dslreports logo

story category
Netflix To Offer Standalone Streaming Video Service
Unfortunately, you won't be able to use it.
by Karl Bode 02:52PM Friday Oct 23 2009
The good news? Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says the company is cooking up a broadband video delivery service that doesn't require that you sign up for the company's mail-delivered DVD service. The bad news? It won't be made available in the United States, and Netflix isn't saying which country will get the service. Oddly, Hastings seems to suggest that there's no interest in a streaming only service here in the States:
Click for full size
Although Netflix will try to make a streaming-only service work abroad, the company really doesn't think there's a demand for this type of offering within the U.S. In fact, when responding to a reporter's question regarding Netflix's plans for an a la carte option (there isn't one), Hastings said that while they're "open-minded to" an a la carte service that came without the DVD option, the company hasn't seen much interest in something of that nature in the States.
Wait, What? 42% of Netflix users have streamed at least 15 minutes of one TV show or movie during the last quarter, up from 22% just one year earlier. Personally, my DVD queue has sat unused for months, with the majority of my film and HDTV viewing now occurring via the far more efficient Xbox 360. The demand is certainly there, it's just not quite mainstream yet. So what's really going on?

Part of the problem is Hollywood, who still isn't completely comfortable with this natural evolution toward non-physical media distribution and is clutching licensing agreements, a fear of piracy and physical DVDs to their chest. Netflix too probably wants to control their inevitable evolution from physical to non-physical rentals at their own pace. Surely Netflix doesn't mind waiting a little longer for for last-mile bandwidth to evolve in the States, and foreign tests give them a real world sandbox in which to smooth over distribution hiccups before broader launches.

60 comments .. click to read