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Netflix May Offer Streaming-Only Subscription Option

18 Feb, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings may offer a streaming-only option within the next year, according to Bloomberg News.

The “Watch Now” feature is currently paired with physical rental for Netflix subscribers, where they can watch about 12,000 titles instantly on a number of set-top boxes and computers. But in an interview with Bloomberg News Feb. 18, Hastings said, eventually the company’s future success depends on streaming.

“Right now, the power of the service is that hybrid message, the best of both,” he told the news service about offering streaming options with Netflix’s 100,000-plus DVD selection. “So we’re putting most of our wood behind that. But we recognize at some point in the long term, the streaming will be good enough that an appreciable number of people will find streaming is all they need.

“We’ve got one singular objective, which is ‘Be successful in streaming.’”

Hastings, who did not say how much the streaming-only option would cost, added Netflix is working on licensing deals for content from HBO and CBS. He said more than a million Xbox 360 users have downloaded the software necessary for instant streaming.

For Netflix to offer a streaming-only service, the company needs a bigger online library, more subscribers, and its software embedded on computers, Hastings said.

More than 600,000 new subscribers have joined Netflix since the start of the year.

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