I found myself grumbling recently about the lack of good content available from the Netflix Watch Instantly library. Yes, I am a Netflix subscriber, but due to the limited streaming catalog, I don’t watch nearly as much content from Netflix as I do from my Comcast VOD service. Which brings up an interesting point. Exactly how valuable is new, blockbuster material?
Time Warner Cable has a proposal out to Hollywood to reduce the window of time before a new movie can be allowed out on VOD. Here’s the kicker, though. Time Warner and other cable operators expect to charge between $20 and $30 for these new-release films if Hollywood agrees to the deal. On the one hand, that sounds like an awful lot of money to watch a movie in my living room. On the other hand, the ability to offer new releases, even if consumers only purchase them infrequently, would give operators a significant leg up on the Netflix competition.
The TV platform wars are being fought on several fronts, but content is always king. Don’t think the cable and telco operators (and Netflix) don’t know it. How much is it worth to you?