“Our job is to make the technology disappear,” said Kevin Lewis, Blockbuster Digital Entertainment. “All you need is this remote control.”
And with that, the race was on between Netflix and Blockbuster. Who was going to take the market? It’s a substantial market, make no mistake, and the two major DVD rental chains–one a purely web-based enterprise with distribution centers all over the place and one a mostly brick and mortar operation with probably more stores than Netflix has distribution centers–both want the biggest slice of the pie.
Where they’re looking to take it is something we’ve all known about for some time–right to your set-top box. Or, in some cases, to your blu-ray player that also has a set-top attachment.
See, Netflix named itself with the concept of digital delivery in mind. Some folks out there claim that they would have called themselves DVDs By Mail, but didn’t, because they knew that the net was going to be the primary delivery system of “flix” before it was all said and done. Considering they started back in 1998, this wasn’t exactly a far-fetched vision.
But who will come out ahead? The answer is as simple as it is complex: whoever can provide the easiest to use service with the most available titles for the best possible price. And considering the inroads Netflix already has, I’d say they’re out in front.