Netflix officially cuts off iTunes billing, avoids Apple Tax

Out of all the shocking news from Apple today on its earnings forecast cut, the one ray of sunshine the company could report was that its services sector had continued to grow. More apps are on the iOS and macOS ecosystem now than ever before and the company’s taking a large cut of their earnings to offer them the privilege of the platform.

Some companies are sick of losing 30 cents out of every dollar earned from their iPhone apps, though. In May, Netflix removed the ability for its users to pay for their subscription plans directly through its Android app. Last summer, the company experimented with redirecting some iOS app users to its website for payments.

Now, VentureBeat reports that the streaming media service has officially cut off new members from paying for a membership through their iTunes account. The change also applies to relapsed members who have  gone off for at least one month. Existing users who currently use iTunes for payment, however, will still be able to.

Apple, thorugh its iOS App Store, and Google, via the Play Store for Android, currently take 30 percent out of publishers’ revenues from new subscriptions made within their apps. That share is cut to 15 percent per subscriber per month if they retain their membership after a year — a stipulation that both platforms have only introduced within the past couple of years. Publishers have been clamoring to retain more of their mobile revenues — Netflix in particular makes the most revenue out of all applications on either the App Store or Play Store.

Even if Apple opts not to directly retaliate against Netflix for this decision, it has reportedly been working on a trove of original content for its own streaming platform, expected to debut in the near future.

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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.