Reasons Why Apple’s New TV App Doesn’t Support Netflix

Apple announced a new TV app for U.S. Apple TV 4 users and iPhone and iPad, coming December. The app, titled just ‘TV’, will essentially curate data from existing network tvOS apps, into one beautiful and simple interface.

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But one huge app was missing from the TV app announcement, and that was Netflix integration. Why was Netflix left out? It probably wasn’t Apple’s doing, but rather the other way around, according to a couple theories from the Rajam Report (via Daring Fireball):

  • Netflix views usage data as highly confidential, proprietary information. They don’t even share this data with their show creators, so there’s no way in hell they would share this data with a partner who, it could be argued, is trying to disintermediate them.
  • Netflix also doesn’t need help curating and personalizing their content library, they are already the best in the industry. Almost all of the other video apps need all the help they can get.

It makes sense, when you think of it. Big TV networks usually create some horrible interfaces for their live TV apps. Apple’s new TV app fixes that problem. But with Netflix, they know more about your viewing habits than you do yourself. They have no need to share that data.

As for Canadians, we most likely won’t get support anytime soon. Our broadcasters don’t have tvOS apps for live cable TV (other than Rogers Sportsnet NOW).

Apple TV 4 can be lonely for Canadians, as Siri search only works for iTunes movies and TV shows, plus Netflix.

PS – If you’re looking for an Apple TV 4, Best Buy online is selling certified open boxed versions for $149, which is $30 off retail (thanks Phil).