November 13, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Netflix has been infuriatingly absent on Android. We’ve seen the job postings tipping the company’s hand and heard the lip service of “we’re working on it,” but still haven’t seen any tangible results. In a company blog entry, Netflix product rep Greg Peters revealed why Android doesn’t have a Netflix app: DRM.
That’s right, folks. Your EVO 4G and Droid X are unable to access your streaming queue because Netflix isn’t satisfied with Android’s ability to prevent people from ripping that content somehow. Here’s what Peters had to say on the subject:
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. Setting aside the debate around the value of content protection and DRM, they are requirements we must fulfill in order to obtain content from major studios for our subscribers to enjoy.
More troubling on this issue is that Peters’ comments signal that Netflix may not be available to most Android owners. Netflix plans to work with manufacturers and “launch select Android devices that will instantly stream from Netflix early next year.” There’s no mention of an upgrade path for current devices, only the promise that Netflix will have preloaded software on new devices rather than some type of OTA patch or in-app security measure. So while your friends on iPhone and Windows Phone 7 get to take full advantage of those great mobile screens, Android users will still be on the wrong side of this digital divide.
Netflix promises to debut on Android in early 2011. Read Peters’ comments in full here.
P.S. Who the heck pirates mobile streaming content when pirating HD content on the desktop is so much easier?