Netflix is testing a new feature which shows that it no longer wants to pay Apple for subscriptions renewed through the streaming service's iOS app.
Netflix is the top-grossing app on the App Store, but a portion of the earnings is being paid to Apple as part of the App Store requirements. Netflix, apparently, wants to keep the revenue all for itself.
Netflix Testing 'iTunes Payment Method'
A TechCrunch report revealed that Netflix is "testing the iTunes payment method" across 33 countries, and by that, the streaming service means it is experimenting with a feature that will allow its iOS app to bypass iTunes.
Until Sept. 30, new or existing Netflix subscribers will not be able to renew their memberships through iTunes in certain countries across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Instead, they are being redirected to the mobile website of Netflix, where they are asked to input their payment details.
This means that only Netflix subscribers with an active account will be able to log in to the iOS app. Users looking to sign up for membership or renew their plan will need to visit the Netflix website on their iPhone or iPad's browser.
TechCrunch confirmed with a Netflix customer support agent that the test has actually been running since June, starting with 10 countries before expanding to the current 33 markets from Aug. 2 to Sept. 30.
The countries where the test is ongoing are the following: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Why is Netflix going through the trouble of testing such a feature? It is because Apple receives 30 percent of first-year subscriptions and 15 percent for second-year subscriptions and onward. If Netflix proceeds with turning off iTunes billing and in-app purchases on the iOS, it will gain a lot more revenue, while the App Store will lose a significant amount.
What's New With Netflix?
Netflix has seen its fair share of changes recently, with two major ones just recently reported.
Netflix has started playing advertisements for its own shows, a feature that many thought was just a matter of time before it happened. A few days later, Netflix pushed through with its promise of removing all user reviews on shows, only keeping the "thumbs up and thumbs down" rating system.