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Netflix Shutters Its Public API 59

Posted by timothy
from the seemed-so-promising dept.
esarjeant (100503) writes "I guess it shouldn't come as a total surprise, but Netflix has gone from not issuing new developer keys to announcing the entire [public API] program will be shut down. It's a real shame they are going to be taking this offline; it spurred quite a bit of innovation for the Netflix service. For major sites that have already gone live it sounds like Netflix will let them keep going, but if you're looking to build the next FeedFliks, then you better look elsewhere."
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Netflix Shutters Its Public API

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  • So long... (Score:5, Funny)

    by xeoron (639412) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @11:26AM (#47236459) Homepage
    Netflix Roulette [netflixroulette.net], we barely had time to enjoy you.
    • What about canistream.it? Can that keep going without a public API? I hope so because it is vital to my movie watching habits.
      • Re:So long... (Score:5, Informative)

        by SydShamino (547793) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @12:06PM (#47236621)

        The link is like ten lines long. This is most of it:

        Through the process of ending the program, we will be partnering more directly with a small set of developers whose applications have proven to be the most valuable for many of our members. Those applications will continue to operate beyond November 14, 2014. The following is a list of these applications:

                Instant Watcher
                Fanhattan
                Yidio
                NextGuide
                Flixster
                Can I Stream It?
                FeedFliks
                Instant Watch Browser for Netflix

  • type of message.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just a truism that's almost always proven correct...

    Don't give a company anything without a veritable guarantee you'll also receive what you want in exchange. All negotiations are hostage negotiations, it's wise to plan accordingly.

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @11:48AM (#47236563)

    I never heard of FeedFliks, so I went and looked at it. And then wondered why do I need someone else to tell me about how I use Netflix? Or to tell my friends what I like watching?

    Seriously, Is this what amounts to "innovation"?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2014 @11:51AM (#47236575)

      I never heard of FeedFliks, so I went and looked at it. And then wondered why do I need someone else to tell me about how I use Netflix? Or to tell my friends what I like watching?

      Seriously, Is this what amounts to "innovation"?

      Welcome to Web 43.0

      We've adopted Chrome's versioning scheme.

    • by Gr8Apes (679165)
      I'd have to agree - will the world be a poorer place without any of these [slashdot.org] "applications? With the exception of Fanhattan, the rest are just lists relatively easily gotten straight off the web pages of Netflix with some trivial scraping scripts.
      • by Noah Haders (3621429) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @02:32PM (#47237225)
        Canistream.it is super awesome. You can search netflix, amazon, hbo, iTunes, and others all at once. Also, you can see all the most popular movies on all services in one place. You should try it!
        • by Gr8Apes (679165)
          Even if I did stream, odds are I'd have 1 or 2 services I'd use, and have no need for a kayak search of streaming videos. I also almost never care about what's "trending" currently, as I've either already seen it or don't want to watch it. Rarely does anything that makes such a list spark the thought that "Hey, I might want to watch this".
          • obviously you don't stream, so you don't know the fuck you're talking about. here's the deal, honky:
            1)streaming services carry different movies, and all have some "diamond in the roughs"
            2) movies are changing all the time, so you never know what new thing could be available
            3) the UI of each service makes it hard to find new good stuff, let alone compare to other services.

            you should check it out yourself, go to canistream.it and click through the top movies on each service. you'll see that a lot jumps out
            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              The problem is the media corps are such douchebags and continue to shoot themselves in the face by overcharging like mad for their content so that yet again the one that pays for content actually REQUIRES crap like canistream.it just to try to find which of a half a dozen services have the content they want to watch that day while the rest of the world just goes to a streaming site based in idontgiveafuckistan and gets ALL the content in one convenient place.

              When are they gonna learn that trying to squeez

              • i know that you're entitled to everything right now for free, and anybody who gets in the way of that is a douchebag who is selling buggy whips so you will just steal what you want. because the whole world revolves around you and you never progressed beyond being a toddler. congratulation, dick.

                if I bothered to use a win doze computer and were unemployed and not getting laid I would make computer viruses and upload them to torrent sites so people like you would download them and I would fuck your shit up.
                • by hairyfeet (841228)
                  Fuck off FOSSIe, what does a dumb iGNUorant know about the free market.
                  • just as the body needs a skeleton to stand, or a pool needs side walls to function as a pool, a free market only works within a regulatory structure. You set the rules, you press play, and the market does its free market thing and makes movies.

                    the type of movies that are made depend on the dynamics of the market, which depend on the structure of regulation and policy in place. So if you're smart, and if you're mindful, you can design rules such that the market makes great movies. and if you're dumb, or dro
            • by Gr8Apes (679165)

              obviously you don't stream, so you don't know the fuck you're talking about.

              Nice projection, if you'd read and comprehended even what was in these 2 posts much less , you'd note that I am quite aware of what's on streaming services. In fact, I used several since they first came out and they all had crap quality and that includes the "better" premium services, including Vudu, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

              here's the deal, honky:

              Nice ad-hominem,

              1)streaming services carry different movies, and all have some "diamond in the roughs"

              Almost all available on disks of some sort

              2) movies are changing all the time, so you never know what new thing could be available

              Funny, the selection of disk based movies seems only to grow and is always available, plus the quality is far superior in all ways. (And yes, that's a side argument for

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      But, it's social ... and that adds huge value, because otherwise your friends would never know the movies you watch, and companies couldn't monetize that information.

      And, kidding aside, I'm with you ... I have no idea of what the benefit of knowing every movie my friends watch or them mine is.

      But the world seems to have gone gaga for anything related to social media.

      I rank it right up there with the .com bubble -- ZOMG, you have a web site.

  • by swb (14022) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @11:59AM (#47236593)

    I've noticed that both Amazon and Netflix seem to make navigating streaming kind of murky, never wanting you to have a good grasp of what is or isn't available besides what they show you as featured titles. I've always suspected that this was done to mask the relatively thin and lame streaming titles that weren't on their short list of high-profile titles.

    I've also been surprised at how hard it is to browse the web site for DVDs on the iPad. The web site works, but its so Javascript laden that it makes it hard to use. Third party queue management apps were a salvation. Maybe they're trying to make finding DVDs annoying, too, so that all we'll do is watch the featured streams.

    • I've noticed that both Amazon and Netflix seem to make navigating streaming kind of murky, never wanting you to have a good grasp of what is or isn't available besides what they show you as featured titles. I've always suspected that this was done to mask the relatively thin and lame streaming titles that weren't on their short list of high-profile titles.

      I've also been surprised at how hard it is to browse the web site for DVDs on the iPad. The web site works, but its so Javascript laden that it makes it hard to use. Third party queue management apps were a salvation. Maybe they're trying to make finding DVDs annoying, too, so that all we'll do is watch the featured streams.

      Because they want to "Guide" you to choices that are more profitable. Basic website marketing.

    • I think you have a point.

      Stores or every type found out years ago that the "best" way to arrange their store was not one that make it easy to navigate it was one in which it made its customers get lost and wander around, and pass certain things in certain orders, etc. It does not matter if we are talking about hardware stores or casinos, this is always true, so why not for digital stores?

    • It is typical marketing bullshit of trying to maximize profits instead of focusing on the customer experience.

      When you search DVDs they don't want to show you it is available streaming.
      If you searching streaming they don't want to show you it is available on DVD.

      • My experience is that they try to move you to streaming if you search for disks, but I have both for my account. They really push the streaming service, which I understand is because their profit is way higher without the physical disk overhead.

        I would totally switch, too, if 99% of everything wasn't missing from the streaming service....

        I get a lot of "suggestions" for things I've already watched (they love the "watch it again" recommendation under the assumption I'll probably like it because I liked it..

    • by Kasar (838340)
      Their licensing is off and on all the time, a movie you can stream today might seem to vanish from existence next week without a word and reappear sometime in the future when it's relicensed. Their search system used to take you to those pages to see that the movie is not available, then they stopped doing that so now the only time you see a movie page that isn't currently available is when doing ratings. If you don't see it, you won't miss it seems to be their angle.

      It mostly means they're a really bad
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Europe(UK, Denmark) and South America(Chile, Brazil) get the best and latest content compared to the U.S and Canada. Why wouldn't Netflix release all licensed(granted by the content owners)TV and Movies to all regions in the first place? Why play musical chairs with the content? Right, well, because the content owners are always screwing those in the U.S Market and to squeeze as much profit as they can even though they made all their money(to produce the film) back from the Movie theater.

    Streamingsoon.co

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Denmark here. No we don't. Old crop, seldom updated with new. VPN for US version is still the preferred way.
      By the way then Netflix has started to enforce subtitles on some movies with no way to remove them. Pure shut

    • by alen (225700)

      that way content owners can sell it here and give it away in the highest torrenting parts of the world

    • CORPORATIONS! CORPORATIONS! JUST LOVE TO SCREW THEIR CUSTOMERS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. AHHHH, USA, THE LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE SCREWED!

      I would give you mod points for this truism. However, the rest of your comment is a simply a screed that is not true (because the US, UK, Canada and Australia are about the only places making quality English programing. Europe waits a lot longer for the US stuff (if you ignore the Pirate bay) and they have a different dvd set. So no points for you.

    • by thejynxed (831517)

      If Hulu is still providing their desktop app (and I think they may have a mobile one as well), I would suggest using that instead of their actual site - it runs on Air which funnily enough, runs worlds better than the actual browser Flash modules.

      As for sorting - I agree, their current methods leaves much to be desired, as it seems their system only sorts by up to three "tags" applied by their employees, and many (I dare say most) of their movies are mis-tagged, at least for their streaming service. To be f

  • I want to be able to sort by any and all reasonable criteria, I'm not offered sort options at all in most views. I want to be able to view all lists as a list, coverflow, detail list, etc. XBMC does all this for the files I have lying around, why can't Netflix manage it for a bunch of files it's already got indexed in a database?

  • Moreflicks [moreflicks.com] lets you see what's available on multiple streaming services based on various "best of" lists (e.g. it's unlikely Netflix will ever tie in to the IMDB top 250 but Moreflicks does) and even has support for countries like the UK [moreflicks.co.uk]. It's sad to see an ecosystem like this being removed without replacement...

  • Perhaps Netflix is having second thought about streaming. It never did have the depth of selection that DVDs by mail did. And after getting caught up in the ISPs' protection rackets, perhaps they are realizing that streaming just isn't where the money is.

    I never went with the streaming option due to bad broadband back when Netflix split their services. And I thank my lucky stars. Most of the people I know who did came back, begging for the deeper DVD selection.

    • by AuMatar (183847)

      Seeing as they're spending 10s of millions on custom content to stream, this isn't very likely. They just decided they didn't want the security risk of opening their data and the engineering headaches it caused for the low amount of value it gave them. Its unlikely it generated them more revenue than it cost.

      • by yoshi_mon (172895)

        Yeah the idea that they are going away from streaming is crazy. I used Netflix during their early days, DVDs via mail only, and it was fine for the time. But today I only use disc media when I'm forced to. Everything else is either streamed or moved around via some form of flash tech.

        That is for day to day usage. Discs still have their use IMO as backup but the idea of using them for my day to day media consumption is something I don't even consider.

        All that being said I still see them in use for people

  • Thanks, developers, for bringing an unsurpassed level of adoption to our service.

    Now you can take a hike!

  • Motto of the 21st Century

  • I stopped using Netflix a year or two ago, after they said "We have to raise our prices so that we can offer more shows" immediately followed by removing all the stuff I wanted to watch from their streaming library. At that point it was all cost and no benefit, so I just stopped paying, even though the cost wasn't terribly high.

    For $12 a month I'd have to watch, oh, maybe 50 hours of TV to make it "worth it". I probably watch two or three hours per month, so I'd value Netflix at about one dollar per month.

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)

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