• Netflix Dragging Feet on Streaming to the iPhone

    image via forcatech.com

    In what could very well be another nail in the coffin for your local video rental store, Netflix is continuing to search for new and faster ways of delivering the films and entertainment that we love.

    In a recent interview with Reuters, as chronicled on CNET, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says that he hopes to introduce video-streaming service to the iPhone. Although we've heard this claim before, it's a considerably more serious tone from the Netflix chief, as the company seems poised to not only roll out new plans to bring its service to the iPhone, but also to Sony's PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii.

    But, as Hastings points out, there is no immediate timetable for this development. And for this very reason, it's difficult for some (including myself) to get overly excited about the news.

    For the sake of full disclosure, I will admit to being a Netflix subscriber. Moreover, I am a Netflix fanatic. So having this carrot dangled in font of me with no clear time frame as to when I can actually sink my teeth into it makes it impossible to give any substantial consideration to this "prospect" without growing incredibly restless in anticipation.

    Hastings told Reuters that his hope is that Netflix's streaming service will eventually "be on all the game consoles, all the Blu-ray players, (and) all the Internet TVs." But as Hastings pointed out, his company has signed a deal with Microsoft to deliver Netflix streaming exclusively to the Xbox 360 in the video game space.
    Netflix getting all cozy with Microsoft is yet another reason to doubt that we'll see Netflix streamed to the iPhone in any modest period of time. So no matter what rumblings you may have heard about an exciting new Netflix app coming soon to the iPhone, unfortunately, that just isn't the case for now.

    Despite rumors indicating that a Netflix app is already on its way to the App Store, Hastings would not give a timetable: "(With) movie watching, we are not focused on mobile yet, but (instead) on the TV, on Blu-ray, and on the video game consoles. We will get to mobile eventually, including the iPhone." While Netflix is likely to offer such a service on the iPhone and iPod Touch "over time," he said there is little chance of Netflix video streaming becoming available in the App Store "in the short term."
    Although Hastings says he doesn't believe that the recent and forthcoming wave of video store closures at Blockbuster will help his company, I can't really see it any other way. To me, Hastings sounds like a corporate chief who is yet to wholly trust the mobile realm for entertainment. In a world where Dan Brown's new book "The Lost Symbol" is actually selling better on the Kindle than in hardcover on Amazon.com, anyone who fails to jump as quickly as possible on the mobile bandwagon will soon find themselves in the competition's dust.
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