Samsung adds Netflix to latest Blu-ray players

October 23, 2008

We’re witnessing the one dramatic change in the world of physical media. Now Samsung has joined LG in making Blu-ray players that also stream Netflix movies and TV shows. This Netflix strategy is the little engine that could:

  • People first said it was weak because the content was so second-string. Netflix has recently fixed that by adding Starz and some Disney movies. 
  • Some complained that a dedicated $99 box from Roku (though priced to sell), wasn’t enough to move the market. However the LG Netflix/Blu-ray player showed that there was real depth to the strategy.
  • The deal with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 to put Netflix content in the game console proved there’s a true multi-platform play there.
  • Now Samsung’s entry shows that this is going to become a big deal across multiple players in the CE and computing world.

Lessee, Netflix 4, everybody else, 1.

With Steve Jobs again this week referring to the Apple TV as a “hobby” in order to downplay previous expectations, this leaves Netflix clearly in the driver’s seat when it comes to over-the-top delivery to the TV. Maybe not in volume yet, but it will.

The biggest issue here is what this means for cable. Netflix has set its sights not on Blockbuster or even on iTunes, but on Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner. The Netflix solution pulls content automatically from your DVD rental queue, provides an easier-to-use interface than VOD, and now has as much good content as a typical VOD system, this makes cable cord-cutting that much more possible.

This Netflix move could prove to be the most important wildcard of 2008. Now if only there wasn’t a recession hanging over these Blu-ray players

Are you Netflixing your TV? Will you? Do tell.

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Netflix up to 12,000 streaming titles

October 1, 2008

There they go again, challenging conventional wisdom (and conventional revenue planning). Netflix has managed to pay Disney, CBS, and now Starz to get a few thousand more titles for its streaming service. Read about it on the Hollywood Reporter.

This  brings the list of all-you-can-eat titles up to 12,000. All without charging you a single centavo for the additional content. I must confess that I am a Netflix streamer. It’s not the best content (although apparently that’s gradually changing), but it sure is easy to get to. And with my Netflix/Roku box, I have nearly instant access through a simple interface to all 12,000 of these titles. No wonder a certain research firm ranked Netflix/Roku the best over-the-top set top box of the current crop. Imagine what it will be like when you can access your Netflix account via PC, Roku, Xbox 360, and your LG Blu-Ray player. 

Tell me again why no one else is going after this business model? Sure, there’s that whole “extra content for no additional revenue” thing, but if you want to have a foothold in the living room, this is sure a good way to to get in there.