ProTube has been one of the most successful alternative-YouTube apps on iOS since its launch in November 2014, topping Apple’s paid-app charts in 11 countries.
Now it’s gone, with developer Jonas Gessner claiming that Apple removed ProTube from the App Store.
“ProTube and many other 3rd party YouTube apps on the App Store have been targeted by YouTube with takedown requests,” he wrote in a blog post.
(Yes, YouTube is sometimes on the other end of takedown requests.)
“YouTube first requested Apple to remove my app well over a year ago, initially just stating that my app violates their Terms of Service. This was a generic takedown request they sent to many YouTube apps at once,” wrote Gessner.
“They later started going into more detail, even stating that I could not sell the app as that alone violates their ToS. They basically wanted me to remove every feature that made ProTube what it is – that includes the player itself that allows you to play 60fps videos, background playback, audio only mode and more.”
He thinks the takedowns are an effort to make the YouTube Red subscription tier more appealing, since it provides many of those features.
On those grounds, we suspect that for once, music rightsholders will be in YouTube’s corner in this row.