Since the past two decades, Apple and Google have had a complete monopoly of the two main mobile app stores in the form of the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. That dominance seems to be weakening now, because of Netflix.
The streaming service has removed the option for in-app subscription in the iOS app for its new subscribers. The people who already have accounts with their payment info, and a subscription, however, can still pay through iTunes.
In May 2018, Netflix pulled this option from the Google Play Store. Both these moves come after Spotify did the same in 2014 (Google Play Store) and 2016 (iOS app). What does this mean for the tail-end consumer?
Nnew customers will not be able to pay for their subscription through iTunes. Instead, they’ll get redirected to either the mobile version or their default browser, and will be asked to proceed with the payment, cutting Apple and Google out of the loop.
This move is sure to generate more revenue for Netflix and could be potentially very damaging for Apple, as it is one of the most popular streaming sites. It is also responsible for a notable fraction of the app store’s income.
The intriguing part in all this is how Apple’s revenue from Netflix will wane gradually. After all, there was a time when Apple was looking to buy it off, which of course never happened. Nevertheless, it seems clear that Apple will keep trying to create their own streaming service.
These decisions by Netflix and Spotify in abolishing in-app subscriptions may be part of a bigger revolt, to stop these tech giants from taking a share of their profit.
If you are still confused as to why this is happening, this is what the official FAQs say.