As revealed last week, the Netflix app won’t be available on Vision Pro when it launches next week, nor will Netflix let users run the iPad version of the app on their device. In a new interview with Ben Thompson of Stratechery today, Netflix’s co-CEO Greg Peters attempts to offer an explanation for this decision.
According to Peters, the decision stems from Netflix’s strategy of only “investing in places” that yield a return for the company. As it stands right now, Peters says that Vision Pro is simply “so subscale” as a product that it’s not important to most Netflix users. He does point out, however, that Netflix is “always in discussions with Apple.”
Here’s the full response from Peters:
Not by any unwillingness or lack of desire to [have an app on Vision Pro], but even when you note we look at as close to ubiquity on devices perspective, the decisions that lead to that are we try and be very rigorous about, “What’s the effort to integrate on any given set of devices and what’s the benefit for the members that we serve?”. We have to be careful about making sure that we’re not investing in places that are not really yielding a return, and I would say we’ll see where things go with Vision Pro.
Certainly we’re always in discussions with Apple to try and figure that out but right now, the device is so subscale that it’s not really particularly relevant to most of our members.
When asked whether there are ways Apple could “change the big picture strategic calculus for Netflix,” Peters says that’s absolutely the case:
Always. And that’s something that’s been — we’ve worked together for a long time, we’ve always had active discussions to how we could help each other out. Sometimes we find a great space of overlap. We can move very, very quickly. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer.
Unfortunately, Peters doesn’t seem to have a real explanation for why Netflix couldn’t at least let users run the iPad version of Netflix on Vision Pro. After all, Disney+ will be available on Vision Pro from day one with a full-blown visionOS app. Netflix, meanwhile, will only be accessible through Safari.
The full interview is worth a read and can be found on the Stratechery website.
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