Ever since Netflix launched its “Watch Instantly,” streaming feature – its online library has been growing steadily. Today it’s announced a partnership with Disney to stream some of ABC’s most popular shows including Lost, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy. Although it isn’t the entire catalog of episodes – it is quite a few seasons for each of the titles, and another step towards the merging of the Internet and television. As of today, the company now offers video streams from the largest networks including, ABC, NBC and CBS.
Netflix, which once started as an alternative to traditional video rentals like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, originally provided its subscribers with DVDs delivered to their doors. In the past year, the company has integrated on-demand video streaming in an attempt to keep up with advancing video streaming services on the Web. Although Netflix does not stream these videos for free, like Hulu or even the ABC.com website, Netflix offers its subscribers ad-free, high definition video. Hulu’s videos are offered free of charged, but require users to sit through commercials.
In terms of the agreement between Netflix and Disney-ABC, this is further extending an existing online relationship between the two companies. Back in September of 2008, Netflix began streaming popular Disney shows including Hannah Montana. The deal mentioned will allow users to stream videos the day after they broadcast on television.
Aside from offering high definition online video streams, Netflix is also bringing Web video to our television sets as it advances the technology to achieve this. The company is working on bringing to market devices that can instantly stream its libraries directly to TV’s. Some of these partnerships include new Internet TV’s coming out from LG Electronics, Sony and Vizio, the Roku digital video player and the Xbox 360 gaming console. Also, users with Boxee accounts, a desktop application optimized for people who hook up their computers to their televisions, has a Netflix app which can access users accounts to stream content from the site.
Netflix’s online catalog has grown to around 12,000 movies and television episodes. The company also says it has more than 10 million subscribers.