Around the same time, Musk also recounted a dispute – Apple had seemingly threatened to exclude Twitter from the App Store. Following a visit to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino and discussions with Cook, this issue was resolved, being dubbed as a misunderstanding.
Nonetheless, Musk and X would greatly benefit from increased paying subscribers, motivating Musk to draw attention to this issue once again. Twitter’s ad revenue has plummeted by over 50 percent, and Musk hopes to bolster the company’s financials by expanding its subscriber base through creators and Twitter Blue, ultimately reducing dependence on ad revenue. However, acquiring tens of millions of subscribers, if not more, would be necessary to compensate for the revenue shortfall.
The outcome of Musk’s appeal remains uncertain, as Cook has previously resisted any alterations towards Apple’s App Store’s fee change. Changing Apple Tax with Musk could be historic for X, if the decision is favorable. If not, it would be intriguing to see if Musk decides to issue any legal implications to Apple.