Thursday, March 8, 2012

Netflix - Can't Beat Em, Then Join Em

It seems that Netflix has made a decision that TV Everywhere means also getting onto the cable platform.  Now CEO Reed Hastings is going the route of being added as potentially a subscription on demand choice on the cable line-up.  Similar to HBO or Showtime, but without a linear line-up attached  to it.  For cable consumers seeking more content, Netflix could provide a low cost addition, or simply be duplicated with what is already being offered by the cable operator.  Ultimately, Netflix's differentiation, like that of its pay TV rivals, will be in the original programming it is building to offer.

Does this move help to increase the distribution of Netflix?  I'd like to know what percentage of Netflix customers are also cable subscribers?  Is Netflix truly missing a potential audience or is it that the consumer likes that Netflix is a la carte and not tied into a cable subscription?  Pay cable subscription is already crowded with HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Epix.  It is hard to imagine that there is more to gain to try and be the fifth wheel.  Being outside the cable box with more maneuverability may just be the differentiating factor that keeps Netflix strong.

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