Netflix has started sending users on its iOS devices (the iPhone and iPad) to an external website where they can sign up for the service, according to a report by 9to5Mac. The modification comes shortly after Apple began enabling links to account registration pages on third-party websites from “reader” apps that give users access to digital content, such as Netflix and Spotify.
In its iPhone and iPad apps, Netflix did not offer an external signup link or even let customers know where they could sign up until as recently as 2018. Instead, users have to access Netflix’s website through a web or mobile browser to register for the service before using the app. This was carried out in accordance with Apple’s policies, which made it challenging for apps to avoid it is up to 30% commission on in-app sales and prohibited developers from providing a link to an external sign-up page. The structure made it difficult for new customers who (logically) believed they could register for Netflix via the app.
Anyways, it appears that’s about to change. According to a 9to5Mac report, Netflix users on the iOS platform may now access an external sign-up link from within the app. A warning alerting users that they are “about to leave the app” and visit an external website appears when they click the link. Additionally, it states that Apple is not involved in any transactions made on the linked page: 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, says Apple.
Users who opt to ignore the warning are redirected to Netflix’s website’s account sign-up page, where they may enter their payment details and select a subscription plan. For now, Netflix is still yet to make comments, and it is unclear when it began offering this additional option. Users still cannot access Netflix’s signup page from the iPhone or iPad app, according to the company’s help page.
Although Apple still has a tight set of policies apps developers must adhere to, such as not including any cost information with a link to external sign-up pages, even if it has started to loosen some of its standards for reader apps. The “entitlement” that developers must provide in order to obtain approval to include the external link in their app.
Apple has come under fire for its policies requiring the majority of developers to use the App Store billing system, for which Apple charges a percentage. Apple began enabling developers to employ third-party payment processors in apps released in South Korea as a result of a new law that was enacted there. It also made certain adjustments for dating applications issued in the Netherlands as a result of a protracted legal dispute with the nation’s regulator.
However, if the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) bill is enacted, Apple will have far more adjusting to do because it would be required to permit the use of third-party payment systems, side-loading, and third-party app stores. By providing developers with the option to utilize an alternate billing structure for apps distributed in Europe, Google has already begun preparing for the new legislation.