While Apple and Netflix are fast becoming rivals, the former still makes a serious amount of cash from the latter. That’s due to iPhone and iPad owners choosing to pay for their monthly subscription via their iTunes account.
Netflix is one of the top-grossing apps on the App Store and Apple gets a 30% cut of the monthly subscription fee for every user who pays that way. On the other side of the coin, Netflix and its users get access to seamless billing without subscribers having the hassle of inputting payment details.
However, Netflix is now working on ways to upset this mutually-beneficial apple cart by bypassing iTunes billing completely. TechCrunch reports, and has confirmed, that Netflix is “testing the iTunes payment” method in 33 territories.
New and lapsed subscribers in some European, Latin American and Asian countries will no longer see the option to pay via iTunes. Instead they’re being directed to a mobile site where they’ll need to register their own payment details with Netflix.
It doesn’t appear to be a permanent solution as of right now, but Netflix is greasing the wheels of change with a view to pocketing more of the cash from iOS-based subscribers.
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A customer support agent told TechCrunch: “During this time, customers in these countries may experience any of the following when launching the Netflix app on an iOS (mobile or tablet) device: 1. Ability to sign up in app with only iTunes Mode Of Payment. 2. Ability to log into Netflix but not sign up (sign up only via mobile browser). We are constantly innovating and testing new signup approaches on different platforms to better understand what our members like. Based on what we learn, we work to improve the Netflix experience for members everywhere.”
This was affirmed in a similar statement from Netflix’s PR department, which says the following countries are affected by the tests: 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 and Thailand.
If Netflix follows through on the change it would match Spotify’s move away from iTunes in order to maximise its own revenues.
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