Subscription software has been around a long time, but has gone mainstream with Adobe’s Creative Suite, Microsoft’s Office 365, and a bunch of TV channels including HBO, Spotify, Hulu, and others supporting in-app subscriptions on the App Store. Add Netflix to the mix. Rich McCormick:
Now you won’t even need to get off the sofa to find your laptop before you start binge-watching Netflix. The company has added in-app purchases to its iOS apps that allow you to subscribe directly from the Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad…
What’s the big deal? It’s Apple’s App Store tax.
Apple has traditionally taken 30 percent out of money earned from in-app purchases, forcing some companies who allow sign-ups through in-app purchases to inflate their monthly costs to cover the shortfall. Spotify, for example, raised its premium subscription service from $9.99 a month to $12.99 a month when purchased through its iOS app. Netflix, on the other hand, is offering the same monthly rate for people who buy through iOS as it does for web sign-ups.
Apple is in on the subscription game, too, with the iPhone Upgrade Program, a lease-rental plan which gets you a new iPhone every year.