Netflix may do something about the Apple tax

There’s bad news for Apple if Netflix is about to go through with a scheme it has been piloting in 33 countries: it will lose one of its biggest service revenue providers.

The video streaming company has told TechCrunch that it is “testing the iTunes payment method” with new and lapsed customers. Ironically, that means cutting iTunes out of the process and redirecting iPhone and iPad users in Europe, Latin America and Asia to Netflix’s an app view of Netflix’s mobile site for payment — if subscription purchases made through this method are not counted as “in-app purchases,” this would mean that the company would not have to give Apple a 30 percent share in that revenue (the share goes down to 15 percent per customer after a year).

The program began in June with 10 countries before adding on the rest from August 2. It will end on September 30.

In May, Netflix disallowed payments through Google Play, which takes a similar cut as Apple’s App Store. Other service providers such as Spotify have been looking at ways to cut platform providers out of revenue sharing as they struggle to grow consumer bases — especially as Apple and Google offer their own competing services. Apple aims to double its 2016 reported service segment revenue by 2020.

Here’s the full list of testing countries for Netflix’s new payment system:

  • 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
  • Thailand

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.