Netflix API Developer Blog

Introducing the Netflix API

On behalf of the Netflix API team, I’m very excited to announce the release of the Netflix API and to launch this site for our developer community.  We have been impressed with the applications developers have managed to build using our RSS feeds or by screen-scraping the web site, so we can’t wait to see what you’ll do with a supported API!

The Netflix API includes a JavaScript API, REST API and ATOM feeds.  Use of the API is free and we even allow commercial use.

Web applications can use the JavaScript API to easily integrate basic Netflix service capabilities, such as allowing a subscriber to add a title to his queue without visiting the Netflix web site or start watching a title instantly. 

The REST API provides finer-grained access to a very wide range of Netflix service capabilities and lets your application control the user experience.  If you can perform a function on the Netflix website, it’s likely available via the REST API.  Use this API to access rich metadata around our 100,000 title catalog, tap into rich user activity, manipulate DVD and instant queues and get title recommendations. 

The REST API uses standard OAuth authentication to allow applications to safely access the Netflix service on a subscriber’s behalf without requesting his user name or password.  A simpler subset of OAuth can be used to access REST API resources that do not require subscriber authorization, such as the catalog.

The API also includes a variety of ATOM feeds that allow easier sharing of subscriber activity including queue usage, ratings, reviews and rental history.  The feeds can be accessed programmatically using the REST API, which means your users no longer must cut-and-paste feed URLs or security tokens into your applications.  While OAuth is required to access a subscriber’s list of feeds, the feeds URLs themselves have embedded security tokens making them accessible to applications that don’t support OAuth.

To get started with the API, sign up for a developer account and an application key and secret, and browse our documentation.  Sign up for free test accounts on the My Account page (no, they don't receive DVDs or instant watching).   Also check out the Resources section to find developer resources like OAuth documentation and code libraries, and the Flixo tool, which lets you “browse” the REST API without writing a line of code.

Given this is a new API, we’re eager to get your feedback, help you with any issues you may encounter, and hear your ideas for new features.  Please use our forum or the comment sections on pages throughout the site to keep in touch.

Thank you in advance for creating new applications to delight our subscribers and happy coding!

Michael Hart

Director of Engineering
API Team