Fanhouse, a platform where creators can post freely and monetize their content, is one of the most creator-supporting platforms out there. Its creators receive 90 percent of the revenue they earn on the platform. It’s a generous split, one that has been working well for both Fanhouse and its creators. However, Apple, which features the Fanhouse app in the Apple store, has policy in place that requires a 30-percent cut to be taken for in-app purchases. According to Fanhouse, Apple threatened to remove the app from the App Store this August if it doesn’t get 30 percent of the revenue creators to make off of subscriptions when bought through the app.
Despite the threat of removal, Fanhouse is fighting back for its creators.
What is Fanhouse?
Fanhouse, founded eight months ago, is a platform that allows creators to monetize whatever kind of content they want to make. Many describe the site as a PG-13 OnlyFans. Creators are allowed to post anything they want, but nudity and illegal activities are prohibited. It uses a subscription-based monetization system; however, creators can also earn money through tips or locked posts that fans need to pay to see. There is also a public feed people can view without paying.
Apple’s demands hurt creators
According to a report by The Verge a Fanhouse creator, Breadwitchery, said she would lose two months’ worth of her earnings on Fanhouse. Cofounder of Fanhouse, Jasmine Rice, says Apple’s demands are “theft” and “exploitation.”
Jasmine reached out to Apple to try and reach a deal that’ll keep creators earning 90 percent of subscription revenues. The company offered Apple 30 percent of the 10 percent the company makes (she said she is even willing to go to 50 percent). Apple refused the offer. In a Twitter thread, Jasmine explained 30 percent to Fanhouse could be the difference between life and death for some creators.
“Someone making $10,000 would now only make $6,000. For some people, that difference can be life or death,” Jasmine writes. “We have creators who are unemployed from the pandemic. We have creators who need to pay rent, to pay tuition, to pay medical expenses, and they need their income to survive. Apple’s 30% directly threatens their livelihoods.”
Where does Fanhouse go from here?
Unfortunately, Fanhouse doesn’t have a lot it can do about the situation. Apple told The Verge it is working with Fanhouse to work out a solution that complies with its rules. Apple takes 30 percent of all in-app purchases of digital goods and decides what counts as a digital good. Jasmine points out that Apple hypocritically lets Patreon use third-party payments to avoid the in-app purchase fee.
Fanhouse is running a campaign to hopefully force Apple not to require 30 percent of the revenue made by its creators. As for the future of the app in the Apple Store, it is unclear at this moment. The platform doesn’t seem like it’s going to give in to Apple’s demands anytime soon. It has less than two months before Apple takes action. Despite the situation, it’s good to see a platform standing up for its creators so they can receive the revenue they work so hard for.