Netflix stopped new users from being able to pay for their subscription via iTunes during December. However, the capability remains for existing customers. The move comes on the back of an experiment by the streaming services, who tested bypassing iTunes on iOS devices in 2018. It means they do not have to pay a cut of the subscription fees to Apple.
Experiment Bypassing iTunes Gone Global
Netflix confirmed Friday that new users will not be able to use iTunes to pay for their subscription. Users are taken directly to Netflix’s website to sign up for payment instead. A Netflix spokesperson told VentureBeat: “We no longer support iTunes as a method of payment for new members.” This also applies to users who rejoin the service using an iOS device having canceled their subscription for a month.
Netflix hinted at this move in August 2018, when it allowed users in 33 countries to bypass iTunes as a payment method. Its decision was implemented globally during December 2018.
Fighting the Fees
The streaming service is one of the top grossing apps on iTunes. Data from SensorTower showed it grossed over $43 million in November 2018 alone. It comes as part of a wider pushback against the fees charged by the Apple and Google app stores. These can be as high as 30%. By having users sign-up via its website, not iTunes, Netflix could deprive Apple of up to $256 million a year (via BusinessInsider).