Now that Netflix has an app on the iPad and the iPhone, it could soon make a push into the Android ecosystem, based on job postings that have cropped up on the company’s website recently. The creation of an Android app could expand Netflix’s addressable audience on consumer electronic devices even further, especially with a group of new Android-based tablets set to launch.
Netflix has posted job listings for Android developers in the past few months, including Android developers and an Android “video playback expert.” Now the company is hiring a Manager for Instant Streaming to mobile devices, which lists experience with Android and/or iOS as a “big plus.”
Of course, it’s no big surprise that Netflix wants to be on every consumer electronics device, and is working to get there. The company’s future is in streaming, and it expects to stream to more than 100 connected devices by the end of the year. But despite being embedded on various TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, TiVo DVRs, Roku broadband set-top boxes and Apple iOS devices, Netflix has yet to build a significant foothold in Android devices.
But it’s becoming tough to ignore Android’s potential due to its massive growth over the past year, with sales of Android devices outpacing Apple iPhone sales. And with a growing number of Android tablets set to be released, it’s even more important for Netflix to tap that user base.
One potential stumbling block for Netflix in approaching the Android marketplace, however, is the extreme fragmentation among carriers and handset makers, which can make it a difficult platform to develop for. Not all Android devices are standardized on the same OS — different CE makers are at various levels of rolling out the most recent version of Android, and different carriers have different rules about capabilities that are available on their networks. All of this means that developers looking to build for Android aren’t just building for one version of the OS, but several.
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