Disney wants a better deal on Big Tech’s app stores. Apple and Google better watch out.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has a message for Apple, Google, and every other tech company that distributes his company’s streaming services: He wants a better deal.

At least that seems to be what Iger wants from them. Speaking at an investor conference this week, Iger said he’s giving up too much money to the Big Tech app stores that distribute Disney-owned streamers like Hulu and Disney+.

“We have to look at the way we’re distributing,” Iger told analyst Michael Nathanson at a MoffettNathanson-hosted conference. “Unlike Netflix, we distribute largely through third-party app stores. There’s obviously an advantage to that to some extent, but there’s a cost to that, too. And we’re looking at that.”

Iger is referring to arrangements Disney has with tech platforms that allow users to sign up and pay for his streaming services. Those deals vary from platform to platform: Apple, for instance, has a deal for video companies like Disney that charges them 15% of revenue for signups made within Apple-distributed apps; Roku, the connected TV company, can charge video companies a fee for signing up customers on its devices and may also demand a slice of those services’ ad inventory.

It may be telling that Iger referenced Netflix, which used to let consumers sign up for its service via third-party distributors like Apple, but stopped doing that in 2018. The move didn’t seem to affect Netflix’s growth, and has obvious benefits for the company’s margins.

I’ve asked Disney, as well as Apple, for comment.

App stores and app distribution are a meaningful part of many tech companies’ business plans. Apple, which can take up to 30% of revenue generated by in-app purchases and signups, has been telling investors that the growth in “services” businesses like the App Store is particularly important for its future.

It’s also possible that Disney won’t need to leave third-party app stores — or threaten to leave — in order to save money. Apple’s App Store policies, in particular, have been under pressure from regulators around the world, and Apple is grudgingly making some changes.

Maybe one of them will include a way to take a bit less from one of the world’s biggest video companies.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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