BUSINESS

BlackBerry Netflix Boycott: Smartphone Fans Upset At Lack Of App

05/29/2013 01:43 EDT | Updated 06/01/2013 01:02 EDT
AP

Some BlackBerry fans are so upset at Netflix for not developing an app for the BlackBerry that they’ve called for a boycott of the streaming movie and TV service.

Netflix announced last week it won’t bother to build an app for the new BlackBerry 10 generation of phones because “there's just not enough volume” to justify it.

It's a great device for getting work done but people don't interact with it as an entertainment device the same way they do with say an iPhone or Android phone,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told CTV News last week

That prompted a BlackBerry user to launch a call for a boycott on a forum at the Crackberry blog.

Attention All Netflix Blackberry Users: Boycott Netflix, Cancel All Subscriptions, Home and Mobile,” the forum posting urges.

As of Wednesday, the posting had received more than 1,050 replies, many of the posters supportive of the idea and some of them declaring they had already cut their Netflix service.

But as the BGR blog points out, Netflix probably doesn’t care. Although Netflix has half as many subscribers as BlackBerry — 36 million to BlackBerry’s 76 million — Netflix users are a widespread cross-section of the population, while BlackBerry users tend to be business types who use their smartphones primarily for work purposes.

And if you’re the head of a media streaming company and deciding which apps are worth building, you’re going to look at the iPhone and Android devices first.

Although BlackBerry dominated the smartphone market as recently as five years ago, the Canadian brand fell to a 4.3-per-cent market share worldwide in the third quarter of last year, down from 9.4 per cent just a year earlier.

Android phones controlled 75 per cent of the global market, with the iPhone coming in second, at 14.9 per cent, according to data from IDC.

But on the CrackBerry forum, there are clearly plenty of BlackBerry fans who wanted to use their phones to watch Netflix.

I hope all of these cancellations wake someone up at Netflix,” one commenter said.

But not all agreed the boycott makes sense.

“If you want an entertainment phone get an iPhone, Android, or Windows,” a commenter wrote. “Blackberry has shown they don't put entertainment as a priority. No Netflix, grooveshark, Spotify, iheartradio, last.fm, etc.... Most of the top entertainment apps are missing and will continue to be absent.”

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