×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Netflix Now Lets You Subscribe From iPhone, iPad Apps

Netflix updated its apps for Apple iOS devices to let users subscribe to the service directly using in-app purchases on iPhones or iPads, announcing the feature with an assist from two stars of its popular original series “Orange Is the New Black.”

The No. 1 streaming service first launched iOS apps in 2010, but until now required customers to already have signed up on the web (or have opened a new Netflix account through an Apple TV set-top). Other streaming services including Hulu and HBO Now already provide in-app purchasing on Apple devices, which lets users pay for them using an iTunes account.

To be sure, the change isn’t likely to result in a major lift in Netflix subscriber signups. If anything, it’s an acknowledgement of the rapid rise of mobile-video viewing, and the fact that smartphones and tablets are the primary screen for entertainment among a growing mass of people.

Netflix may have resisted offering in-app purchases because of Apple’s policy of charging app publishers 30% on top of the price of the digital content or service. The Federal Trade Commission this summer launched a probe into the so-called “App Store tax” or “Apple tax” as it pertains to the Apple Music service, investigating whether the policy is unfair to third-party music subscription services like Spotify or Rdio.

Netflix announced the ability to subscribe from the iOS apps Thursday on Twitter and YouTube. The video features “Orange Is the New Black” characters Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” (Emmy-winner Uzo Aduba) and Taystee (Danielle Brooks), who discover an iPhone on a bunk in Litchfield — and are utterly baffled by Siri.

More Digital

  • New Handheld Console Playdate Has a

    New Handheld Console Playdate Has a Crank and 12 Games

    Portland-based Panic has a shiny new game console, called Playdate, and a slew of new games to go with it, the developer announced Wednesday via Twitter. Playdate is a bright yellow, handheld console with a black and white screen and a crank— no not for power, this little crank has functionality in some games for [...]

  • BBC Studios Names Anna Cronin Digital

    BBC Studios Names Anna Cronin Digital Content Director (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anna Cronin has been upped to director of digital content at BBC Studios, a new role at the production and distribution arm of the U.K. pubcaster. The position is within BBC Studios’ content partnerships division, which oversees the company’s programming and IP partnerships. Cronin will work with U.K. and international partners, and notably those in [...]

  • Facebook's Oculus Quest Shows How AR

    What the Oculus Quest Can Teach Us About the Future of Mixed Reality

    Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is a great gaming device that simplifies virtual reality (VR), doing away with the need for an expensive PC and external tracking hardware. But with its integrated tracking, the Quest can also teach us a thing or two about the future of virtual and augmented reality. Those two areas of [...]

  • snapchat-logo

    Snapchat Takes Down Porn Lenses, May Start Cat-and-Mouse Game

    Snapchat quickly removed a handful of x-rated augmented reality lenses Tuesday, dealing a blow to efforts by adult entertainment company Naughty America to promote its subscriptions to the service’s users. However, the porn studio may not be quite done with Snapchat just yet, as it is still distributing the source files that allow Snapchat users [...]

  • YouTube logo

    Why YouTube Is Changing the Way It Reports Subscriber Counts

    Within the next three months, YouTube will change the way it publicly displays channel subscriber counts: It will provide only rounded figures instead of actual follower numbers. For example, under the change, T-Series — the Indian music-video channel that recently surpassed PewDiePie to become the most-subscribed channel on the platform — would be listed in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content