It’s way too cliche to make any kind of “Netflix and chill” joke in 2019. But how else am I supposed to start a news story involving sexuality and everyone’s favorite streaming TV service? So screw it, let’s just lean into the corniness. For the first time Tinder is now beating Netflix as the highest-grossing app on Apple’s App Store, proving that people are way more into “chilling” than they’re into “Netflix.”
The news comes with a few caveats. First, this doesn’t include game apps. If you include all the millions of dollars users funnel into exploitative “free” mobile games then the competition on these charts would be much fiercer.
Also, the biggest reason Netflix lost this top spot it’s held for two years isn’t Tinder’s market savviness, it’s Netflix’s own recent business decisions. Like Amazon in apps such as Comixology, Netflix has decided it would rather force users to sign up on a website rather than give Apple a cut by allowing users to subscribe directly through the iOS app. That gives less money to Apple but we wouldn’t be surprised if it also gives less money to Netflix. Still, cutting their noses like this may be more worth it to Netflix than funding Apple, soon set to also set to launch its own competing streaming services.
But Netflix’s loss is Tinder’s gain. The dating app, which technically can be used for free unlike Netflix, brought in more cash than any other non-game app in the App Store in the first quarter of this year (according to SensorTower and as reported by TechCrunch). However, it didn’t even make the top ten in terms of downloads. That chart is dominated by messaging apps, newcomer TikTok, and, yes, Netflix.
My sneaking suspicion has always been that dating apps encourage good but great relationships (with many exceptions positive and negative) so users will return but happy enough to keep going. So here’s hoping these Tinder users eventually find the love they crave and can stop spending so much money on the app. For more on Tinder read about its new “Spring Break” mode for college hookups and check out Tinder for cows.