Netflix and Microsoft have signed a deal to stream films and TV programmes to the Xbox 360.
Starting in the autumn, over 10,000 films and TV episodes available to Xbox Live Gold subscribers who are Netflix subscribers, all for no additional cost.
Netflix previously came to public mass attention, with their service to post rental DVDs to people, removing the need for shops, a la Blockbuster.
By moving to electronic distribution, Netflix finally become frictionless by dropping the posting of DVDs – but balanced by their increased bandwidth bills.
The anticipated benefit for Netflix will be the increase in subscriptions to their service.
Hype set to stun
John Schappert, the corporate VP of Interactive Entertainment LIVE is very clearly excited about the idea — well it is his job I guess — he exploded into “Watching movies at home will never be the same.” … Oooo Kay …
Taking a leaf out of the training manual from the Neasden school of hype-maxing, he went on, “Netflix on Xbox 360 is an entertainment first, and we are bringing friends together with the best in entertainment content like no other device in the living room. We are creating a completely new social entertainment experience.”
Err … like watching TV … or a video through a VCR?
Netflix only on 360
Netflix have made this deal exclusive with the 360, so owners of other platforms will need to look elsewhere for their film fix.
The exclusivity is one way to Microsoft’s benefit. Their Xbox LIVE Marketplace Video Store already has over 45 networks and studios, with in excess of 6,000 hours of TV programmes and film.
History of ideas catchup with Microsoft
Today’s deal is hardly a surprise.
Not only has Netflix been talking about delivering films over the Internet since March 2004, indeed they hooked up with TiVo back in Sept 2004, but on the arrival of the US Xbox Live service, back in August 2002 when Microsoft was very much under attack for controlling ‘all’ computers, I wrote …
There’s only a small paragraph on how the Xbox will be able to receive and store additional content via the service. I think this is the area that holds some of the most exciting potential but they still concerned about highlighting this fact to people, in case people think MS is taking over their lounge – which must have crossed their minds.
Oh well, only took Microsoft six years to catchup!
Just goes to prove that things never move as quickly as you might expect.