Does Netflix Still Dream of Downloads?

10 thoughts on “Does Netflix Still Dream of Downloads?”

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  2. Among certain circles it is widely known that Netflix has built a set top box and is working on cutting deals with bandwidth providers. The larger questions are not whether they will build a box but if they should and how do they intend to get access to the content. Does it really makes sense for a consumer to need another set top box just to order movies from a specific content aggregator

  3. I think the big question boils down to economics. At what point is it cheaper to deliver over the Internet than it is through the USPS. A bittorrent-style distribution method would help, but that would require special deals with content providers, or a very complex software solution to insure that the number of user-end copies corresponds exactly to a number of DVDs purchased by NetFlix. Either way, it seems you need a set-top box. If this were a single function device (i.e. NetFlix player only), that is a hard sell. At the very least I think you need DVR functionality and that is why a hookup with TiVo made a lot of sense.

  4. Is the USPS a mess or is that just a common misconception. Now everyone agrees that the Postal System is poorly mannaged from a business standpoint, but I beleive their metrics for delivery are actually very good. I’m not sure any money could be saved by going Internet. On the other hand, the enhanced user experience may lead to higher user uptake or even justify a rate increase by NetFlix. So, going Internet may make good economic sense even if it doesn’t save money.

  5. I think just the cost of physically shipping it isn’t cheap with pulling, prepping, stuffing then paying to send it. Then pay a person to open the package and scan it then put it back in its place. Plus all of the shipment houses around the country and managing all the inventory at each location can’t be easy to make sure people get the dvd’s fast.

  6. According to a Tivo spokesperson at CES 2005, that Tivo had the technology working but Netflix never had permissions from the studios to distribute movies via download.

  7. You have to pay real big to play in streaming/download. Big, big companies and the studios themselves already are working the streaming and download space. Why would you think Netflix is going to get in? Hastings lied about 2005 – do you really think that he did not know that he could not get the rights until 2005 was almost over?. He takes $1,000,000 off the table every month. He will say anything to keep the share price up as long as possible.

    Physical delivery in the rental model was a necessity at one time so it was a good window. If a person wanted to see a movie after the theatrical run was over, they had to buy or rent. This is no longer as true and will, over the next few years, become less and less true. The problem for the renters is that the streaming/download space is not their way out. The big guys and the studios already have it nailed.

    By the way, Netflix is going to have it handed to them in the class action settlement hearing on February 22. They had the misfortune of being one too many to try the trick they tried. Whether you believe in the case or not, it is happening, and the timing could not be worse. If you read the source documents, you can’t believe how Netflix has been trapped. Ironically, when they put $4,000,000 on their books as the cost of the settlement, when it had been marketed to the class and to the judge as worth $85.5 million, they set themselves up. If you read all the source documents, you will feel ill if you’re a big fan of Netflix. Once the FTC stepped up and said the settlement was a farce, in support of the very strong attornies now representing the plaintiff who has objected to the settlement, it was bad for Netflix. They are going to have to pay much more than $4,000,000.

    Did you know that Technology Crossover Ventures, who helped take Netflix through their IPO, sold 2,000,000 shares on 1/27/06? That’s about half their position.

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