Netflix Wants to do Without Apple to Charge Customers

The video platform seeks to gain some independence vis-à-vis Apple, which levies a margin on the subscriptions of some iPhone users.

Would Netflix be ready to ask for a divorce? Starting in September, the online video platform will no longer charge its users via iTunes, the Apple service, which is used to make transactions on the iPhone and iPad. The goal for Netflix: no longer share its income with the US giant of new technologies. Indeed, for each transaction made via its services, Apple levies a certain percentage. This is the case if a user has subscribed directly to his iPhone, rather than going to the Netflix site to create his account before downloading the application.

This new method of billing is already tested by Netflix and will be effective from October in thirty countries in Europe (including France), Latin America and Asia, according to the site Techcrunch.

For the moment, it is possible to subscribe in two main ways to Netflix: on the mobile application or on its website. During the “test” in selected countries, some users will not be able to subscribe via the application. It will first create his account on the site of Netflix, then connect to his mobile. In this way, the transactions will no longer be handled by Apple.

Similar practices at Google
If this test came to generalize, it would be a blow for Apple. Netflix is ​​the second-largest application for iOS revenue in the US, according to AppAnnie. Currently, Apple collects 30% of revenue in the first year of a subscription; this share then drops to 15%. Google has similar practices on Google Play, its app store. Some companies also offset the margins of Apple and Google, pushing up the bill for their users who subscribe directly to an application.

Originally, the Apple App Store, which has just celebrated its tenth anniversary, was an advantageous system. The platform allowed applications to reach a large audience (iPhone and iPad users) and certain services such as a simple billing system. This opportunity has made the popularity of many applications, but also the wealth of Apple. In 2017, the company had a turnover of nearly $ 30 billion in “services”, a category that includes revenue from the App Store, but also other applications like Apple Pay. This represents 14% of its total turnover.

Nevertheless, the biggest players in applications are slowly starting to rebel against this dependence. Some of these services have an audience faithful enough to do without the help of Apple, or Google. Like Netflix, Spotify has also removed the ability to pay for its subscription via iTunes or Google Play. Finally, in early August, the very popular game Fortnite outright announced that it could not be downloaded via the Google application store. Players will have to turn to their official website, or the video games area of ​​Samsung, their new partner.