News from the Netflix Investor Day was quite interesting. The CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, said that the DVD-by-mail business will peak in as soon as five years. What? That's not going to inspire confidence in investors, will it? Good news for Wall Street, though. He does expect 10 million subscribers by next year, and once they move into the streaming DVD market, hopes to get over 20 million folks signed up. What's the hidden message here?
As other business models develop for movie delivery, the mail-order business is predicted to decline. Why wait for the mailman to pull up when you can go online and download instantly? Apple and Amazon are both pushing this option, and more and more viewing options are available, making it easy to get movies from the Internet to your TV.
Other hard-copy DVD options are popping up too. Grocery store kiosks are surprisingly easy to use, and even more surprisingly, popular. Shoot -- you had to go to the store to get the popcorn anyway, right?
The Netflix business model was revolutionary, but it sounds like they're already struggling to stay ahead of the curve as technology changes daily.—Leslie Shapiro
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