Netflix Wants to Avoid Paying the Apple Tax

Posted on August 21, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, iOS with 22 Comments

Looks like Netflix, one of the highest grossing apps on the App Store, no longer wants to give its money to Apple. The company is testing a new sign-up process for Netflix on iOS that no longer uses iTunes for its subscription service, reports TechCrunch.

The company has started testing the new payment method in 33 countries around Europe, Latin America, and Asia where users can no longer use iTunes to pay for Netflix. Instead, Netflix takes users to its mobile website to let users pay for its service directly with the company. This way, Netflix no longer needs to give a 30% cut in the first year of subscription to Apple, and the 15% cut after the first year.

Netflix recently stopped letting Android users sign-up for its service through the Google Play Store, once again avoiding the need to pay a fee to Google. Netflix isn’t the only company taking this approach — Fortnite, one of the world’s most popular game, isn’t available through the Google Play Store as its maker Epic Games doesn’t want to pay a 30% cut on in-app purchases to Google.

Netflix is only testing the new payment method on iOS, and it’s not finalised change — at least for now. It will be interesting to see whether Apple fires back at Netflix, though. Netflix is ironically featured on Apple’s official website that documents Subscriptions on the App Store, and both the companies are very close to competing with each other as well. Keep in mind, Apple is believed to have invested more than a billion on its own original TV shows, so it could very well be getting ready to take on Netflix in no time.

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Comments (22)

22 responses to “Netflix Wants to Avoid Paying the Apple Tax”

  1. Chris_Kez

    Vudu and Comixology do the same thing- no purchases from the iOS app. You have to go to the web if you want to give them money. I can't blame them. Not much Apple can do except charge more reasonable rates.

  2. Lauren Glenn

    30% is way too high to begin with. What do they give you? A few random APIs and clearance through the store? That isn't worth 30%. 10%? OK. But 30%? I get the commission part of it but 30% is way too high.

  3. Andi

    One time apps and in-app purchasing make sense but why would you tax 30% in perpetuity for subscription services? Take 30% for the first month, then 5% tops from the 2nd month onward. Excluding greed, why should Apple take a 30% cut 2 years from subscription?

  4. zybch

    Question nobody seems to have asked, will we the users get lower prices now that Netflix can retain 100% of our payment?

  5. wshwe

    Apple doesn't charge Amazon 30% of every purchase made through the Amazon Store App. I am talking about physical goods like shoes and computers. I wonder why not.

  6. HellcatM

    Good for Netflix! apple tax sucks. People can watch Netflix on other devices or just do it via the web.

  7. Stokkolm

    Amazon did this long ago with the Kindle store, makes sense to me.

  8. TroyTruax

    I could see charging a fee for installing a new app to cover Apples costs of putting the app in the store but I never understood why there is a large ongoing fee. Once you have the app there are no costs for Apple. Even if Apple wants something for posting updates to the store how can they justify even 15%?

    • zybch

      In reply to TroyTruax:

      Because apple are a giant bag of dicks. Charging for the app to be on their platform, fine. But charging for stuff purchased within the app is just greedyfuckery, especially for subscription services.

  9. webdev511

    My first thought is why it's taken this long for established apps to abandon the "store tax" Even Microsoft's progressive system (The more you sell the less you pay) doesn't seem to have panned out. If you have the option to NOT pay, why would you?

  10. Brandon Mills

    It amazes me that the skimming rates on app stores is still legal in the first place. The platform owners still have everything to gain from controlling the platform itself. This crap needs regulated.

  11. Daekar

    I love that the platform holders are starting to lose control a bit. Can only be good.

  12. MattHewitt

    Signing up in a browser isn't against the iTunes agreement. If you were to have a button that says "click here to pay" and it takes you to a browser rather than through the Apple Store, that is where you run into trouble. This is nothing different than purchasing a Kindle book in the browser and then having access to it in the app.

    Netflix should be in the clear on this. I doubt Apple will go after them.

  13. rosyna

    Netflix had always increased the cost of the subscription if you went through the iTunes Store…