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Netflix Tests Bypassing iTunes Payment Methods

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Streaming giant Netflix is reportedly looking into ways to break free from Apple’s revenue sharing scheme for subscription apps by bypassing iTunes billing altogether.

According to a new report from TechCrunch, Netflix users using iPhones or iPads from 33 countries in Asia, Europe, and Latin America will not be able to renew their lapsed subscriptions until September 30. Instead, they will be required to head to Netflix’s payments portal and directly pay for their subscriptions. The move is a part of the streaming company’s attempt to bypass iTunes as a payments platform.

The streaming giant, which is among the top grossing apps on the App Store, is conducting a two-month experiment wherein it is redirecting new or lapsed subscribers to its mobile web version to sign for the service directly, thus helping them avoid giving a cut on subscription price to Apple.

Apple currently takes a 30% cut on the first year of a subscription, which later goes down to 15% for subsequent years, similar to Google.

“We are constantly innovating and testing new signup approaches on different platforms to better understand what our members like,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “Based on what we learn, we work to improve the Netflix experience for members everywhere.”

It’s important to note that Netflix had discontinued Google Play Billing to new or lapsed subscribers in May this year. Several other Internet giants like Amazon and Spotify have also moved away from using Apple and Google for in-app purchases and subscriptions for similar reasons.

The full list of countries where the billing test is running is as follows: 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.

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