Netflix Dodging Apple Tax – Geeky Gadgets

iPhone and iPad users looking to subscribe to Netflix from the App Store app for streaming video by Netflix are now directed to an external website. From the site, iOS and iPadOS users can subscribe from Netflix. This relates to Apple’s recent decision to allow “reader apps” (apps that provide digital content) to link to its websites to help subscribers sign up and manage their accounts.

Apple announced back in September that it would allow reader apps to include an in-app link to their websites. Pressing the “Subscribe” button on the Netflix app will cause a message that says “You are about to leave the app and go to an external website.” The app also states that any transaction will not be Apple’s responsibility and that subscription management must be handled entirely through the Netflix platform.

The message reads, “Any accounts or purchases made outside of this app will be managed by 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 you make. Done with this developer.”

You are then sent to the Netflix website where you can sign up. This bypasses Apple’s in-app payment platform. What this means is that Netflix doesn’t have to give Apple a 30% discount on the transaction price on initial subscriptions and up to 15% for recurring subscriptions after one year.

The “apple tax” has been a thorn in the side of many. Companies like Spotify and Netflix have banned subscribers from signing up for certain subscriptions directly from the App Store so they don’t have to pay Apple. Nearly two years ago, Apple released Fortnite from the App Store after Epic provided game players with a link to its in-app payment platform. Things have flared up ever since.

And so, finally, Netflix can avoid the Apple tax. Apple still has a set of rules that reader app developers have to follow. The link posted on the app cannot contain pricing information, and each developer must submit an Entitlement to obtain permission from Apple to include a link on the app. Times are changing for Apple.

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