Streaming War Fires Up In Earnest-Netflix Vs. The Studios

Here’s a bit of a shocker for you, folks–if you’re a Netflix subscriber, chances are two out of three that you’ve streamed a video at some point from Netflix.

Yet, when Netflix decided to open a streaming-only service, they opened it up in Europe.  When asked about it, Netflix said that they “hadn’t seen much interest” in a streaming-only service in the United States.

Considering that two thirds of subscribers had streamed, you’d think they’d welcome a shot at a streaming only plan, but two things likely stood in the way:

1. The studios HATE streaming and they hate it like Paris Hilton hates abstinence and non-Euclidean geometry. Streaming, you see, doesn’t require discs.  Doesn’t require packaging.  Doesn’t require much of anything, in fact, except a good internet connection and some way to receive the signal, be it on a PC or through a set-top box or even through some TVs.  Thus, prices necessarily fall to get interest.  Falling prices means less money for a studio system so desperate to keep you buying that they’ll make major customers like Netflix and Redbox wait an entire month to buy.

2. Internet connections are still slow across most of the country. If you don’t live in or very very close to a town of some kind, you don’t qualify for any but the slowest forms of internet access.  You’d be amazed at how many people are being refused high speed internet access because they live only a stone’s throw from the “nearest hub”.

So maybe there isn’t “sufficient interest”…but on whose part?  On the part of the customers who’d love to stream video but can’t because their internet service provider essentially won’t allow it, or on the part of the studios who stand to lose buckets of cash because they can’t sell three bucks worth of plastic or so for thirty bucks?