Netflix is shutting down its public API today

Netflix is shuttering its public API today, effectively ending support for a number of third-party apps that made use of the API to get TV and movie show titles as well as other data from the streaming service.

The move doesn’t come as a surprise; Netflix stopped issuing new keys to its public API two years ago, which made it impossible for new developers to sign up and make use of the data. And in June, the company’s VP of Edge Engineering Daniel Jacobson announced that Netflix was retiring its public API altogether. In a post, he wrote:

To better focus our efforts and to align them with the needs of our global member base, we will be retiring the public API program. Effective on November 14, 2014, public API developers will no longer be able to access Netflix content.

Apps or mashups that have made use of the public API will return 404 error messages starting today. However, not all apps that incorporate Netflix data will break: The company has partnered with a small number of third-party developers to give them continued access to its data. These partners include NextGuide, Yidio, Fanhattan and Can I Stream It.

Netflix’s API was initially developed as a way for third parties to tap into Netflix’s catalog, but it also became a key piece of Netflix’s internal development when the company began to target living room devices. These days, Netflix’s API gets around five billion requests per day, primarily from Netflix’s own apps running on a variety of devices. Netflix’s public API on the other hand never saw huge traffic. Jacobson recently shared during a presentation at OSCON that eleven years worth of public API requests equal about one day of private API requests.

Chart courtesy of Daniel Jacobson / Netflix.

Image copyright Twin Design /

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