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Netflix Stops Accepting Payments Through iTunes Subscriptions

Netflix building

Netflix has begun requiring subscribers with Apple iTunes billing plans to pay Netflix directly.

All “members on the basic plan who were using an iTunes method of payment” will need to sign up directly with Netflix, a company spokesperson told The Verge in a report posted Monday (Feb. 26).

Netflix didn’t add in-app subscription options to its iOS app until 2015, because it was opposed to Apple’s 30% commission, and it stopped offering that option in late 2018, according to the report.

However, until now, Netflix allowed longtime subscribers who had chosen that method to remain on their iTunes billing plan, the report said.

With this change, those subscribers must now pay Netflix directly, using a credit card or debit card, and pay more for essentially the same plan, pay less for a plan that includes ads, or end their subscription, per the report.

This news comes about a month after Netflix said it was cutting its lowest-cost, ad-free tier in select markets. The firm had already made its Basic plan unavailable for new and rejoining members in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

“The ads plan now accounts for 40% of all Netflix sign-ups in our ads markets and we’re looking to retire our Basic plan in some of our ads countries, starting with Canada and the U.K. in Q2 and taking it from there,” the company said in a Jan. 23 letter to shareholders accompanying its fourth-quarter 2023 earnings results.

Other streaming services have been making changes to their plans as well.

Amazon said in December that it would begin adding commercials to its Prime Video content for viewers in the United States in January, and then customers in several other countries in the following months. Subscribers in the U.S. can pay an extra $2.99 per month for the option to continue watching content without commercial breaks.

Disney+ began a crackdown on password sharing among its U.S. subscribers, sending out emails Feb. 7 notifying them about its updated terms of service that include restrictions on sharing account credentials outside of the subscriber’s household. The specific methods of identifying compliance with these limitations were not disclosed.