Netflix: We'll stream video to Android devices in 2011

Just two weeks after announcing it would be available on Windows Phone 7 handsets, Netflix has announced it's coming to Android sometime in early 2011. Netflix already streams video to iPhone, but Android devices were, as Netflix VP of product development Greg Peters said, "notably absent."

Peters said Netflix has been eager to launch a Netflix app on Android devices and was "disappointed that we haven't been able to do so."

The culprit?

Well, it turns out Apple CEO Steve Jobs was on the money with this one: fragmentation of the Android market.

"The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android," Peters said in a blog post. "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."

Peters said Netflix will "work with individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their devices."

The problem, of course, is that it's a slow process, and it means Netflix will roll out on different Android devices at different times, "not the preferred solution," Peters said. But, he added, having service for some (and the revenue it generates) will be better than no service for all. "We live to get Netflix on new devices, so the current lack of an Android-generic approach to quickly get to all Android devices is frustrating," he said, adding that some Android devices will be able to instantly stream from Netflix early next year.

Peters also said Netflix will continue to work with the Android community, handset manufacturers, carriers, and other service providers to develop a standard, platform-wide solution.

For more:
- see this blog

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