Netflix will no longer be officially available for rooted and unlocked Android devices, with the streaming service shifting to a new copy-protection mechanism. It’s now using Google’s Widevine DRM to prevent piracy, which has grown into importance after Netflix enabled downloads on its platform late last year.
In a statement to Android Police, Netflix said:
With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on the Widevine DRM provided by Google; therefore, many devices that are not Google-certified or have been altered will no longer work with our latest app and those users will no longer see the Netflix app in the Play Store.
The important bit there is “not Google-certified or have been altered”, which is official speak for rooted and bootloader-unlocked devices.
You can also catch this in the app’s changelog on Google Play:
Version 5.0 only works with devices that are certified by Google and meet all Android requirements.
Because of this, the app won’t show up for rooted users when they search for it on the Google Play store. Should you end up on the listing via a direct link, you’ll be treated to an “Your device isn’t compatible with this version” error message.
For now, the app is still fully functional on rooted devices, according to Android Police and reports on Reddit. But this could just be the first step in eliminating all access to rooted devices in the future – some banking apps already do so – so you might want to consider getting off the root wagon.
If you’d rather not, but still want to get future Netflix updates, you’ll need to rely on APK hosting websites such as APKMirror, which catalogue and offer every new version.