Netflix currently has no plans to build a native app for Vision Pro. The company’s co-CEO Greg Peters explains why.
Stratechery’s Ben Thompson spoke with the co-CEO, who has been running the streaming service with Ted Sarandos since founder Reed Hastings stepped down as CEO in early 2023.
In the interview, Peters is asked why Netflix is available on almost every device (with a dedicated app), but not on Vision Pro.
Not by any unwillingness or lack of desire to do that, but even when you note we look at as close to ubiquity on devices perspective, the decisions that lead to that are we try and be very rigorous about, “What’s the effort to integrate on any given set of devices and what’s the benefit for the members that we serve?”. We have to be careful about making sure that we’re not investing in places that are not really yielding a return, and I would say we’ll see where things go with Vision Pro. Certainly we’re always in discussions with Apple to try and figure that out but right now, the device is so subscale that it’s not really particularly relevant to most of our members.
Peters hints at the possibility that Netflix’s decision could change in the future. So it is not out of the question that a native Netflix app for Vision Pro will be released one day.
Major streaming services and many developers are boycotting Vision Pro
As understandable as Peters’ answer is, it does not explain why Netflix decided to block the iPad version of Netflix for Vision Pro. The majority of iPad and iPhone apps are automatically compatible with Vision Pro without any effort on the part of app developers. But they can decide to opt out of the compatibility.
Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman speculates that Netflix originally planned to offer the iPad version, but Apple asked Netflix for a native app, a request that was denied.
Now, here’s a possible meet in the middle explanation. Netflix originally planned the “zero work method” (iPad app). Apple tried it out, thought it looked terrible, asked Netflix for a native app. Netflix said no and moved on completely. That would explain the investment comment.
– Mark Gurman (@markgurman) January 25, 2024
In addition to Netflix, Vision Pro is also being boycotted by YouTube and Spotify. According to a new analysis by Appfigures, developers of more than 300,000 iOS apps and games have decided to opt out of the compatibility with Vision Pro.
? The numbers are in!
307,739 iOS apps and games have opted out of the Vision App Store.
The list includes:
– and lots of other popular (and less popular) names.
– Ariel from Appfigures (@arielmichaeli) January 24, 2024