ODA calls for understanding on the part of app stores

Mobile devices account for most of the activity on dating services today, with many existing only in “app” form.

The Online Dating Association (ODA) is an independent entity focused on setting standards that help make dating safe and enjoyable and trusted to give users a good deal. For these reasons the ODA is giving its support to the work of the Coalition for App Fairness. The coalition seeks to address several issues that go beyond the one on revenue-sharing, but rightly highlights the financial burden a 30% app store commission puts on dating services and their users.

App stores need to understand the sectors they support. With dating this might mean appreciating that people are downloading an app to make new relationships. This is likely to happen within days, weeks, or months. It is less common for users to subscribe to a service on an ongoing basis across years. This means services and therefore their users and the phone owners almost always carry the top rate of commission.

These rates and the administrative and approvals processes stores apply when presented with new and innovative and possibly niche services reflect the degree of absolute control app stores have over what can be sold and the prices set.

App stores are a critical gateway for dating services: large and small, niche and global. Right now this degree of control, as reflected in the commissions set and rules applied, is detrimental to the best interests of the many millions who uses dating apps every day. We need a regime that is fairer to all: to customers, service provides and app stores.

ODA Chairman, Duncan Cunningham said “App stores play a crucial role in providing literally billions of people around the world with access to today’s technology and services. With that role comes a degree of power that few, if any, corporations in history have ever had the responsibility of dealing with. The challenge for those corporations is to ensure that they do not fall into the trap that absolute power brings.”