NetFlix Shifts Focus From Offline to Online

January 3rd, 2008 | Categories: launch, marketing, networks, strategy, video

NetFlix logoToday, NetFlix announced the launch of a new service that will limit its dependence on physical mail. The company plans to partner with numerous electronic manufacturers in a new initiative that will send movies from the Internet to your TV. An initial partnership with LG will get the ball rolling later this year. The service will be offered in HD and may include a limitation on the number of movies viewed per month.

Currently, NetFlix offers over 6,000 movies and television shows online for free, but this new service will extend beyond the PC to the TV. The company does acknowledge a threat from the video-on-demand space, but believes that such a system is incapable of reaching its full potential without the power of the web.

The company has ambitions to become the preeminent movie channel on all Internet-connected devices, including gaming systems, wireless devices, DVD players, and set top boxes.

I can understand the benefits of such a system for both the consumer and the company. It saves time, hassle, and money. I’m just not convinced that consumers will be rushing out to buy a NetFlix-enabled device. Having said that, I do think this a step in the right direction. However, the company will need to partner with as many electronic manufacturers as possible to really make this work. Furthermore, NetFlix will need to establish itself as the name in the space, as everyone from Apple to Amazon is jockeying for position.

As a side note, this looks like yet another hit to Blockbuster. The old-school video rental company has taken a butt-kicking over the past few years. The introduction of ‘no late fees’ did provide a bit of light, but only for the short term. It may only be a matter of time before…

What do you think of this move? Is it worthwhile or worthless?

One Comment

  1. Dino Celotti Says:

    Thanks for being on the ball Aidan. I read this here before it was published by AppleInsider or MacRumors.
    I think it’s an interesting move too. Ofcourse i think we can all agree that unless Blockbuster takes some drastic action to change it is on it’s way out.
    I do like that there is some competition with Amazon and Apple in this market. It will be interesting to see how Apple’s services evolve with relationships as well as technology. upgrades to the AppleTV would be interesting to see, along with the rumored Apple Television with built in AppleTV.
    For me the decision usually comes down to compatibility with what i already have. The more of my other technologies a new one can integrate with the better. Being an Apple user, they may have the upper hand when it comes to my personal decision making, however i think if Netflix can partner with enough manufacturers they may be able to capture a large portion of the market.
    I guess we will wait to find out.

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