Apple's 30% commission on all apps published on the App Store has been the subject of many years of debate. Many have considered it insanely high, especially as the commission also applies to in-app purchases.

But now Apple has made a change. On 1 January 2021 Apple will reduce the commission from 30 to 15 percent for all developers who earn one million dollars or less on all their published apps.

The initiative has been named the App Store Small Business Program and aims to accelerate the development of innovative apps and help developers expand their business.

In a press release Apple CEO Tim Cook comments on the commission change: "Small businesses are the backbone of our global economy and the beating heart of innovation and opportunity in communities around the world. We're launching this program to help small business owners write the next chapter of creativity and prosperity on the App Store, and to build the kind of quality apps our customers love."

He continues: "The App Store has been an engine of economic growth like none other, creating millions of new jobs and a pathway to entrepreneurship accessible to anyone with a great idea. Our new program carries that progress forward — helping developers fund their small businesses, take risks on new ideas, expand their teams, and continue to make apps that enrich people's lives."

Apple outlines the program thus:

  • Existing developers who made up to $1 million in 2020 for all of their apps, as well as developers new to the App Store, can qualify for the program and the reduced commission.
  • If a participating developer surpasses the $1 million threshold, the standard commission rate will apply for the remainder of the year.
  • If a developer's business falls below the $1 million threshold in a future calendar year, they can re-qualify for the 15 per cent commission the year after.

Apple promises to provide more details about the App Store Small Business Program in early December 2020.

Apple has encountered a lot of criticism for charging 30% to those who sell apps on the App Store. The EU is currently investgating Apple's business practices due to it. Read: EU investigating App Store. Spotify was one of the leading voices protesting against Apple's practices - in May the company's boss commented that Apple's platform is not open and fair.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by Karen Haslam.