Netflix coming to iPhone?

Chris Caceres · March 2, 2010 · Short URL:

Online video rental and streaming service, sends out survey asking its users the question

Netflix is looking into whether it should bring its services to the iPhone or not.  Hacking Netflix caught the news earlier today based on a survey question Netflix sent out to some of its users.  

The question reads as follows:

"Imagine that Netflix offers its subscribers the ability to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on their iPhone. The selection availability to instantly watch includes some new releases, lots of classics and TV episodes. There are no advertisements or trailers, and movies start in as little as 30 seconds. You can fast-forward, rewind, and pause or watch again. The movies & TV episodes you instantly watch are included in your Netflix membership for no additional fee.

Whenever you want to instantly watch content on your iPhone, your iPhone must be connected to a Wi-Fi network (such as one you might have at home or at work, or in public places like coffee shops, book stores, hotels, airports, etc.)

If this functionality were available, how likely would you or someone in your household be to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on your iPhone via a Wi-Fi network?"

The answer seems obvious - of course Netflix users like myself would want its services on our iPhones, and given that, any other mobile device the company could possibly support, ie - Android, Blackberry, Palm.

The only problem I see at the moment is the app will only be able to run on a Wi-Fi network.  Hopefully there could be a work around this issue: there's plenty of other video applications for the iPhone including YouTube and Ustream which both deliver video to the iPhone over 3G networks.

You may be asking why a simple survey could be an indicator of Netflix' next big move.  Before Netflix announced it would be extending its services to the Wii and PS3, it also surveyed its users.  As of today, the PS3 supports Netflix streaming and the Wii version is on the way.  

Netflix' business model has definitely been trending towards the streaming market.  For one, if Netflix can get its users to adopt streaming over getting dvd's deliverd by mail, it could potentially cut its costs significantly.  At the moment, its estimated Netflix pays $0.06 to deliver an SD stream and $0.09 to deliver an HD stream.  In contrast Netflix spends about 78 cents out and back for sending a DVD via physical mail.

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