I read that Netflix was coming to Android early next year and didn’t think too much of it (except that Windows Phone beat them to the punch) but I didn’t realize what the delay was. Turns out, it’s simply a lack of security on Android:
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. 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. Although we don’t have a common platform security mechanism and DRM, we are able to work with individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their devices. 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. This clearly is not the preferred solution, and we regret the confusion it might create for consumers. However, we believe that providing the service for some Android device owners is better than denying it to everyone.
Basic security features shouldn’t be ‘fragmented’. Google needs to fix this. Not just for Netflix but for all developers out there that expect and deserve to be able to provide content that’s protected. Until that happens, all Android users will suffer without top tier software.