Netflix pulls Apple AirPlay streaming in shock move that stops people casting TV shows from their iPhone

Company initially blamed technical issues, but has since elaborated

Andrew Griffin
Monday 08 April 2019 09:12
Netflix pulls apple airplay streaming that stops people casting tv shows from their phones

Netflix has stopped its users from sending videos to their Apple TVs from their phones.

The shock decision removes one of the key features both from the Netflix apps and iPhones they are used on.

Until now, it has been possible to send a Netflix video onto a TV using Apple's AirPlay, which allows people to cast the video from their phone to the TV. AirPlay is used mostly on Apple TVs at the moment, though Apple is in the process of rolling out the technology to other smart televisions.

Now it is no longer possible to use Netflix with that AirPlay feature, after the company killed it within the app. People will still be able to watch using the built-in Netflix apps on their smart televisions or Apple TVs, but will no longer be able to easily throw the thing they're watching onto a bigger TV.

Netflix initially suggested the feature had been removed due to "technical limitations", but it has gone on to give more detail about what those problems are.

Netflix seemed to suggest that the problem had arisen because it would no longer be able to gather data about what devices people are using to watch their content. Netflix is known to collect a whole host of data from viewers, which is thought to be used to decide future features and programming.

"We want to make sure our members have a great Netflix experience on any device they use. With AirPlay support rolling out to third-party devices, there isn’t a way for us to distinguish between devices (what is an Apple TV vs. what isn’t) or certify these experiences," it said in a statement.

"Therefore, we have decided to discontinue Netflix AirPlay support to ensure our standard of quality for viewing is being met. Members can continue to access Netflix on the built-in app across Apple TV and other devices."

With the rollout of Apple's AirPlay and other video tools to other company's smart TVs, it is understood to have asked for a range of privacy protections that ensure data about how people are using the software is kept secure. Netflix's problems with the new feature may relate to that additional privacy.

As such, it is not clear whether the AirPlay feature will arrive back on iPhones or Apple TVs in the future.

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