Netflix just gave Apple users a serious downgrade — what you need to know

Netflix logo on a mobile phone screen
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Netflix is the most popular streaming service out there. So if you're reading this, there's a good chance you have it. But if you pay for your subscription through Apple, you just got a serious, unexpected downgrade.

That's because Netflix is no longer allowing customers to pay for their Netflix subscriptions through Apple. Specifically, you will no longer be able to pay for Netflix via your iTunes subscription.

This development was first reported by Cord Cutter News as Netflix customers started claiming that Netflix would no longer allow payments through their iTunes account. 

However, it isn't just a rumor. When asked for comment by The Verge, Netflix spokesperson MoMo Zhou said that "members on the basic plan who were using an iTunes method of payment" will need to pay directly through Netflix going forward. They later clarified that this does include users in the U.S. and Canada.

Good news: This Netflix downgrade might not affect you

If you're someone who has been paying for your streaming service subscription through iTunes Subscriptions, this is definitely an unexpected downgrade. Especially if your bill climbed from $9.99 to $31 as reported by one frustrated customer.

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However, there's a good chance that if you're reading this you were not affected by this latest update to how Netflix handles payments. 

The reason this change is happening is because of the "Apple Tax" — the 30% cut that Apple takes from all App Store transactions. This fee already caused Netflix to stop offering subscriptions through Apple and forcing new customers to sign up and pay directly through Netflix back in 2018. So if you signed up after that point, this downgrade won't apply to you.

But it seems like Netflix is done paying the Apple Tax entirely, and it's removing the last vestiges of the in-app subscription method that's been available on the iPhone for over a decade. So if you've signed up for Netflix through Apple, you need to check your account now before you get a rude awakening from an unexpected bill.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.


Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.