Thursday, February 26, 2009

Netflix Is Really Serious About Streaming-Only Subscription

Should cable operators and pay TV programmers like HBO and Showtime be worried about Netflix. At a monthly subscription rate at half what cable charges, a Netflix subscription could be economically better and equally as enjoyable for the movie fan. Currently, "Netflix passed the 10 million subscriber mark earlier this month and during its last earnings call Hastings said “millions” (emphasis on the “s” there) of subscribers had used the service." I wonder during that same period if HBO and Showtime have grown or seen attrition. As Netflix creates pricing options for the casual to heavy user, it can be a welcome change to the high price of premium content.

So how should HBO and Showtime compete. Competing with their own streaming content is one option. Adding mobility to the mix so that a subscriber can access their premium stream away from the home is another. Pushing its original and exclusive content is a third means. And revisiting its pricing models in the face of competition is another. Otherwise, Netflix is bound to take business away from HBO, Showtime, and other movie networks. I mean would you rather watch a movie on TV with commercials or streamed through Netflix without.

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