Netflix tests removing App Store billing on iPhone & iPad

Posted:
in iPhone
Netflix may be set to drop in-app payments for iPhone and iPad owners, giving the streaming service a greater revenue cut from people who still want to subscribe.

Netflix on iPhone


Since Aug. 2, testing of the idea has been taking place in 33 countries, Netflix confirmed to TechCrunch. Some of the bigger test markets include Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, and South Korea.

The company in fact said that it's been testing since June, but began in just 10 countries. All new or resubscribing Android users have been unable to use Google Play for billing since May.

Apple typically claims a 30 percent cut from App Store transactions. This can shrink to 15 percent for long-term subscriptions, yet having to split with Apple has forced some subscription-based businesses to weigh the balance between keeping revenue or hoping that the convenience of in-app payments attracts a large audience.

Music streamer Spotify at one point offered in-app subscriptions, but charged more for those than elsewhere as a way of compensating for Apple's take. Rather than maintain a double-standard, it eventually caved and removed the in-app option, requiring people to sign up on the Web instead.

Apple has allegedly been eager to push developers towards subscriptions, even arranging an invitation-only meeting in New York City to persuade them. The company is thought to be happy with its results so far, even though few apps are subscription-based.

Apple's guidelines do not prohibit web-based services sign-ups. However, it does not allow the app itself to direct users to sign up on a company's website in the app.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    payecopayeco Posts: 301member
    I hope they don’t remove this ability for existing subscribers. I bill everything I can through iTunes/the App Store since iTunes gift cards seem to be on sale for at least 15% off like every other week. It’s an easy way to get a discount on subscriptions/purchases. I’m still working off of $1k worth I bought Black Friday two years ago when Costco had them on sale that, when combined with a coupon code, came out to 30% off.
    edited August 2018 davenmbenz1962racerhomie3hubbax[Deleted User]entropyswatto_cobraclaire1
  • Reply 2 of 26
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 320member
    Being able to purchase discounted iTunes cards to pay for my Netflix and other subscriptions as well as the convenience and security of not having my credit card details stored with multiple providers is not something I want to lose. 

    Netflix however probably doesn’t need Apple the way some smaller publishers might. If they were to drop support for in-app purchases it probably wouldn’t have much of a negative impact on them. 

    As as much as it would frustrate me I would probably still continue with my subscription. 
    racerhomie3gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 26
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,090member
    Apple could always drop the Netflix app from the App Store in Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, and South Korea.
    claire1
  • Reply 4 of 26
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,979member
    Not surprised. I’d do it if I was Netflix. They don’t owe their success to Apple. It’s easy enough to sign up via the browser.
    jbdragonAI_lias
  • Reply 5 of 26
    Not surprised. I’d do it if I was Netflix. They don’t owe their success to Apple. It’s easy enough to sign up via the browser.
    They have always had this option. If their marketing was sufficiently drawing customers, it wouldn’t matter, because customers would sign directly through them anyway. Apple’s view is if you are offering a free product you are helping grow their platform and deserve to benefit from the marketing they do for their services and platform. On the other hand, if their marketing drives customers to buy via their platform and they are responsible for processing fees and customer service, they deserve a cut. Once a company’s marketing is effective enough to draw customers without Apple they will signup directly anyway and then download the app for convenience. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 26
    payeco said:
    I hope they don’t remove this ability for existing subscribers. I bill everything I can through iTunes/the App Store since iTunes gift cards seem to be on sale for at least 15% off like every other week. It’s an easy way to get a discount on subscriptions/purchases. I’m still working off of $1k worth I bought Black Friday two years ago when Costco had them on sale that, when combined with a coupon code, came out to 30% off.


    1k worth of gift Cards?? That's a lot! I might spend 70-100$ max a year in the App Store. And that's when I go nuts. But if you have a lot of subscriptions, I guess that makes sense.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 26
    payecopayeco Posts: 301member
    Carnage said:
    payeco said:
    I hope they don’t remove this ability for existing subscribers. I bill everything I can through iTunes/the App Store since iTunes gift cards seem to be on sale for at least 15% off like every other week. It’s an easy way to get a discount on subscriptions/purchases. I’m still working off of $1k worth I bought Black Friday two years ago when Costco had them on sale that, when combined with a coupon code, came out to 30% off.


    1k worth of gift Cards?? That's a lot! I might spend 70-100$ max a year in the App Store. And that's when I go nuts. But if you have a lot of subscriptions, I guess that makes sense.

    Between Apple Music, Netflix and my iCloud upgraded storage I spend almost $20 a month on subscription billing through iTunes. I’m saving almost $6 a month just on subscriptions from the discounted gift cards, and then there’s the occasional regular app purchase. That’s better than the interest I’d have earning leaving that money sitting in my savings account.
    watto_cobraCarnage
  • Reply 8 of 26
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,979member
    genovelle said:
    Not surprised. I’d do it if I was Netflix. They don’t owe their success to Apple. It’s easy enough to sign up via the browser.
    They have always had this option. If their marketing was sufficiently drawing customers, it wouldn’t matter, because customers would sign directly through them anyway. Apple’s view is if you are offering a free product you are helping grow their platform and deserve to benefit from the marketing they do for their services and platform. On the other hand, if their marketing drives customers to buy via their platform and they are responsible for processing fees and customer service, they deserve a cut. Once a company’s marketing is effective enough to draw customers without Apple they will signup directly anyway and then download the app for convenience. 

    What customer service or marketing does Apple do for Netflix? And if you say credit card payment processing well that’s only because Apple doesn’t offer any other option with IAP. I think this is mostly BS anyway (and not just with Apple). I can buy housewares in the Target app and Apple doesn’t get a cut of the sale but if I want to subscribe to a streaming video service Apple deserves 30%?
  • Reply 9 of 26
    Carnage said:
    payeco said:
    I hope they don’t remove this ability for existing subscribers. I bill everything I can through iTunes/the App Store since iTunes gift cards seem to be on sale for at least 15% off like every other week. It’s an easy way to get a discount on subscriptions/purchases. I’m still working off of $1k worth I bought Black Friday two years ago when Costco had them on sale that, when combined with a coupon code, came out to 30% off.


    1k worth of gift Cards?? That's a lot! I might spend 70-100$ max a year in the App Store. And that's when I go nuts. But if you have a lot of subscriptions, I guess that makes sense.

    $100 a year? My Apple Music alone is already $100 (not counting 10-15 films I bought in iTunes last few weeks when they’re on sale). I think I am at around $500-600 a year too. 
    edited August 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 26
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,054member
    So you’re saying Netflix isn’t going to pass along any savings to their customers? 

    Shocking!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 26
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,111member
    Netflix wouldn't be the first to pull out In-App subscriptions. Amazon did it a few years back. Netflix is not a fan of Apple taking a 15-30% cut from a subscription every single month. Oh I'm sure Apple Apple loves it. But it's a little crazy. That's millions going to Apple instead of to Netflix and for what? How about Apple be like a Credit Card Company and charge 3% transaction fee. Be generous to Apple, make it 5%. That covers the transaction costs and Netflix update downloads people do and still make a bit of money. Maybe even Amazon and others come back and allow in-app transactions once again.
  • Reply 12 of 26
    78Bandit78Bandit Posts: 232member
    payeco said:
    I hope they don’t remove this ability for existing subscribers. I bill everything I can through iTunes/the App Store since iTunes gift cards seem to be on sale for at least 15% off like every other week. It’s an easy way to get a discount on subscriptions/purchases. I’m still working off of $1k worth I bought Black Friday two years ago when Costco had them on sale that, when combined with a coupon code, came out to 30% off.
    So Apple gives you 15% off to encourage you to make purchases where they get 30% from the content provider.  Ultimately that 30% is passed back on to you as the consumer, so you're paying 30% to save 15%.  Apple sure knows how to manipulate the money-unsavvy customers, don't they?
    IreneW
  • Reply 13 of 26
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 166unconfirmed, member
    78Bandit said:
    payeco said:
    I hope they don’t remove this ability for existing subscribers. I bill everything I can through iTunes/the App Store since iTunes gift cards seem to be on sale for at least 15% off like every other week. It’s an easy way to get a discount on subscriptions/purchases. I’m still working off of $1k worth I bought Black Friday two years ago when Costco had them on sale that, when combined with a coupon code, came out to 30% off.
    So Apple gives you 15% off to encourage you to make purchases where they get 30% from the content provider.  Ultimately that 30% is passed back on to you as the consumer, so you're paying 30% to save 15%.  Apple sure knows how to manipulate the money-unsavvy customers, don't they?
    You got it all wrong!

    After some time you are subscribed to a provider, Apple charges the provider just 15% and they get to keep an extra 15%.

    The costumer payed the same price all along.
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 14 of 26
    genovelle said:
    Not surprised. I’d do it if I was Netflix. They don’t owe their success to Apple. It’s easy enough to sign up via the browser.
    They have always had this option. If their marketing was sufficiently drawing customers, it wouldn’t matter, because customers would sign directly through them anyway. Apple’s view is if you are offering a free product you are helping grow their platform and deserve to benefit from the marketing they do for their services and platform. On the other hand, if their marketing drives customers to buy via their platform and they are responsible for processing fees and customer service, they deserve a cut. Once a company’s marketing is effective enough to draw customers without Apple they will signup directly anyway and then download the app for convenience. 

    What customer service or marketing does Apple do for Netflix? And if you say credit card payment processing well that’s only because Apple doesn’t offer any other option with IAP. I think this is mostly BS anyway (and not just with Apple). I can buy housewares in the Target app and Apple doesn’t get a cut of the sale but if I want to subscribe to a streaming video service Apple deserves 30%?
    They bring a platform and ecosystem of nearly 1 billion members. It’s also more likely 15%.
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 15 of 26
    Good on them for breaking out of the chains of Apple's greedy system. Yeah sure they do provide a platform with billions of users but so is the other system, and they're not greedy as eff.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,979member
    kruegdude said:
    genovelle said:
    Not surprised. I’d do it if I was Netflix. They don’t owe their success to Apple. It’s easy enough to sign up via the browser.
    They have always had this option. If their marketing was sufficiently drawing customers, it wouldn’t matter, because customers would sign directly through them anyway. Apple’s view is if you are offering a free product you are helping grow their platform and deserve to benefit from the marketing they do for their services and platform. On the other hand, if their marketing drives customers to buy via their platform and they are responsible for processing fees and customer service, they deserve a cut. Once a company’s marketing is effective enough to draw customers without Apple they will signup directly anyway and then download the app for convenience. 

    What customer service or marketing does Apple do for Netflix? And if you say credit card payment processing well that’s only because Apple doesn’t offer any other option with IAP. I think this is mostly BS anyway (and not just with Apple). I can buy housewares in the Target app and Apple doesn’t get a cut of the sale but if I want to subscribe to a streaming video service Apple deserves 30%?
    They bring a platform and ecosystem of nearly 1 billion members. It’s also more likely 15%.
    So Apple’s not taking a cut of Uber and Lyft because?
  • Reply 17 of 26
    payecopayeco Posts: 301member
    78Bandit said:
    payeco said:
    I hope they don’t remove this ability for existing subscribers. I bill everything I can through iTunes/the App Store since iTunes gift cards seem to be on sale for at least 15% off like every other week. It’s an easy way to get a discount on subscriptions/purchases. I’m still working off of $1k worth I bought Black Friday two years ago when Costco had them on sale that, when combined with a coupon code, came out to 30% off.
    So Apple gives you 15% off to encourage you to make purchases where they get 30% from the content provider.  Ultimately that 30% is passed back on to you as the consumer, so you're paying 30% to save 15%.  Apple sure knows how to manipulate the money-unsavvy customers, don't they?
    I don’t understand the reason for your snark. If I had a way to get 30% off directly from Netflix I would. They charge you the same price whether you subscribe directly or through in app subscription. My other two subscriptions are from Apple itself (Apple Music and iCloud storage) and it’s the same situation, I pay the same amount whether it let it bill my CC or use iTunes credit.
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 18 of 26
    I dunno. I’ve been looking for reasons to drop Netflix. If I have to change my billing, I might follow-through.
    watto_cobraclaire1lolliver
  • Reply 19 of 26
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,979member
    galfridus said:
    I dunno. I’ve been looking for reasons to drop Netflix. If I have to change my billing, I might follow-through.

    Why would you have to change your billing?
  • Reply 20 of 26
    I like being able to subscribe via Apple. I can use the discounted iTunes card and save some coin and it's secure. I don't have to worry about my debit/credit card being associated to multiple companies.
    edited August 2018 watto_cobralolliver
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