Netflix appears to be disappearing for some rooted users in the Google Play Store, making it so that they are not able to download the app through the Google Play Store. Users that are seeing it disappear, are still able to find it in their list of apps (in their library), but the listing notes that their device isn’t compatible with that version. Meaning that Netflix is blocking rooted devices. But what is interesting here is that Netflix is not blocking all rooted devices, just some. Although that will likely change in the very near future. Now this isn’t stopping rooted users from using or downloading Netflix, as they are able to sideload the APK and install it. So Netflix will need to go a step further if they are really looking to block rooted users.
Since Netflix expanded to virtually every country on the planet (except China of course), they have been cracking down on VPN’s. This is how users were able to see other country’s Netflix library while not being in that country. And also use Netflix in countries where it is banned, like China. Now that they have cracked down pretty heavily on VPN’s, it appears that they are turning their attention to rooted users. Many may wonder why they are looking to block rooted users, and it’s simple. Piracy. Netflix, like any other media company is susceptible to piracy concerns. Which is why they are going after rooted users, unfortunately. As rooted users could download and extract Netflix content to be used elsewhere. It’s a problem with most media apps, but many of them don’t go to the extent of blocking rooted users, yet.
Netflix is going to face some backlash for this, undoubtedly. Seeing as there are still a good number of rooted users out there that are Netflix subscribers. But what will be interesting is whether they reverse course on this stance. After all, Netflix did state that they would never allow users to download their content. But now they are allowing users to download movies and TV shows, just not all of them. And this was largely targeted at India. Blocking rooted users hasn’t been confirmed by Netflix yet, but we should hear something soon.