from the cut-out-the-middle-man dept.
Submitted via IRC for SoyCow4408
Netflix is joining the likes of Epic Games Inc. and Spotify Technology SA in its latest move: testing a way for users to register and pay for the streaming service while bypassing Apple Inc.'s app store and hefty commission fees.
The streaming giant is the latest company to look into bypassing Apple's app store and Alphabet Inc.'s Google Play. Both Apple and Google take a 30% commission on all apps and in-app purchases, and the commission drops to 15% after the first year.
[...] Companies have long complained about the heavy cut Apple and Google take in return for visibility on their platforms. Spotify does not allow new subscribers to sign up via Apple's app store, though the app itself can still be downloaded there. The company has been especially vocal about the fees over the years, publicly speaking out and approaching U.S. and European regulators about the issue.
Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984
Google has just publicly disclosed that it discovered an extremely serious vulnerability in Epic's first Fortnite installer for Android that allowed any app on your phone to download and install anything in the background.
Netflix has become the first streaming company to join the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Hollywood’s most powerful lobbying group. This is the first time a non-Hollywood group has joined the group which consists of the six Hollywood studios. The MPAA has been a strong proponent of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) in all technologies it touches and lobbies extensively for maximal reductions in use.
The Netflix-MPAA union coincides with the streamer becoming a card-carrying member of the Oscar race after securing an unprecedented 15 nominations on Tuesday morning. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Sarandos are intent on upping the company's profile as a legitimate force in the movie business, and joining the MPAA will further that goal.
Additionally, once Fox is merged with Disney, the MPAA will have one less member, meaning a loss of as much as $10 million to $12 million in annual dues. Sources say the MPAA is courting other new members as well (Amazon could be a candidate).
Articles about Netflix have been featured a lot on SN in many different contexts.
Earlier on SN:
Video Streaming Services set for Cambrian Explosion (2019)
Netflix to Raise $2 Billion in Debt to Fund More Original Content (2018)
Netflix is the Latest Company to Try Bypassing Apple's App Store (2018)
[. . .]
"Fortnite" will be available on Android, but not on the Google Play Store. Players will be able to download the installer for the game via the official "Fortnite" website, with which they can then download the game onto their compatible Android device.
The confirmation comes from Epic Games just days after speculation rose over whether or not "Fortnite" would come to Google Play, due to source code in the mobile version of "Fortnite" with instructions for users including notes like "This is necessary to install any app outside of the Play Store" found by XDA Developers. This particular prompt is referring to install of "Fortnite" on Android requiring users to select an option on their phone which opens up the device to allow third-party developers to make changes—an action some are calling a security threat.
For Epic, it's a way to bring the game "directly to customers," without the aid of a middleman. In a Q&A released by Epic, the publisher stated that, "We believe gamers will benefit from competition among software sources on Android. Competition among services gives consumers lots of great choices and enables the best to succeed based on merit." Of course, Google's 30% for games released through its Play Store is also a motivator.
"Avoiding the 30% 'store tax' is a part of Epic's motivation," Epic Games' Tim Sweeney stated in a Q&A. "It's a high cost in a world where game developers' 70% must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games. And it's disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service. We're intimately familiar with these costs from our experience operating 'Fortnite' as a direct-to-customer service on PC and Mac."
For the first time in years, Netflix is no longer the top grossing, non-game mobile app. Instead, that title now goes to dating app Tinder. The change in position is not surprising, given Netflix's decision in December to stop paying the so-called "Apple tax." That is, it no longer allows new users to sign up and subscribe to its service through its iOS application.
The change was said to cost Apple hundreds of millions in lost revenue per year, given that Netflix's app had been the world's top-earning, non-game app since Q4 2016. Now, instead of giving up its 15 to 30 percent cut of subscription revenue, new users have to sign up through Netflix's website before they can use the app on mobile devices, including both iOS and Android. (Netflix had dropped in-app subscriptions on Android earlier.)
[...] In Q1 2019, Sensor Tower estimates Netflix pulled in $216.3 million globally, across both the Apple App Store and Google Play, down 15 percent quarter-over-quarter from $255.7 million in Q4 2018.
Meanwhile, Tinder's revenue has climbed. In the first quarter, it saw revenue grow by 42 percent year-over-year, to reach $260.7 million, up from $183 million in Q1 2018. That put it at the top, according to both Sensor Tower and App Annie's estimates.
Netflix and chill Tinder and bang.