Is Netflix The iPod of Broadband?

This was an interesting question I heard just yesterday, and no one less than the CEO of Netflix himself, asked it.  He raised a really good point, too, one that I figured would be great to bring to you guys and hash it out.

See, most of the internet companies out there are whining and complaining about how Netflix’s streaming video service is jamming up their pipes and making it impossible to continue making obscene piles of money on the cheap, as well as destroying demand for cable TV.  After all, the networks say, who in their right mind would continue to watch the preset program array, laden with commercials, that is cable when you can get your TV your way with no commercials cheaper on Netflix?

Netflix, meanwhile, doesn’t really deny any of that, but says that their streaming video service is actually DRIVING demand for cable internet services, because people want the biggest, fastest pipes possible to get their TV their way with no commercials cheaper.

This lead to the comparison–if Apple could sell more Macs because they worked with iPods, then cable can sell twenty meg internet because it works with Netflix!

Pay attention, cable companies…it’s a smart move.