At a company briefing yesterday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed that the streaming service will not be a part of the Apple TV Subscription service set to launch next week. Hastings confirmed that while Apple is a great company, Netflix’s desire is to have people watching their content on their service. The news is not surprising given that the streaming content company has been slowly pulling back from Apple the past two years. With the new Apple TV service, it is another seemingly direct competitor so why embrace them?
Like many companies, Netflix has a “coopetition” type relationship with Apple. They have their app in the App Store and, at times, have been featured as part of the app ecosystem. But times have changed as the streaming company has grown. When Apple launched the Apple TV app in 2016, Netflix never signed on to be a part of it. If you have that app, you know you can see content from Amazon Prime, HBO, and others. But not ‘Flix. Last year, the company took it a step further by eliminating the ability to make in-app subscription purchases through the app. Now to subscribe, you are taken to a dedicated payment page on Netflix. This saves the company the 30% cut of first year subscriptions from Apple. For Apple, this was a healthy revenue source.
On the whole, Netflix continues to face stiff competition from companies like Disney, HBO and Hulu and that doesn’t look to end any time soon. With each service offering unique content as well as partner content, the streaming TV and movie space will continue to grow as will competition.