Netflix is one of the most popular apps on the App Store. The app itself is free but users are required to purchase a subscription if they want access to the streaming service’s library. Apple gets to pocket a 30 percent cut on the first year of a subscription. With Netflix being the most popular online video streaming service, you can imagine that this 30 percent can quickly run into millions of dollars. Netflix is now running a test to bypass iTunes billing in 33 markets.
Netflix subscribers in select markets across Latin America, Europe, and Asia will be unable to pay for their subscription using iTunes until September 30th. They will instead to redirected to the mobile web version of Netflix where they have to enter the payment details directly.
Netflix is running this test in 33 countries which will continue until September 30th. “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),” said a Netflix customer support agent.
The countries where Netflix is conducting this test include 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.
Redirecting subscribers to its website means that the payment doesn’t go through iTunes. This enables Netflix to avoid paying Apple a 30 percent cut. It remains to be seen, though, if the company will make this permanent going forward.