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Will Netflix’s latest moves concerning streaming media be enough to compete with the new contenders?


Netflix Streaming Media

Netflix has come out with two major announcements over the past two weeks detailing strategic moves that will certainly solidify their position at the top of the heap in the rapidly changing world of Streaming Media.  While these moves certainly mark a continued shift in the distribution of major motion pictures in the U.S, will they be enough to keep Netflix at the top?  The two press releases were:

  • July 6, 2010 – Netflix and Relativity Media Announce Groundbreaking Deal to Stream First Run, Studio Quality Theatrical Movies to Netflix Subscribers.
  • July 15, 2010 – Warner Bros. and Netflix Announce Expanded Agreement Covering Streaming Content.

While I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for a number of years, the truth is that Netflix has never been known to have the “freshest” of content available, especially when it comes to streaming.  These two new moves, however, seem to be addressing that concern and really could change those perceptions.  Here is a brief overview of both announcements:

Netflix and Relativity Media Announce Groundbreaking Deal to Stream First Run, Studio Quality Theatrical Movies to Netflix Subscribers (July 6, 2010)

  • Agreement Marks Big Shift in Film Distribution – First Time Content is Made Available for Subscription Streaming, Bypassing ‘Pay TV’

Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Relativity Media, LLC today announced a long term agreement through which major theatrically released films owned by Relativity will be licensed directly and exclusively to Netflix for streaming to its subscribers during the “pay TV window.”  Traditionally, these films have flowed through Relativity’s studio releasing partners to output deals with premium TV channels.

Broadening the range and appeal of content available for Netflix members to watch instantly is among the company’s top priorities, and the agreement with Relativity is a meaningful step in building the company’s streaming offer.

“Our continued goal is to expand the breadth and timeliness of films and TV shows available to stream on Netflix,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix.  “Historically, the rights to distribute these films are pre-sold to pay TV for as long as nine years after their theatrical release.  Through our partnership with Relativity, these films will start to become available to our members just months after their DVD release.”

Read the full press release here.

Warner Bros. and Netflix Announce Expanded Agreement Covering Streaming Content (July 15, 2010)

  • Arrangement Extends Current Catalog Movie Deal and Adds Catalog TV Shows, Including ‘Nip/Tuck’

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) today announced an expansion of the companies’ existing streaming content agreement. The new agreement adds a slate of catalog TV shows available to watch instantly at Netflix and extends the existing license for catalog movies through 2011.

Most notably, Netflix has acquired streaming rights – for a period of four years – to all 100 episodes of the Golden Globe® Award–winning drama series “Nip/Tuck.” (Separately, “Nip/Tuck” will air simultaneously in a linear pattern on the cable network Logo via an off-cable syndication deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.) As part of its deal, Netflix has also acquired streaming rights to the series “Veronica Mars,” “Pushing Daisies” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” among others.

“Our Netflix streaming relationship is a good example of the opportunities the digital space provides to make content available in new ways at appropriate points in the product lifecycle,” said Thomas Gewecke, president, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “This agreement establishes an additional stop on the economic chain for our library content while providing consumers with more convenience and choice.”

Earlier this year, Netflix and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced an agreement under which new release titles on DVD and Blu-ray will be made available to Netflix subscribers after a 28-day window, giving Warner Bros. the opportunity to maximize the sales potential of those titles along with an extended revenue share period and Netflix the benefits of reduced product costs, significantly more units and better in-stock levels four weeks after street date. The agreement announced today does not alter the previous arrangement with regard to the 28-day window for new release titles.

Read the full press release here.

Both of these announcements show that Netflix is very serious about competing in the every popular and vital world of streaming media against the likes of older adversaries like Blockbuster, but also, and perhaps more importantly, against the new comers like Boxee and Google TV who are entering the fray in a very serious manner.

We’ll be doing a review of Boxee and its new appliance in the near future, but in the mean time, make sure you’ve taken a look at our Google TV article written by Alan.

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of this!  What are your thoughts about where streaming media is headed and what impact will it have on our old school cable and satellite providers?

About the Author

BillyPut simply, Tom (a.k.a Billy) loves technology! He’s been involved in the IT world since leaving the Navy in 1992 and has moved his way up to the top on the systems engineering side. After taking a short deviation into home automation, he’s never been able to shake his love for creating an environment of complete integration at home. If there is a way to make the various systems in his home more seamless (even if they weren’t originally meant to talk to each other) he’s up to the challenge of figuring out how to make it work!View all posts by Billy

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    medical assistant07-18-2010

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  2. PingMonkey

    It seems like Netflix is taking steps to ensure that the remain relevant in the media rental area. Kudos to them

  3. John

    Great article. Like you, I too have been a loyal Netflix subscriber for a few years. In the recent months, I have been debating cancelling my subscription because of the long wait it takes to get recent releases. It's great to hear that Netflix is finally stepping up their game. This news and their willingness to stream to many different platforms will definately keep me from considering their other competitors. Thanks for keeping us updated.

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    dental hygienist08-05-2010

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    Wow! This site is really good 😀 Great information!!

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