Netflix’s iOS App Now Has an External Subscription Button

Filipe Espósito, reporting for 9to5Mac two weeks ago:

As noted by multiple users and also confirmed by 9to5Mac, the Netflix app now uses the new iOS API for reader apps that takes the user to an external website before making a subscription. It’s uncertain when exactly Netflix began rolling out this option to iPhone and iPad users, but based on reports, the rollout now seems to be worldwide.

When you tap the subscribe button, a message says that “you’re about to leave the app and go to an external website.” The app also notes that the transaction will no longer be Apple’s responsibility and that all subscription management should be done under Netflix’s platform.

Any accounts or purchases made outside of this app will be managed by the 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 made with this developer.

Tapping the Continue button takes you to the Netflix website where you can enter your personal data, choose a payment method, and subscribe to a Netflix plan. This, of course, allows Netflix not to pay the 30% commission for each subscription made within iOS apps, which is reduced to 15% for recurring subscriptions after one year.

This is the option for “reader apps” that Apple announced last September, as part of their agreement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

We can (and should) quibble with some of the design details and language of this warning dialog — why is the headline font so big? why is Netflix’s own name in quotes? — but on the whole this is the way things should be. Developers should be able to steer users to the web for payments and subscriptions, and users should know they’re being steered to the web, and that anything they pay for outside the app won’t work like in-app payments do.

Monday, 8 August 2022