(From The New York Times -- By Miguel Helft)
WIKIPEDIA, the online encyclopedia, lists more than five dozen personalities whose obituaries were published prematurely.
Someone may want to add NETFLIX to that list.
The impending death of the company, with its online system for renting DVDs delivered by mail, was predicted late in 2002, when WAL-MART said it would enter the business; again last year, when APPLE and AMAZON announced movie-downloading services; and again last week, after the introduction of a series of products and services intended to bring Internet video to television sets.
But Wal-Mart left the online rental business in 2005 and now refers customers to Netflix.
Meanwhile, none of the movie-downloading services have gained much traction with consumers, the notion of taking Internet video content to TV sets remains a work in progress, and Netflix keeps signing up new customers at a fast clip.
It was expected to end 2006 with 6.3 million subscribers and nearly $1 billion in revenue, or about 12 percent of the
$8.4 billion annual DVD rental market.
"We've gotten used to it," Netflix's Chief Executive,
REED HASTNGS, said of the doomsday predictions.
But Mr. Hastings also said he understood why questions about his business kept coming up. "Because DVD is not a hundred-year format, people wonder what will Netflix's second act be."
On Tuesday, Mr. Hastings will begin to answer that question.
Netflix is introducing a service to deliver movies and television shows directly to users' PCs, not as downloads
but as streaming video, which is not retained in computer memory.
The service, which is free to Netflix subscribers, is meant to give the company a toehold in the embryonic world of Internet movie distribution.
Netflix To Deliver Movies To The PC
John Santamaria, thanks for the post.