Apple lets Amazon rent movies inside Prime Video's iPhone app

It's much more convenient, but it's the exception to the rule.

Apple's insistence on taking a 30 percent cut of most in-app purchases (and running those purchases through the App Store) has led to many media providers simply removing direct purchases altogether. Just ask anyone shopping for e-books at third-party stores. You won't have to worry about that with Prime Video from now on, though. Amazon has reached an agreement that lets you rent movies in Prime Video on iOS and Apple TV devices using its payment system, not Apple's. You won't have to visit the web first just because you have Amazon credit to spend or just prefer a platform-independent video service instead of iTunes.

In a statement, Apple said it was allowing this as part of an existing program that lets "premium subscription video entertainment providers" offer movies and TV shows using their own payment systems. Altice One and Canal+ users have had these options for a while. The same program also allows tie-ins with the Apple TV app, AirPlay 2, Siri, universal search and frictionless sign-ons.

This doesn't fling the gates wide open for others that want to offer in-app purchases. Amazon isn't about to sell books directly through the Kindle app, and Spotify's objections to Apple policies remain intact. Still, direct rentals in Prime Video represent a big deal -- it won't be surprising if other companies follow suit.

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