Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Netflix API Has Arrived – Netflix Users Rejoice!

Netflix API is Here!
Netflix just announced that their Netflix API is ready.  You can sign up for a developer account  and apply for an API today.  This is great news for applications that could use a hook into the Netflix data such as the SageTV Netflix Plugin and the Microsoft Media Center Netflix Plugins available today.

The Netflix API includes a JavaScript API, REST API and ATOM feeds and allows access to the movie and TV episode data as well as Netflix account access on a member’s behalf.  This opens up possibilities such as queue management tools (add, move or rearrange movie queue from outside the Netflix website), start a watch-now title from outside of the Netflix website, social network applications, movie search & suggestion tools, mobile phone applications among other things.  What this probably does not include is the way to embed the Netflix Watch-Now capability in a non-PC device such as an extender.  Looks like Netflix plans to keep that ability for their hardware vendor partners such as Roku for obvious reasons.

The API is free for commercial uses as well as free applications.  For example, developers could sell an application for the Google Phone or iPhone app store using the Netflix API.  Another example would be the use of the API in a built-in feature in a media extender for example.  Many APIs available today restrict the commercial use so this is a big plus for Netflix.

There is an API Gallery which is currently blank, but will eventually be populated with the many applications that use the Netflix API.  I’ve been amazed at what some developers have already done using the Netflix RSS feeds and screen-scraping the Netflix Website so with the API available, look for lots of nice Netflix-centric applications soon.

Netflix Blog Announcement
Netflix Developer Blog Announcement with further Details
Netflix API Website
Netflix API Forums

More news about Netflix