Monday, November 15, 2010

Netflix Coming…But Only to “Select” Android Phones

netflix on android
Netflix is showing up in a lot of different places these days. Phones, TVs, laptops, tablets, game systems, etc. are all starting to have Netflix capabilities. Well, Android phones are about to be added to that list of devices, but only a few “select” smartphones. A blog that was posted by Netflix on Friday, November 12th said that by next year the company will have their service fully extended to the select phones. The reason why Netflix is not able to provide their service for all Android platforms is due to some concerns about security, privacy, and content protection.

Android product developer Greg Peters wrote, “The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android. The same security issues that have led to piracy concerns on the Android platform have made it difficult for us to secure a common Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on these devices.”

Peters continued saying that unless there are some developments made to assist with protection, major studios won’t provide their content for Netflix. So, as Peters has stated, Netflix simply does not have the “common platform security mechanism and DRM” that is necessary for an Android phone. On the other hand, Netflix has recently been working with individual manufacturers to add content protection to their devices so that they can utilize the Netflix service. So hopefully, all Android phones will be able to utilize the service sometime in the near future.

“Unfortunately, this is a much slower approach and leads to a fragmented experience on Android, in which some handsets will have access to Netflix and others won't,” Peters said. This may be disappointing to some Android users, but as of right now, there isn’t much that can be done. "This clearly is not the preferred solution, and we regret the confusion it might create for consumers," continues Peters.

Peters adds that he feels that providing the Instant Streaming Netflix service to some Android users is better than to not provide it to any. That is why the decision was made that by next year certain Android-based phones will have the ability to utilize Netflix’s streaming service. As of yet though, it has not been revealed which “select” Android phones will feature the service.

Peters finishes by saying, “We will also continue to work with the Android community, handset manufacturers, carriers, and other service providers to develop a standard, platform-wide solution that allows content providers to deliver their services to all Android-based devices.”

Google has made no comment about this so far.

Most recently in August, Netflix added their streaming service to Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. They also made it available for the iPad. Apple’s Steve Jobs is mostly likely getting a kick out of Netflix’s use of the word “fragmented” to describe Android platforms. During Apple’s most recent earnings call, he made a comment about the devices that caused a bit of a stir. He said, “Android is very, very fragmented, and becoming more fragmented by the day.”

Well, despite everything, some of the “fragmented” platforms will soon have Netflix streaming capabilities, and hopefully, all Android phones will have streaming abilities soon.

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