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Netflix Selects New Microsoft DRM

25 May, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix May 25 said it has chosen Microsoft PlayReady technology, apparently replacing Windows Media DRM as its primary digital rights management (DRM) platform for the online DVD rental pioneer’s streaming-enabled devices and related applications.

Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix already deploys PlayReady to allow movie and episodic television streaming on Windows-based PCs and Macs. The first Netflix ready devices should incorporate PlayReady by this summer.

Launched in 2008, PlayReady can be ported to any kind of portable device, even if it uses non-Microsoft technology (OS, codecs, media player, etc).

While PlayReady-encrypted content won’t play on an Apple iPod or iPhone, Netflix has implemented support for the DRM in its iPad app launched last month. This enables Netflix members to instantly watch PlayReady-encrypted content on the iPad streamed from Netflix, according to a spokesperson.

“Netflix is expanding our investment in PlayReady and making it our primary DRM technology because it best meets the requirements of our content suppliers and device partners while allowing us to benefit from efficiencies in our content delivery infrastructure,” said Bill Holmes, VP of business development at Netflix.

Microsoft and Netflix have long worked closely on the technologies enabling Netflix members to instantly watch movies, including becoming one of the first third-party content aggregators for the Xbox 360.

In addition, Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings sits on the Microsoft board.

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