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Netflix clarifies API program changes: 'we are not prohibiting sites from showing competing services'

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Netflix clears up misconceptions regarding changes to its API program that affect third-party search functionality and app fees.

Netflix logo
Netflix logo

Netflix has reached out to us to clarify some aspects of the company's changes to its API program. In regards to the use of the API to display Netflix's selection alongside competitor listings, the company stated that "we are not prohibiting sites such as meta search engines for video content from showing competing services, however we do not want anyone to use Netflix content such as titles and descriptions to advertise a competing service." The company also specified that it "will continue to provide catalog information, queue capability, expiration within a two week window as well as the possibility to deep link to a title." There's still an opportunity for third-party apps to be impacted by the changes; Netflix is making it clear that this isn't a hard and fast ban, but it doesn't want its metadata refarmed to link into another content provider's catalog.

Taking this into consideration, it seems that search functionality through services like Google TV and Xbox 360 will remain untouched, and any suggestion that Microsoft would've had to unbundle Netflix from Xbox Live Gold subscriptions appears unfounded — Netflix is specifically pointing out that it's "not prohibiting developers from monetizing their applications by selling them directly to consumers. We will not, however, permit resale of our information in a business-to-business fashion."