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Netflix now features an external subscription button on iOS

Credit: David Balev/Unsplash

A new subscribe button will direct users away from the Netflix app and onto its website to set up new subscriptions.

In March, Apple informed developers that it would allow "reader" apps to offer a link to an external website so users can create and manage accounts outside of the App Store.

Reader apps are defined as software that displays outside content on iOS, including previously purchased videos, music, magazines, newspapers, and books.

Now, Netflix has implemented the reader API into its own app. 9to5mac spotted a new subscribe button, which directs users to the Netflix website.

When tapped, the button warns that the transaction is no longer Apple's responsibility and that users will not be able to manage their subscriptions or request refunds through Apple.

The change allows Netflix to avoid paying a 30% commission fee for each subscription made through any app hosted on the App Store. However, Netflix removed the ability for users to subscribe within its app in 2018, despite Apple's attempts to convince Netflix to keep using in-app payments.

Generally, Apple bans outside links — particularly to alternate payment platforms — as part of its anti-steering policies on the App Store. Following an investigation from the Japanese Fair Trade Commission, Apple was forced to make a change to its in-app link policy to comply with new rules in Japan.

Although the change was Japan-focused, Apple said in September that the updated guidelines would apply worldwide.

Apple has been under fire for its anti-steering policies globally. For example, while it won a resounding victory in the Epic Games v. Apple legal battle, one of the few rulings made against Apple would ban the company's anti-steering policies. The Cupertino tech giant has appealed that ruling.