Thursday, January 17, 2008

iTunes vs. Netflix

I have not had an opportunity to try out either iTunes movie rentals or Netflix streaming (though my wife has used the Netflix streaming with a free trial we had). The news has been trying to pit Netflix vs. Apple, but I think that this blog post in the NY Times hits the nail on the head. Apple is really competing with Blockbuster (and the on demand cable options). Apple will have many newer titles that Netflix just can't afford to have with its unlimited streaming. I think it will also appeal to completely different audiences, albeit with some overlap. Personally, I have no interest in paying $3.99 for a rental that I can only watch for 24 hours. I'd much rather use a DVD-by-mail program or Redbox at $1 per day. The people this will appeal to are those who will be going on a trip and want to watch it on their iPod, those who for one reason or another can't get out of the house at the time, or impulse renters. Netflix's streaming will appeal more to people like me (budget conscious, knows how to hook up their laptop to the tv, doesn't mind watching older movies/shows). I think both programs will do well, but I see this as being another nail in Blockbuster's coffin, not Netflix's.

1 comment:

Sean said...

Comparing the two is definitely a case of apples and oranges in multiple ways. The iTunes model is for those who either don't care about price or don't watch many movies or need the portability of having a movie on their iPod. While the Netflix model is for those who are either cost conscious, watch a lot of movies or a good deal of independent movies that don't make it to the major studios, or for those who are technically proficient enough to connect a pc to a tv.

Netflix works for us because we fit the second group in multiple ways and barely fit any of the first group. We're nearly halfway through the first season of "Friday Night Lights" via Netflix streaming service and it's only cost us our normal monthly rate, while watching the same 7 episodes with iTunes would have cost us $21 ($7 more than we pay a month with Netflix), so financially it's a better deal for us.

Anyway, I don't think it's a fare comparison because the models are so different.