I don’t want the “Netflix of Apps”
The idea of paying one subscription fee and having access to all apps is an appealing one for sure. It’s how music is consumed in modern times. It’s how movies, first through streaming and now through things like Movie Pass and AMC A-List are too. Having a subscription service that gives users access to all apps might be the inevitable direction that the decision makers for the App Store go with. I think it’s the wrong choice though.
As far as I can tell, such a method would deal another sizable blow to what’s left of the independent developers. If a service like this is implemented how would individual developers get paid? My guess is by the time spent by users in each app. On the surface, that seems fair, but what about when the purpose of the app is to save the user time, such as with utility apps? The point of utility apps is to reduce friction in life and ultimately save you time. That means the more effective the utility app, the less time you need to spend using it. If the revenue for an app is dependent on how much time you’re spending in it, suddenly there is a conflict of interest.
If revenue is ultimately based on time spent using apps, then the faster and more efficient the app, the less the developer gets paid. That’s bad for the developer and ultimately bad for the customer because incentives for efficiency are basically over at that point. In fact, suddenly there will be motivations from nefarious entities to see how long they can keep customers in apps, even when that time isn’t necessary. Apple considering a ‘Netlifx of Games’ model is a rumor at this point. And even if it’s true there is no guarantee that it would include apps that aren’t games, but the very idea of it really concerns me at the moment and I think it’s a horrible idea in the long run.