Netflix starts blocking unlocked phones, app removed from the Play Store

Posted May 17, 2017

Netflix will no longer work on rooted Android smartphones, the news was confirmed in an official statement that was given to Android Police by Netflix.

According to Android Police, the entertainment company will no longer support their app on rooted devices which means users who attain root access to the Android operating sysetm code akin to jail-breaking of Apple devices ID, can not download or update the Netflix app.

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In an attempt to keep pirates at bay, Netflix is no longer letting users with rooted Android devices board its app from Google Play.

Netflix will no longer be officially available for rooted and unlocked Android devices, with the streaming service shifting to a new copy-protection mechanism. In fact, according to a survey by AndroidHeadlines, over 25% Android users root their mobile device to increase its efficiency, which certainly is a thing to worry even for Netflix.

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Despite the small number, this latest update shows that many users still want to use their phones without restrictions. The Netflix app will be allowed to be downloaded from the Play Store on only those phones that fully comply with the security requirement prescribed by Android.

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. The goal of most people is to simply root their device and leave it that way, not re-root it again down-the-road.

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After looking into the situation, AndroidPolice got a reply back from Netflix stating that it uses Google's own Widevine DRM system to rate devices and validate installation. That doesnt really explain how the app still works when sideloaded on rooted devices. But when you do so, you'll lose all improvements made by Netflix. Netflix now relies on Widevine DRM technology by Google so the app must be compatible with a trusted Android device.