Netflix just announced their new “Watch Now” feature allowing subscribers to view their movie rentals streamed to them over the internet. This was a direct response to Blockbuster's Total Access program which allows their subscribers to return and get new movies from local Blockbuster stores, a feature Netflix could never compete with. Blockbuster's franchise is simply too big. However, as the internet speeds up and more people are connecting their TV to their PC, streaming movies is becoming the future.
Streaming movies is a service also offered by companies like Apple and Amazon, so Netflix is certainly in the first to do this, but they are the first company to stream movies in conjunction with renting DVDs. Subscribers can watch an hours worth of video per dollar their subscription costs. So, the $17.99 plan will get you 18 hours of movie watching through Netflix.
So what's the big deal about streaming movies anyway? Who would ever want to watch a full length movie on their computer monitor? Well, technology is finally catching up to make this a possibility. First of all, broadband internet speeds are only getting faster. Second, more and more consumers are finding ways to hook their computer to their television, even wirelessly. So, video on your computer doesn't need to be confined to your monitor.
And what does all this mean for the movie and DVD rental industry, and more importantly the consumers? Those who are depending on DVD rentals to make money better start finding a way to stream their movies to their customers. Consumers are beginning to want their videos and movies On Demand and as technology grows, the demand for immediate gratification will also grow.
For all the consumers out there, you may not be quite ready for streaming video just yet. Current offerings from DVD rental companies may suit you just fine. If that describes your needs, then you're still in the majority. Streaming video isn't as popular as traditional online DVD rental services that have been offered by companies like Netflix, Blockbuster and GameznFlix. The shift to streaming video will be slow, but it will happen. Don't worry, you won't have to switch until you're ready.
What can we expect in the near future?
So just sit back, relax, and wait for the changes to happen. Streaming video may seem like a novelty for now, but soon enough everyone will be using it in one form or another. Maybe someday all your movies, videos and TV shows will come straight from the internet to your television screen.