Apple struggled to persuade Netflix to keep subscriptions within the app, and was considering giving the service. Special treatment to convince her to do so, according to L.Internal emails That was revealed during Epic Games’ lawsuit against a company Camel.
In the period before Netflix removed in-app subscriptions to avoid Apple’s fees, a presentation circulated inside Apple suggested announcing Netflix in its retail stores.
He also suggested using a portion of the app store commission to pay for ads via the search network, in addition to the ability to combine Netflix with other Apple services.
The emails begin with an explanation of the test that Netflix wanted to run to study the impact of disabling in-app purchases across iOS.
The exact amounts were revised, but the offer indicated that subscribers to Netflix via the Apple App Store canceled the service more than subscribers who joined in other ways.
And given that Apple receives a 30 percent commission from the subscription fee as part of the app store policy, there are also clear financial reasons why Netflix would not use in-app purchases.
And in Apple’s first internal reactions to Netflix’s plans, officials contemplated whether the company should consider penalizing Netflix if it went ahead with the test.
Although there was a gap of several months between the initial series of emails and Apple’s subsequent discussions on Netflix, the tone appeared to have changed once it became clear that the streaming service was committed to testing the removal of in-app purchases.
And an email from July 2018 showed that Apple employees had created a presentation favoring in-app purchases.
The offer included reminders of the things Apple did to the streaming service and new deals, such as offering subscriber discounts and letting the service identify shows and movies that Apple writes about in the App Store.
And Apple also highlighted all the promotion it provided for the broadcast service in the editorial section of the App Store, and Apple clarified that Netflix appeared more than any partner, and that the content written about the broadcast service’s offers had boosted its downloads.
And in the same presentation, Apple considered rolling out more benefits for Netflix, some of which overlooked what the company had publicly offered to other developers.
The offer included email campaigns dedicated to promoting the Netflix app only, deducting a portion of the subscription fees for advertising in the App Store, and the ability to combine Netflix with other Apple services, long before it launched Apple TV Plus or its Apple One package.
Regardless of the discussions that took place between the companies, the broadcasting service did not seem to have been affected by this in the long term, as its subscribers reached more than 200 million subscribers in January 2021.
The emails illustrate how Apple’s policies for developers have exceptions, and it is also evidence that Apple is willing to compromise with profitable partners.
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