Netflix Instant Leads the Streaming Pack
I still have satellite. I haven’t “ditched the dish” in favor of all internet TV. Mainly because, as a sports nut, I want the security of my football, baseball and SportsCenter on a numbered channel. I’m also probably the last person under 40 to watch shows from the major 4 networks on my TV. (Most people my age get their “Big Bang Theory” via download). So you could say in terms of entertainment, I’m old school.
However, in the arena of movies my traditional nature, which enjoys browsing the shelves at my local video store, has been challenged by the new kid in town. Netflix Instant. And I must admit, I think I’m in love.
I’m not alone. Paul Verna’s new piece in Ad Age points out that in the new world of streaming web to TV, Netflix is leading the pack. They have grown their subscriber base by 78% over the past two years with revenue jumping by 54%. And the number of subscribers taking advantage of Instant has risen as well, with users who watched at least 15 minutes up from just 37% in Q2 of 2009 to 61% in Q2 2010.
Armed with an ever improving Instant selection, Netflix has led the charge of bringing the video store to your home. Verna’s article compares similar services, like Hulu and Apple TV, which are basically trying to compete in a market Netflix staked out years ago. He points out that Netflix’s willingness to partner with content providers ($1 billion in licensing deals with Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate) while playing nice with already in-home devices (PS, XBox 360 and now Wii) has been integral in their success.
Users have cooperated as well, not only choosing Netflix in droves, but also calling their internet providers for faster internet connections. And let’s not forget the role the impending bankruptcy proceedings of Blockbuster have played in all of this. (See The Consumerist graph below). It seems the traditional swing by the video store on Friday night, a staple from the mid-80s to yesterday, has officially fallen by the wayside.
That’s tough for a traditional guy like me to say. It’s just hard to shed too many tears when I’m blowing through first season of Dexter on Instant (amazing!). Or when, like the other night, I need an adrenaline charge and said hello to Bruce Willis in “The Last Boy Scout” (HD!!). So it seems that Netflix Instant is truly the new Blockbuster.
I just hope redbox isn’t the new Netflix …