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Monday, November 03, 2008

Could Netflix's "Watch Instantly" Library Kill Movies by Mail?

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When Netflx enhanced its service  to include streaming movies, it may have started the downward spiral of its original format- movies by mail. Netflix's partnership with Starz added 2,500 films to the "Watch Instantly" collection, and there's no reason to believe that the trend toward streaming movies won't continue.
As a Netflix subscriber, I wonder how much longer the  movies by mail format  will remain as a viable marketing method. I'll use my own example to explain.

I recently watched Patriot Games with two of my buds, and we planned to follow it up with the next movie in the Jack Ryan series, Clear and Present Danger, but it's still sitting on my coffee table because one of my other friends couldn't make it over this Saturday.
As a result, the rest of us decided to call an audible and browsed the library. After about 20 minutes, we figured out how to connect my PC monitor cord to the TV, and within a few minutes, we were watching Expelled  , one of the most popular movies on "Watch Instantly". The image quality was just as sharp as a DVD, and I discovered many appealing titles to consider for the next movie night.

Simply put, "Watch Instantly" gives you the chance to adapt on the fly, and the movies by mail option loses its appeal with each title that becomes streamable.
Don't be surprised if the formats are reversed, and movies by mail becomes the secondary method of subscribers,rather than the primary one.Considering Netflix''s downgraded forecast for subscriber growth, keep an eye on their marketing tactics over the next few months. I'm willing to bet that the bulk of advertisements won't even mention the mail method.

By Matt O'Hern at 09:59 AM | Comments (2)

(2) Thoughts on Could Netflix's "Watch Instantly" Library Kill Movies by Mail?

Personally, I think most folks with a high-speed connection and decent monitor would loooooove to simply rent online and watch on the computer. Unfortunately, when I went to rent, Netflix couldn't communicate to my Mac because of Apple's @#$* DRM technology.

So, until they get an agreement worked out, I think mail will still be an option. And given Mac's isolationist attitude towards its DRM software (imposed, at the least in part, by entertainment companies, I should add), it might be some time before all that gets opened up.

And, then, there are the people who don't really use computers that much, like John McCain. :)

Comments by unorthodoxology : Monday, November 03, 2008 at 11:14 AM

With satellite internet this will use up so much bandwidth that we will be shut off. Not a viable use at all for us. If we were still on dial up we would be waiting forever for the movie to download at 1.5kbps speed which is what we often had. Fastest was 24kbps, still a killer for a movie download.

Comments by Anon : Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 12:24 PM

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