August 22 Update: This story has been updated per analyst estimates of how much Apple would stand to lose by the change of the in-app payment structure.
Apple takes 15 to 30 per cent of all payments are processed via the iOS apps, and it seems Netflix is tired of sharing the money. According to a new report, the streaming giant has begun testing of alternative means of the processing of the payment.
TechCrunch reports that “Netflix is to test how to bypass iTunes,” although Netflix itself refers to the process as “testing the iTunes payment method.” If the pressure forces Apple to change to the transaction policy, the company may be a loss of a whopping $16 billion, according to a Macquarie Research note seen by Business Insider.
Specifically, Netflix is doing this experiment in 33 countries, the disabling of the ability to pay through Apple’s services for a number of “new or expired subscribers in selected markets in Europe, Latin America and Asia,” up to and including 30 September.
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Users who try to sign up through the Netflix app will be pushed to Netflix on the website, to enter payment information. While Apple began its fee-sharing agreement by taking 30 percent of all committees, changed the policy in June 2016, to take a 30 percent cut in the first year with a service, and 15 percent in subsequent years.
If Netflix’s experiment is a success, and the company stops with the processing of subscription payments via Apple, it will join Spotify, that doesn’t so much offer in-app subscription payments. The report notes that the experiment will show customers one of two options: “1. Ability to log in to the app with only iTunes method Of Payment,” and “2. Ability to log in to Netflix, but not log in (register only through the mobile browser).”
The report does not cite any specific reason why Netflix has begun the testing of this now, but with Apple’s plans for original video content from Netflix might be seeing the iPhone-maker as a competitor. There is also a chance that companies like Netflix can be viewed by Apple’s 1.05 billion dollar market cap, and wondered how much of that pile of cash came from their sales.