This is something that most users won’t be familiar seeing, because Netflix is available on pretty much every smart device around. However, earlier today, eagle-eyed users started noting that Netflix was showing as incompatible for users of rooted or unlocked Android handsets. Now, users who’ve already downloaded Netflix could still use it, but new users couldn’t download it.
Netflix has confirmed that this move is intentional, with this statement to Android Police earlier this morning:
With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on the Widevine DRM provided by Google; therefore, many devices that are not Google-certified or have been altered will no longer work with our latest app and those users will no longer see the Netflix app in the Play Store.
With this change, only devices that are Google certified and meet all standard Android requirements will be able to download Netflix. If you root and unlock, then you’re out of luck — though, for now, you can still sideload the APK and it appears to work.
We expect, fairly quickly, that Netflix will disable streams on rooted and unlocked devices too in order to guarantee the security of their video content. For now, though, this hasn’t happened.
Interesting move by Netflix, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see other apps which featured streaming licensed content going down the same path.