NetFlix' new Watch Now service will let a select view of the DVD distributor's six million customers watch movies over the Internet.
Select view, meaning 250,000 or so additional subs per week, until a June target date for complete subscriber base enablement.
Since this content will not be downloaded but will live on NetFlix's servers, this isn't the type of model that can aggressively compete against the liked of Movielink,Verizon's fiber-to-the-home, as well as initiatives from the likes of Apple and Amazon.com.
But then maybe they don't have to.
Technologists view downloadable movies as a preference soon to snuff out the NetFlix legacy movies through the mail model, and brand this new streaming-type service as DOA.
While Watch Now is subject to download speeds that can fluctuate even on the most robust conssumer broadband access networks, I do think the through-the-mail option will be here for awhile. It isn't every NetFlix user that is a potential early- or even mainstream- adopter for the advanced sevices that NetFlix is offering.
Some observers think these are too little, too late baby steps. Sure, NetFlix is late to this game, but they have six million loyal users who aren't going to defect just because Apple, Amazon or Verizon is spotlighting something new.
We're not just talking about Luddites here. We are talking about millions of subscribers who care more about movies than how those movies get to their tv, PC, or whatever.