Netflix is shutting down public API support for third-party developers

Hot on the heels of a new logo and look for its website, Netflix making some big behind-the-scenes changes too. Today the company sent out notice to third-party developers who are still using its long-available public API, saying it was shutting the option down come November 14th — just five months from now. That letter, written by Netflix’s VP of Edge engineering Daniel Jacobson and spotted by TechCrunch, says the decision was made to “better focus our efforts and to align them with the needs of our global member base.” Jacobson added that any existing services that were still using the public API after access was shut down would get 404 errors.

Netflix is getting a lot stingier with the way that third-party developers can use its content, announcing that it will stop supporting its public API by the end of the year. In a letter to API partners, Netflix VP of Edge Engineering Daniel Jacobson announced that it would retire the public API program effective November 14. The decision to shutdown its API seems a long time coming. Launched six years ago, the API originally provided third-party developers a way to access and point to content that users could get from Netflix in its streaming and DVD catalogs. That helped the company grow, as subscribers could use third-party apps to check the availability of titles, reserve DVDs, and even link directly to streaming content on the web. At the same time, it gave developers a way to build new experiences around Netflix content that they weren’t licensing themselves. But with more than 35 million subscribers in the U.S. and another 12.5 million internationally, the company apparently no longer needs third-party support to help it grow. Instead, it’s decided to limit API access to the apps that it builds and those from select partners.

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Written by Connor Livingston

Connor Livingston is a tech blogger who will be launching his own site soon, Lythyum. He lives in Oceanside, California, and has never surfed in his life. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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