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Netflix’s Latest App Update Cuts Apple Out of Signup Process, Avoiding Costly Commissions

Joshua Thiede

Apple’s stranglehold on its app store continues to wane as companies shift to their own subscription signup pages, avoiding the commissions demanded by the platform. Netflix is the latest service to opt out of the app store framework, with a message to new customers bluntly stating that Apple is out of the equation.

Back in March, the Netherlands ruling that changed how Apple handles in-app purchases over iOS platforms finally came into effect. The court’s decision explicitly affects “reader” apps, or services that provide digital content to their subscribers including magazines, newspapers, audio, music and video. Any purchases made within the iOS app gives Apple a kickback, with subscriptions doing so on a monthly basis.

Apple has been hesitant to give up its control of app store purchases, especially on lucrative services that pay a 30% commission every month for the privilege of using the iOS platform. While Apple does drop the charge to 15% after the first year, that’s still a considerable amount of money that services are essentially forced to Apple.

The new model allows Netflix and other reader companies to offer external purchasing options as opposed to using in-app purchases. While previously barring companies from doing so in the past, the Dutch ruling established that Apple cannot force businesses to use their storefront as the only method of acquiring services on their devices. Netflix has changed its app to connect with its online subscription webpage, with a somewhat atypical message to future subscribers as they leave the iOS ecosystem. The popup reads:

“Any accounts or purchases made outside of this app will be managed by the developer ‘Netflix.’ Your App Store account, stored payment methods, and related features, such as subscription management and refund requests, will not be available. Apple is not responsible for the privacy or security of transactions made with this developer.”

As far back as 2018, Netflix has attempted to divorce itself from Apple’s in-app purchasing platform. The streamer tried a similar tactic as the one currently in use, linking subscriptions to their proprietary signup webpage via the iOS browser Safari. Apple struck back, expressing concerns over its customers’ experience and privacy, but the Dutch court system apparently believes such notions were unwarranted.

Netflix

Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Crown, Tiger King, and Bridgerton. They are constantly adding new shows and movies. Some of their Academy Award-winning exclusives include Roma, Marriage Story, Mank, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Netflix offers four plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic with Ads” ($6.99) plan, on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($9.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($15.49) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($19.99) plan.

Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

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