Netflix is suddenly ending the subs of people who paid via Apple's App Store

A man watches the Netflix logo on a Toshiba TV with a remote in his hand
(Image credit: Thomas Trutschel)

If you subscribed to Netflix via the iOS app or iTunes back when that was possible, and have been happily paying and watching via that system for years, Netflix will no longer be accepting your payments: you'll need to subscribe directly instead of via Apple. Netflix has confirmed that it's telling all members who used "an iTunes method of payment" to sign up directly as their existing payment method is no longer supported.

That's going to be a blow for anyone whose subscription meant they were still paying the pre-hike subscription rates: the basic plan that for some users was still being charged at $9.99 per month has now been cut off, so existing subscribers will need to pay the current rate for the streaming service or drop down to the ad-funded service instead.

This isn't a huge surprise, because Netflix has already stopped sign-ups via Apple for new subscribers. And it's part of the ongoing tensions between the streamer and the tech giant, whose relationship isn't exactly amicable.

Why Netflix and Apple aren't BFFs

Netflix has long criticized Apple over what it sees as a too-large cut of in-app purchases, which is something this move is designed to stop Netflix from paying. But there's also the factor that since the launch of Apple TV Plus, the fundamental relationship between the two companies has changed: Apple isn't just a platform provider but a direct competitor as one of the best streaming services

It may be a much smaller competitor – Apple doesn't publish subscriber numbers but you can be sure they're a fraction of Netflix's – but it does mean the two firms have become increasingly adversarial. Netflix won't integrate with the unified Apple TV app and Apple TV hardware interface, and Netflix hasn't made an app for Apple Vision Pro either. 

If you're currently subscribing to Netflix via Apple, expect an email update any time now telling you to re-subscribe via the Netflix site. Your choices in the US if you want to keep your streaming service are $15.59 per month for ad-free or $7 per month for the ad-supported plan; the Premium tier is $23 per month.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.