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Netflix kills in-app purchases on iOS to avoid Apple tax

Netflix payments iOS option
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Netflix now redirects new users on iOS platform to website to complete payments.

The streaming app disabled Google in-app purchase option in May, 2018.

Netflix, the streaming giant is no longer supporting new subscribers on iOS to pay using in-app subscriptions via iTunes platform. New users henceforth will be redirected to the website for completing payments.

As first reported by VentureBeat, existing members who signed up via iTunes can continue to use in-app purchase feature. However, customers who are rejoining Netflix on an iOS device (after canceling payment for at least a month) will also need to pay via the web (browser).  In May this year, the streaming platform barred android users from making in-app payments to avoid paying commissions to Google.

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Netflix was first spotted in June this year, testing the feature to bypass iOS payments. “We no longer support iTunes as a method of payment for new members,” a Netflix spokesperson was quoted as saying by VentureBeat.

The Netflix payment feature boycott highlights the growing tension between developers and distribution platforms.

The move by Netflix which is a top grossing app on Android and iOS platforms highlights the growing tensions between developers and distribution platforms. Apple and Google charge developers 30% as commission towards distribution partner and operating fees for the first year of customer subscription. The share drops to 15% once the customer makes a recurring payment for twelve months.

To avoid paying Apple, music streaming platform Spotify ditched iTunes payment option in 2015, news publisher Financial Times pulled apps out of Appstore long ago in 2011. Just recently, Epic Games the publisher of viral Fortnite game ditched play store altogether and launched its own store with the promise to take only 12 percent as commission.  This was followed by the communication platform Discord — which launched its store in October to sell a select list of games— to announce  only 10 percent of each sale as commission.

About the author

KP Krishna

Krishna KP is the founder of Preview Tech. He is a marketing geek and helps webmasters to monetize their web properties. When not online he is involved in debates with his friends over the issues that concern the world!

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