Netflix has officially banned paying subscription fees via in-app subscriptions on iOS. Now, new and existing customers are required to pay for the streaming service directly, a move that signals Netflix's decision to ditch Apple's payments ecosystem to reign in more profit.
Through in-app subscriptions, the Cupertino brand receives a cut of sales. Netflix likely realized it can avoid this by forcing people to pay for subscriptions directly on Netflix's website, as it's done on any non-iOS device.
VentureBeat was the first to report the change. Netflix has since confirmed it, stating that "we no longer support iTunes as a method of payment for new members."
Subscribing To Netflix On iOS
As mentioned, both new and existing users now have to begin a subscription through a web browser on iOS, such as the default Safari browser app. To be clear, people who already have an in-app Netflix subscription will be able to continue paying that way, provided they haven't missed any billing periods. Those who have missed a month will be unable to reactivate in-app subscriptions should they decide to pay for Netflix again — they'll have to go to the browser and subscribe from there.
From a user's perspective, paying for Netflix via an in-app subscription is a lot easier and hassle-free than going to the website. It offers a much more streamlined process, for one, and it uses the billing information already stored on one's Apple account. The change is most likely Netflix's response to Apple's infamously sizable cut of the profits for every sale made in its App Store.
It's not clear how this will affect Netflix users, but the streaming service is clearly willing to sacrifice convenience if it means not letting Apple get away with taking a huge cut of every subscription.
Apple Takes This Much From App Sales
Developers have long complained about Apple's 30 percent cut of recurring in-app subscriptions on iOS. That drops to 15 percent, but only after customers maintain their subscription for a year. That means for a whole year, a developer only gets 70 percent of total profits. Netflix isn't the first to do something about this, though. Spotify has also disabled in-app subscriptions for similar reasons.
It's just not Apple, either. Google has also received plenty of flack for taking a huge cut from in-app subscription sales. Netflix had stopped accepting in-app payments on Android a while ago, in fact. Fortnite, meanwhile, isn't even available on the store, which is perhaps Epic Games' way of maximizing profit on in-game items.
It's not clear if Google or Apple will eventually relax their policies on subscription cuts. Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.