Thursday, January 03, 2008

Netflix Joins the Crowded Market for Internet Delivery of Movies -- But Will Those Red Envelopes Disappear Anytime Soon?

Is it time to say bye-bye to Netflix's red envelopes and postal delivery of your favorite movies?

Netflix is positioning itself for that long-term vision, but don't expect the mailman to be out of work too soon.

Joining the already crowded field of companies, including Apple, that have tried (and failed, thus far) to create a vast market for Internet delivery of movies direct to your TV screen, Netflix has just announced a deal with LG Electronics to enable an LG branded device to do just that -- bypass your PC and go straight to your television set. According to today's Wall Street Journal, Netflix plans to make those movies available to their customers as part of their monthly subscription fees (rather than charge any additional fees).

Among other issues facing such lofty goals, Netflix and other download delivery services, offer limited content. Netflix says that it now has only 6,000 of its 90,000 titles available for online distribution. Until significantly more titles are available -- and until such services are drop dead easy to use -- they will have extremely limited adoption.

But, there is no doubt that Internet delivery of movies ultimately will takeover as the preferred choice, much as it has it has for music.