Netflix Tests Ways to Bypass iTunes Payment Fees
Netflix confirmed it is “testing the iTunes payment method” in 33 markets. More specifically, they are testing ways to bypass iTunes payments by redirecting subscribers to the mobile web version of Netflix.
The affected countries are mostly in Europe, Asia, Latin America and parts of Africa, but this new payment system could expand in the future. Netflix started testing the payment process in June using just 10 countries, but they expanded to 33 countries in early August.
Users in these countries may not be able to sign up for Netflix if iTunes is their only registered mode of payment. They may also be blocked from signing into Netflix through iTunes. They will only be able to do so through a mobile browser.
The reason Netflix is trying to bypass iTunes is because Apple takes a large percentage of the profits. If a subscription starts inside an iOS app, Apple gets 30% of the first year’s sales and 15% of sales for the following years.
Similar streaming apps, like Spotify, have already moved away from iTunes payments. As TechCrunch pointed out, Netflix is shifting toward a more direct billing relationship with its customers.