Netflix, World’s most popular on-demand entertainment app has decided to religiously follow Google’s official guidelines on the security of Android devices. And the first shots have already been fired.
Henceforth, Netflix won’t be available on rooted and unlocked Android devices.
This is a huge setback for those tech enthusiasts who have rooted their Android devices and customised it according to their own preferences. However, some mirror APKs have emerged, using which Netflix can be run on such unlocked Android devices.
But the stability of the system remains a concern for such alternatives, and we will not recommend them.
Netflix Blocked on Rooted Devices
Users from various social networks such as Reddit and Twitter started reporting yesterday that their unlocked Android devices have stopped running Netflix.
Android Police reported this when they posted a screenshot reporting that a Galaxy Tab S 8.4 rooted with LineageOS is showing this message: “Your device isn’t compatible with this version”, when Netflix was searched on Google Playstore.
However, the version of Netflix installed on that device was running, at the time of writing.
Interestingly, devices rooted with Magisk was both showing Netflix, and running the app, without any issues.
Later in the day, Netflix issued a statement, saying: “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.”
Why Netflix Took This Decision?
Piracy is the keyword here.
As Netflix has allowed downloading some TV shows, the concern of piracy has gripped the industry. In fact, it is now a lot easier to simply remove the copy protection mechanism from downloaded Netflix shows, and if the device is rooted and unlocked, then destroying Digital Rights Management or DRM of that downloaded show becomes even more easier.
This is the reason that Netflix has decided to fully rely on Widevine, which is a Google made DRM, working seamlessly across mobile and desktop formats.
Update (May 18, 2017) : Netflix has sent us an updated statement regarding this news, which we are sharing without any edits:
“With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on multimedia enablers provided by Google services; 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.”