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Netflix (NFLX) Withdraws Support for Apple's AirPlay Feature

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Per Verge, Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) has stopped supporting Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) AirPlay technology on iOS app citing technical limitations.

Notably, AirPlay allows users to easily stream their device content on AirPlay supported smart TVs.

Apple is allowing other major TV brands like Samsung to add AirPlay software to their upcoming devices. A Netflix spokesperson stated that this is troubling the company as it is unable to differentiate those devices or “certify” such experiences.

However, iOS users can access Netflix through an inbuilt app on Apple TV, using external cable and Google Chromecast.

Netflix, Inc. Revenue (TTM)

Netflix, Inc. Revenue (TTM) | Netflix, Inc. Quote

Netflix – Apple Spat

Netflix and Apple have had their differences over quite a few things and it looks like Netflix wants to keep its path separate.

Initially, Netflix had a problem with Apple’s excessive revenue share when users subscribed to the former through latter’s App Store billing feature. Therefore, to retain more profits for itself, Netflix stopped allowing Apple users subscribe through App Store. The move helped Netflix to retain 30% of the revenue share, which Apple used to get previously.

Additionally, Netflix chose to opt out of Apple TV’s video streaming service, Apple TV+, which will be available to users this fall. Although other streaming content providers like Amazon Prime, ESPN+ and Hulu chose to be part of Apple’s streaming service offering, Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings was not “interested in offering its content in alternate ways.”

Netflix’s differences over distribution strategies with theater owners and other streaming service providers may limit user access to content at a time when competitors are making their content available on multiple platforms and devices. Notably, Netflix is also not available on Roku’s (ROKU - Free Report) video subscription marketplace.

Competition Intensifying

Netflix’s move to exclude easy-to-use features like AirPlay may hurt its subscriber growth rate. Additionally, increasing competition from new streaming players like Disney (DIS - Free Report) , Apple and AT&T further add to its worries.

Disney with its strong content slate including content from Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and Lucasfilm poses a huge threat to Netflix. Additionally, the company is expected to price its streaming service, Disney+, lower than Netflix and is planning to give discounts when users buy all the three streaming services – ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu at one go.

Moreover, the availability of free streaming content from providers like Sinclair Broadcast and Viacom’s Pluto TV makes things even more difficult for Netflix.

Netflix currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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