Netflix's Streaming Battle

9:25 AM -- Now that Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX)'s DVD competitor, Blockbuster Inc. , has filed for Chapter 11, the company is turning its full attention to a different battlefront -- streaming video -- where it faces off with giants like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

According to a report from The New York Times, Netflix's primary weakness in this market is the relatively small selection of movies available for its streaming service, Watch Instantly. Netflix offers 20,000 movies for streaming, only a fifth of its DVD catalogue, and has not been able to negotiate streaming rights for newer hits.

“Streaming is a much more competitive environment, and Netflix’s competitors have the money it takes,” Credit Suisse analyst John Blackledge told NYT.

In other news:

  • Despite fears of Apple TV being delayed up to three weeks, reports are emerging that the set-tops have begun shipping.

  • Sharp Electronics Corp. has announced it will introduce an e-book service and WiFi-only tablet device to compete with Apple and Sony in Japan this December. Apple's iPad launched in the country four months ago.

    — Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:22:28 PM
    re: Netflix's Streaming Battle

    Right, hard to think that anyone's suggesting that only 20K  titles are offered for streaming on Netflix is a weakness.  I would argue it's that it's a strength,  even if it represents 1/4 of the titles in has on DVD. But there have been times, albeit rare,  when streaming access hasn't fallen in my favor.

    I put Ken Burns Baseball in my queue many weeks ago, got the first DVD right away, then there was such high demand for the rest of the documentary series (presumably because The Tenth Inning was getting ready to debut on PBS)  that Netflix just removed the rest of the DVDs in the series from my queue because Netflix is "not able to ship them at this time."  Having access to it via streaming would eliminate that problem. But that's just a single example on a fairly short list where the streaming rights issues didn't  work in my favor. JB

    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:22:28 PM
    re: Netflix's Streaming Battle

    Tell me more about that when I finish watching five seasons of Weeds, the Godfather trilogy, and every episodes of Arrested Development. Netflix isn't the single answer for all video entertainment consumers, but it's a damn good service for $8 a month.

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