Netflix will no longer work on rooted Xperia phones

Xperia_Netflix

If you’ve got a rooted Xperia tablet or phone and you’ve noticed Netflix isn’t working for you anymore, it’s not you. The streaming giant has announced a policy shift which makes their app inoperable on rooted Android devices. Jon Fingas from Engadget:

 Netflix has confirmed that its app is no longer visible on Google Play to anyone with a device that is “not Google-certified or [has] been altered.” A spokesperson tells Android Police that it’s all about a shift in copy protection. Version 5.0 of the Netflix app now leans entirely on Google’s Widevine digital rights management to prevent piracy, so it has to treat those modified devices as incompatible. The crackdown isn’t completely shocking, but it does create some issues.

There’s certainly an incentive for the shift in strategy: now that you can download shows, piracy is more of a concern than ever. In theory, it’s a bit easier to strip the copy protection from the downloaded copy of a Netflix series than it is to rip the stream. And when you root a device to gain more control over the operating system, you potentially have a better chance of circumventing that DRM than you would otherwise. 

If you have a normal Xperia phone, this news of course doesn’t affect you one bit but for those who live life a little more dangerously and like to tinker around, you might have to make a choice: have the flexibility to tinker but no more streaming from Netflix, or give that up so you can binge away.

On a related note, I’m curious if you’ve ever rooted your Android phone, and if so, why?

  • -DM-

    The app is not visible in the Play Store if you’re rooted indeed, but nothing is stopping you from sideloading it 😉
    I’m rooted and it’s working as usual here, I just don’t see updates when they come about but it’s not hard to still download the apk if you know where to look at.

    I always rooted every single one of my phones, back in the days was mostly to remove ads, bloatware and an absolute must have “Titanium Backup“…I still root for those main reasons but now also because of Xposed (being able to customize the UI to my liking is one of the first thing that I do)…
    For the past few years on top of being rooted, I also unlock the bootloader to be able to run custom roms (only the ones that are optimized, I like to stay as close to stock as possible, not a fan of the extremely visually tweaked as I can do that myself with Xposed and at least I can pick and choose what I want to change) and custom kernels…
    I can get to the full potential of the phone this way.

    I won’t even consider buying a new phone if there is no root exploits, to backup the drm keys before unlocking the bootloader (that’s the main problem with Sony’s phones)…
    And as of right now I’m still on MM with my Z5 Premium as there is no Xposed yet available for that sdk (but the wait is more than worth it in my case at least)…I did a quick update to N to see how it was and went back to MM in a matter of minutes as I already have all the new features available to N on MM already anyway.

    I will update to the XZ Premium as soon as some temp root shows up for that device, whenever that would be, I’m patient 😉