STREAMING GIANT Netflix is testing a new payment method in order to bypass Apple's 30 per cent "tax" on subscription services.
The company told TechCrunch that it's "testing the iTunes payment method" with new and lapsed customers in 33 countries, including the UK, Canada, Brazil and Germany. Ironically, the new method involves bypassing Apple's iTunes Store and redirecting users to Netflix's mobile site for payment, eschewing Apple's percentage cut of subscription fees.
Currently, Apple takes 30 per cent of each subscription payment made through iTunes - although the firm in 2016 adjusted its revenue cut to 15 per cent after the first year in response to disgruntled developers.
Netflix confirmed that it began testing the new payment method in June and said the trial will run until the end of September. It's as yet unclear whether the new iTunes-bypassing billing method will become a permanent feature.
Netflix said in a statement: "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."
Netflix's decision to shun iTunes will likely come as a blow to Apple, as subscription-based revenues helped drive the company's services revenue up 31 per cent year-over-year in the last quarter. On the firm's earnings call, Tim Cook boasted that more than 300 million people now pay for subscriptions through the App Store.
Netflix isn't the only company to push back against Apple's hefty revenue cut, though. Spotify famously hit out at the company's "anticompetitive" Apple Tax back in 2015, claiming it gave Apple's competing music streaming service an unfair advantage.
"If Spotify wants to sell its premium subscription service — which usually costs $9.99 a month — through the App Store, it has to raise the price 30 per cent higher to $12.99 to pull in the same revenue, while Apple can still offer Beats at a lower price," reports said at the time.
Apple has yet to respond to INQ's request for comment. µ
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