Netflix offers unlimited streaming movies to customers
Rumors have been flying around that Steve Jobs will announce downloadable movie rentals via iTunes during his keynote speech tomorrow. The rumor pegs the price per download as being $3.99 per movie. That’s pretty close to what you’re going to pay for a new release at your local Blockbuster store. What does this mean for Netflix? It’s obvious that they’re a little worried about it, as they have announced unlimited streaming rentals for customers on their $16.99 a month plan starting today.
For me, this is a no-brainer. I’m currently a Netflix subscriber, and will be affected by this (not that I ever used the 17 hours per month that I was allotted before. Since I only pay around $17, that’s only a buck more than if I rented four movies from iTunes. Looking at my Netflix plan, I get 3 DVDs at a time, plus all of the streaming movies I want. Why would I switch?
I will point out that there are a couple of pitfalls to steaming movies from Netflix. First, you only have a selection of 6,000 titles, though that’s still not too bad. The quality of the movies aren’t the best, but not horrible. My biggest complaint is that I need to hook up a PC to my TV and then open up Internet Explorer (it doesn’t work with Firefox, another complaint) if I want to watch a movie on a decent-sized screen. In all, I think Apple is going to have a tough time taking a significant share of the market from Netflix. Then again, you never know what they have up their sleeve.