Netflix ditches iTunes billing for new subscribers

Isaac Cain
January 1, 2019

As with iTunes, Android users who signed up for Netflix could no longer pay for the service through the Google Play store, likewise saving the company the cut Google would take from each subscription payment.

This came by as VentureBeat first reported the change, which Netflix confirmed with a short "we no longer support iTunes as a method of payment for new members" statement. From now, iOS users will not be able to signup directly from iTunes. The current subscribers, who use iTunes billing, can continue to use the option until they cancel their account.

Netflix did not give a clear answer as to when this change happened, but VentureBeat's reporting suggests late November. Netflix then passes on this charge on to the customer, which ends up paying more than the standard subscription charges.

Netflix is no longer letting new users use iTunes billing

The new or returning Netflix users on iOS will now have to open the Netflix website in Safari or any other browser on their iPhone or iPad to begin their subscription and setup the payment method.

If you already have an in-app subscription, nothing is changing for you yet. It once again shows that there is a growing tension between developers and Apple, with the former growing more and more frustrated at having to pay such a large cut of revenue to the Cupertino-based company. If you're curious why Netflix is doing this, it is because Apple (like Google) takes a 15% cut of subscription revenue generated in-app in the App Store (down from 30% a couple of years ago). Spotify, the leading subscription music app, has also bypassed Apple's in-app billing for similar reasons.

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