As Netflix continues to barrel into living rooms across the country, the thriving company announced new agreements Tuesday that will enable one-click access to its streaming video services on compatible partner devices. The new deal will place a dedicated Netflix button, complete with the Netflix logo, on remote controls that ship with various consumer electronics including Watch Instantly-enabled televisions, Blu-ray players and set top boxes. Manufacturers on board include Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Dynex (Best Buy’s in-house brand), Haier, Memorex, Boxee, Iomega and Roku. The deal is big news for Netflix, and it stands to substantially increase brand visibility. Netflix claims that there are currently more than 250 devices on the market compatible with its streaming video service. Hit the break for Netflix’s full press release. More →
Gleacher & Company analyst Brain Marshall claims that Apple’s digital video rental service available through iTunes is less than one tenth the size of Netflix’s rental business. Netflix, according to Marshall’s note on Wednesday, serves over 5 million daily rentals while Apple sells only about 475,000 rentals through iTunes each day. Apple has apparently not yet been able to translate strong Apple TV sales into significant revenue. Marshall believes that approximately 90% of Apple’s daily iTunes TV purchases are 99¢ rentals. He also believes rentals, which average $2.99, make up approximately 75% of movie viewings bought through iTunes. Apple’s revenue from iTunes rentals is estimated at approximately $60 million per quarter, however, while Netflix reported $553 million in revenue in the third quarter of 2010. More →
Netflix announced a new deal Wednesday that will bring additional content from ABC, ABC Family and the Disney Channel to the company’s online streaming catalog. “Watch Instantly” allows Netflix’s DVDs-by-mail subscribers to stream an unlimited amount of television and movie content to computers and compatible set-top boxes, and now the service is also available as a stand-alone offering for $7.99 per month. New shows that will now be available on Watch Instantly 15 days after their initial air date include “Grey’s Anatomy,” ”Desperate Housewives” and “Brothers & Sisters.” The deal also brings complete seasons of popular shows like “Lost,” “Ugly Betty” and “Scrubs” to Watch Instantly.
“TV content streamed from Netflix has proven to be immensely popular with our members,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “Adding to our existing Disney-ABC lineup with great network and cable shows, and opening up ABC Family for the first time, are important steps in creating a wide and diverse selection of content Netflix members of all ages can watch.”
The move with Disney-ABC is the latest in a series of deals Netflix has put together in an effort to bolster the new content available in its streaming catalog. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
According to an unconfirmed report in The Wall Street Journal Monday, Amazon.com is in the early stages of developing a subscription streaming service that will compete with Netflix’s “Watch Instantly.” Citing anonymous sources, WSJ reports that the service will look to undercut Netflix’s offering, though no other points of differentiation were mentioned.
Amazon.com Inc. is developing a Netflix-like subscription service that would offer TV shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter. That service would be included as a bundle with its Amazon Prime shipping service, which costs $79 a year, those people said.
Amazon Prime gives members free two-day shipping on all Amazon.com orders. It also offers overnight shipping for $3.99 per item. Lumping in streaming movies and TV shows for free with this unrelated service would be a peculiar move at best, though it would mirror Netflix’s original strategy, in a way. Though the company recently launched a streaming-only plan for $7.99 per month, Netflix first introduced Watch Instantly as a free add-on for its DVDs-by-mail service. At $79 per year, Amazon.com’s service would be $17 less expensive per year than Netflix’s least expensive streaming package. More →
Netflix announced a new deal Wednesday that will bring much needed additional first-run theatrical films to its streaming video service in 2011. Netflix has inked several deals over the past year that will help address the number one complaint surrounding its popular Watch Instantly service — there aren’t enough new movies — and now the company adds one more. Beginning next year, FilmDistrict will license movies to Netflix during the “pay TV window,” or the period of time when the films would have normally appeared on premium cable TV channels. The first two movies to hit Watch Instantly as a result of the new deal will be Drive, starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, and Lockout, starring Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace. Both films are set to be released early next year. More →
On an earnings call Thursday, Coinstar CEO Paul Davis confirmed that subsidiary Redbox would soon expand its portfolio to include a streaming product. Redbox currently owns and operates DVD movie rental kiosks situated in and around highly trafficked partner stores across the country. These unmanned kiosks allow customers to rent DVDs at low prices using an automated vending system. Customers are then charged for each day they keep the DVDs until they are returned. In an effort to compete further with rival Netflix, which now offers a popular streaming service called Watch Instantly, Redbox will introduce a Web-based streaming service some time next year. Though the service is expected to provide unlimited streaming for a fixed monthly price, Davis wouldn’t commit when asked whether the company would offer an all-you-can-eat model or an a la carte option similar to Apple’s iTunes model. Redbox’s kiosks played a major role in toppling the once-dominant Blockbuster, and it is likely safe to assume it will attack the streaming market just as aggressively. More →
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings reaffirmed Wednesday that the home entertainment giant is looking closely at flipping its service model. Netflix currently offers a range of mail-order DVD rental packages with “Watch Instantly” video streaming as a free perk. As the popularity of streaming video services continues to grow, Hastings has repeatedly made public the company’s interest in a streaming-only plan. Here are Hastings’ most recent remarks from Wednesday’s earnings call:
Three years ago we were a DVD-by-mail company that offered some streaming. We are now a streaming company, which also offers DVD-by-mail… Pure streaming could become Netflix’s core offering in the U.S., with discs being offered as a supplement for an additional charge.
The company got its start as an underdog providing DVD rentals by mail and quickly rose to play an integral role in the eventual bankruptcy filing of movie rental giant Blockbuster. The move to a streaming-centric model is seen by many as the next logical step in Netflix’s evolution. More →