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Netflix on Select Android Phones in Early 2011

Android owners still looking for a little love from Netflix won't get shiny new streaming apps under the tree this Christmas. Instead, the popular subscription service won't arrive until Q1 2011--and on limited quantities.

That's disappointing considering Apple iOS and Windows Phone 7 owners are already enjoying all the streaming movies and TV episodes they can get for $7.99 per month. But there's good reason why Netflix hasn't arrived on Android devices--a lack of solid security.

Friday Greg Peters of Neflix's product development team provided a lengthy explanation as to why the service still hasn't arrived. "The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android," he said. "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."

He goes on to say that DRM and content protection are two primary requirements Netflix must meet before the major studios and networks release their content. Because Android doesn't offer a common platform security mechanism and DRM, the team is having to work with individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their devices, thus slowing down the over all process and "leading to a fragmented experience on Android," one major Android flaw pointed out by numerous other developers.

Because of this, many Android devices will have access to Netflix while other devices won't. "This clearly is not the preferred solution, and we regret the confusion it might create for consumers," he added. "However, we believe that providing the service for some Android device owners is better than denying it to everyone."

Android devices slated to receive the Netflix app will see the service early next year. In the meantime, the Netflix team said that it will work with the Android community, handset manufacturers, and other service providers to develop a standard, platform-wide solution for streaming content to Android devices.

Although not stated by Greg Peters, there's a good chance Verizon Wireless will get the Netflix app first for the DROID line. Verizon currently offers Blockbuster's streaming subscription service as well as its own V-CAST Video service.

  • Grims
    I don't really understand why studios are concerned about the content having DRM. It's not like any video, or TV episode ever released hasn't been cracked and been put online for anyone who wishes to obtain it. If people are using Netflix it means they have chosen to obtain it legally...so what's the problem? It's not like pirates would choose to rip their content from a streaming service, instead of the native source anyway.
    Reply
  • dark_lord69
    "Because Android doesn't offer a common platform security mechanism and DRM, the team is having to work with individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their devices, thus slowing down the over all process and "leading to a fragmented experience on Android," one major Android flaw pointed out by numerous other developers."

    When you read the statment above, Netflix on Android doesn't sound that great...
    I would like to run it but I know I would not like having a slower phone.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    I'm sorry, but why doesn't the Netflix app incorporate its own DRM service? I don't really know what kind of technology they're talking about here, but why does the phone have to come with the service? Seems to me that the reason these phones don't all have the same DRM service is most likely due to licensing issues. Why should Motorolla or HTC be forced to pay one single DRM producer for a license? Why doesn't Netflix pay for that license?
    Reply
  • lukeiamyourfather
    dark_lord69"Because Android doesn't offer a common platform security mechanism and DRM, the team is having to work with individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their devices, thus slowing down the over all process and "leading to a fragmented experience on Android," one major Android flaw pointed out by numerous other developers."When you read the statment above, Netflix on Android doesn't sound that great...I would like to run it but I know I would not like having a slower phone.
    Slowing down the process of getting things done, not slowing down the performance of the application. I can hardly wait to use Netflix Streaming on my DROID X. Hopefully supporting Linux is next on their list.
    Reply
  • xantek24
    please, post-commenters, dont start with the company-blame-it-on-piracy crap. piracy is piracy.
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    piracy concerns on the Android platform

    Ah, I'm assuming they're referring to sideloading pirated apps. I guess open source and moddability has to lead to a disadvantage.
    Reply
  • xantek24
    eddieroolzAh, I'm assuming they're referring to sideloading pirated apps. I guess open source and moddability has to lead to a disadvantage.
    IM assuming in netflix's case, piracy will be made advantge of in a way of the ability to directly download streaming media directly to the phone
    Reply