ESPN, Netflix Shutdowns: Are Public APIs Doomed?

Ushered by the recent ESPN API shutdown, this article by Andy Thurai of IBM tracks the API industry at large to make predictions about the future of the API economy.

ESPN, Netflix, and the healthcare API Aetna have all scheduled to cut their public API programs. According to Thurai, this is being done purely to increase monetization and control. Reasons for these cuts may include a lack of target user audience or an inability to structure data effectively to generate revenue. Strategies are moving away from experimental innovation toward more proven revenue models, and often public APIs are the first thing to go. 

In addition to public APIs losing steam, related changes are restricting 3rd party developers. Twitter’s API 2.0 has increased restrictions, according to Thurai, only to enhance Twitter’s own agenda. In general, Thurai predicts a continued descrease in public distribution and a focus on internal private partner consumption. 

Original Article

Are Public APIs Going Away?

Bill Doerrfeld I am a consultant that specializes in API economy research & content creation for developer-centric programs. I study Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and related tech and develop content [eBooks, blogs, whitepapers, graphic design] paired with high-impact publishing strategies. I live and work in Seattle, and spend most of my time as Editor in Chief for Nordic APIs, a blog and knowledge center for API providers. For a time I was a Directory Manager & Associate Editor at ProgrammableWeb, and still add new APIs to the directory every now and then. Let's connect on Twitter at @DoerrfeldBill, or follow me on LinkedIn.