Things get a little weird when it involves Apple and Netflix. On Friday, after six years of support, Netflix has dropped support of Apple’s airplay. Netflix has supported AirPlay has offered support of that functionality since 2013. There was no warning about the drop. Nor was there any real reason for discontinuing support.
The change in app policy was noted in a recent update to the official Netflix Help Center webpage, which now instructs iOS device users to connect to a TV using built-in Chromecast, Netflix 2nd Screen or a physical cable. “Airplay is no longer supported for use with Netflix due to technical limitations,” according to the Netflix document.
While not confirmed, Netflix could be shoring up content protections as major TV manufacturers begin to integrate AirPlay 2 into their respective lineups, AppleInsider speculates. The addition means users will no longer need an Apple TV to stream video from apps that support protocol.
Netflix’s AirPlay reversal arrives just two days after Vizio launched a beta version of its SmartCast 3 software with support for both AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.
Netflix is making efforts to silo its content, and finances, to official channels like its own iOS and tvOS apps. In November, the company stripped its iOS app of in-app subscription options, effectively avoiding App Store revenue sharing fees.
Engadget speculates that this could be Netflix’s way of getting back at Apple for offering their Apple TV+, which Netflix refused to be a part of. Since they have no desire to share their revenue with Apple’s aggressive 50% revenue share.
To be honest, this wouldn’t be a surprise if they did this out of spite. After Disney announced their Disney+ streaming service, Netflix cancelled all their partnerships with Disney. While they could view this as a “promotion” for their competitors, Netflix has dropped AirPlay support seem a pathetic retaliatory move than a business one.