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Netflix ditches iTunes billing for new subscribers

It's another power move against giant app platforms taking revenue cuts.


Joseph Knoop


Posted on Dec 29, 2018   Updated on May 20, 2021, 10:33 pm CDT

If you’re an iOS user and you haven’t yet jumped onto the Netflix train, things are going to be a little different for you. Netflix is continuing to distance itself from Apple’s policy of taxing iTunes purchases at your local tax rate. New Netflix users all over the globe will now be able to bypass the iTunes payment method, according to a report by VentureBeat.

“We no longer support iTunes as a method of payment for new members,” a Netflix representative told VentureBeat. Current members are still able to use iTunes to pay for their Netflix subscription going forward.

Netflix did not give a clear answer as to when this change happened, but VentureBeat’s reporting suggests late November.

The shift will allow Netflix to keep all revenue from subscription sales, rather than giving Apple a portion. It’s another example of popular streaming and media companies looking to distance themselves from powerful app gatekeepers like Apple and Google. Previously this year, Fortnite challenged Google’s claim to app revenue by making the game’s mobile app version downloadable outside of the Google Play Store. This helped Fortnite’s creator, Epic Games, to rake in over $3 billion in revenue this year, according to TechCrunch.

Both Google and Apple take 15 percent of each in-app sale, down from 30 percent previously.

Netflix iOS users who cancel their subscription and later return will also not be able to use iTunes payment, according to VentureBeat.

Netflix stopped letting users pay through Google’s store back in May.

The trend of bucking large app platforms isn’t limited to Netflix and Fortnite. Gaming platforms are getting in on the action, too. Fortnite developer Epic Games is hoping to take a big chunk of revenue from Steam, the largest storefront for PC games, by launching its own storefront and offering developers an 88 percent revenue cut. Voice chat app Discord is also launching its own storefront, offering developers a 90 percent revenue cut.

H/T VentureBeat

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*First Published: Dec 29, 2018, 6:40 pm CST