Netflix Now Delivers Movies Online

Dennis Faas's picture

This past Tuesday, Netflix unveiled its new "Watch Now" service. The service gives subscribers the option of downloading movies to their PC at no additional charge, an attractive alternative to Netflix's traditional mail delivery method.

"Watch Now" will be introduced to only a small portion of Netflix subscribers initially; however, the company will be allowing about 250,000 subscribers into the system each week until June. (Source:

Viewers can use the service after accepting a computer applet that takes under a minute to install. Subscribers to the $18 monthly package can download up to 18 hours of video per month. (Source:

The downloading option gives Netflix a strong push in the right direction. Recently, Blockbuster began offering a Netflix-like mail delivery system. However, Blockbuster's system also gives users the option of returning the DVD to a store and renting a new one immediately. While this tactic seemed to put Blockbuster on a pedestal above Netflix, "Watch Now" certainly evens the playing field. (Source:

Currently, only about 1,000 of Netflix's 70,000 titles are available via download. However, the company has struck deals with Universal, Sony, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., New Line and Lionsgate and plans to expand their offerings in the future. Besides increasing its selection, Netflix would also like to make videos able to stream on any Internet-connected screen, including cell phones and televisions. (Sources: and

"This is a big moment for us," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. "I have always envisioned us heading in this direction. In fact, I imagined we already would be there by now." Hastings realizes the future direction that technological changes will send DVD rentals in. But while he expects Internet deliveries to usurp snail mail deliveries, he thinks that it will be another three to five years before the scales are tipped. (Source:

In the meantime, "Watch Now" will help Netflix prepare for the new era of movie viewing. After all, clicking a mouse a few times sure beats waiting a few days by the mailbox.

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