Well, this is certainly promising news! According to this official Netlifx job posting they’re looking for:
“a great engineer to help us build Instant Streaming client implementations on Android devices.”
Oh yes, you read it correctly, we have official word that Netflix will be coming to an Android device near you.
I’m an avid Netflix user and use their Watch Instantly service at least a few times a week on the Xbox 360 – in fact, their service was more or less single handedly responsible for my decision to cancel cable television. Between their massive library of great (and sometimes not so great) movies and TV shows available for streaming, and the occasional torrent (don’t tell anyone!), there’s really no need to continue feeding the old media beast.
About Netflix Watch Instantly
If you’re unfamiliar with Netflix Watch Instantly, you’re definitely missing out. Or using Linux. In its current incarnation it’s available for in-browser streaming on both the Windows and OSX operating systems utilizing Microsoft’s Silverlight technology to stream the movies to you in high definition, DRM-ladden goodness. Granted, the DRM is fairly transparent when using the service, but you can see that it’s still an issue because they have yet to release a Linux version, and I’m willing to bet that is why.
Netflix Watch Instantly is also available on several other platforms including the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360, and devices like the Roku player, and the recently announced Popbox.
Netflix began their support of mobile platforms with a low key release of a Watch Instantly application for the iPad when it launched last week. One of the major benefits of Netflix Watch Instantly is that you can use it on multiple platforms without having to pay any additional fees. Prices start at $8.99 per month for the ability to rent one physical DVD (which, honestly, I haven’t used in months) and all-you-can-stream video.
In a bit of tangentially related news, Netflix announced late last week that they have just completed two new distribution deals with 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios. In these deals, Netflix has pledged to delay the rental of any newly released titles by 28 days, but in exchange has been given access to many more properties to make available for instant streaming. This is definitely a win for those of us that take advantage of the Watch Instantly feature, and a blow to those who rely on Netflix for their new release rentals.
Netflix is just one of many large companies that have either already released or indicated that they plan to release an application on the Android platform. My little Android has grown up so fast!
And finally, here is the full text of the job listing in case it gets removed:
Android Video Playback Expert
Los Gatos, CA
Netflix is looking for a great engineer to help us build Instant Streaming client implementations on Android devices.
You are a senior engineer with a strong background in embedded and mobile development, specifically on media-enabled devices. You have a deep understanding of the idiosyncrasies of these platforms as well as solid experience with Internet client/server programming in general. You have implemented video playback on Android-based devices. You like to work hands-on and self-directed in a fast-paced, growing organization that gives you room to apply your expertise to solve big technical challenges.
If you're our ideal candidate, you will hold on your own among a very demanding peer group. You're able to engage with your peers in discussions about e.g. video container formats and codecs, the intricacies of concurrent programming, implementation of streaming media. You’re also motivated and able to apply these concepts wisely to build a real business that is quite unlike others before.
We expect that we will learn a lot from you, but you will also learn much from us!
A few words about the company and the team:
The team focuses on creating Netflix client implementations for a variety of target platforms. The organization is flat, process is minimal, and there's an emphasis on keeping non-productive influences out of the everyday technical decision process.
Our server systems manage large and rapidly growing numbers of customers and devices, our encoding farm processes thousands of movie streams a day in a variety of formats, and our client software relies on our cutting-edge, innovative technology to deliver a great movie watching experience. Every day, we make decisions with far-reaching impact around internet networking, backend scalability, content security, process automation, etc. etc. while we build the technological foundation of this new business.
• 10+ years of relevant software development experience
• Expert in OO design and implementation using C++
• Deep understanding of and hands-on experience with media playback on the Android platform
• Experience with other mobile application platforms (e.g. iPhone/iPad) is a plus
• Experience with DRM technologies is a plus