Thursday, January 24, 2013

Netflix adds 2m streaming subs in Q4

Exciting times for digital success stories. Adding 2m STREAMING subs in one quarter is a stellar performance from NetFlix and validates the brave decision taken to aggressively go after the streaming market.

Very pleasing to see some of the early pioneers pushing through to win the argument against the Luddites. It puts the management decisions taken on strategy at Blockbuster into brutal contrast. 

When the intention by Netflix to add original programming to that mix is considered we have perhaps the first real OTT broadcaster.

As part of my full immersion experiment into the different digital consumer options (see blogs past if you can be bothered) we have fiber broadband at home and have connected a range of services in addition to Sky. On the movies front.............

1. LoveFilm via a smart TV built in app. Appallingly difficult to set up but once done stable. Choice of films and EPG poor. 2/10

2. NetFlix via a Google TV box connected to normal TV via HDMI. Simple set up and very popular with the kids. Good EPG and content selection. Best value option. Kids love it. 8/10

3. Sky Box Office. Installation totally taken care of. Content the best of the group but clunky delivery mechanism 10 years out of date made slightly better by local recording capability. Expensive 6/10.

Going forward it seems very likely that smart TV apps will improve but also that content providers will have web based apps of their own directly accepting payments rather than giving control to the TV manufacturers.

Interesting for Sky who will presumably accelerate the move to digital distribution on the back of these stellar figures from NetFlix.