Netflix is dead

Ahh, I was right. The coolest stuff at CES is over at the Sands. Too bad Dave Winer left before he could get over there. And I’m not talking about the adult entertainment convention that’s going on there right now either.

As an example over there I dropped in on Verisign’s booth. It’s very easy to miss what they are now shipping: a Netflix killer.

Here’s what they were demoing: a peer-to-peer system for selling and distributing high-def videos. It really rocks. I downloaded a movie while there in the booth and the quality wasn’t distinguishable from the HD-DVD’s I get from Netflix.

It made me realize why would any of us go into a Blockbuster in the future, or wait two days for a DVD to show up from Netflix.

There are several companies that are trying to do the same thing as Verisign — distribute videos over P2P networks to reduce distribution cost and improve time to get a movie to you.

The problem is that those networks require users to load some software on their machines. Anytime I hear that I realize that getting people to do that is going to be difficult.

But on Monday Verisign announced a deal with Adobe who’ll distribute their P2P infrastructure along with the next version of the Flash player. That’ll get it into tons of homes nearly overnight.

Translation: Netflix and Blockbuster have a LOT to be worried about.

239 thoughts on “Netflix is dead

  1. If you want to see some of this technology in action you can visit AxiomTV (www.axiom.tv) and download some movies using the VeriSign CDN (there are plenty of free ones to try, I like the Popeye cartoons). I was the lead developer on the site and worked with VeriSign to put movies on their delivery network. Note that our site uses VeriSign’s CDN but not Adobe’s Flash solution.

    Before you knock VeriSign or Adobe, try checking out some of the technology in action. It’s still new and we’re working hard to make it better, but right now you can download a movie and start playing it in within a few minutes.

    I don’t think anyone will be killing Netflix or Blockbuster anytime soon. They are good companies that are adapting and offering downloads in their own ways. Everyone is just trying to figure out the best ways to use the internet to deliver video. We’re only now reaching the point where broadband penetration is great enough to support it so know we are dealing with codecs, players, delivery networks, payment models, DRM, and a slew of other issues with no one clear solution.

    If anyone has questions about anything use the contact form at http://www.axiom.tv and I’ll be happy to answer your questions or respond to your comments.

  2. If you want to see some of this technology in action you can visit AxiomTV (www.axiom.tv) and download some movies using the VeriSign CDN (there are plenty of free ones to try, I like the Popeye cartoons). I was the lead developer on the site and worked with VeriSign to put movies on their delivery network. Note that our site uses VeriSign’s CDN but not Adobe’s Flash solution.

    Before you knock VeriSign or Adobe, try checking out some of the technology in action. It’s still new and we’re working hard to make it better, but right now you can download a movie and start playing it in within a few minutes.

    I don’t think anyone will be killing Netflix or Blockbuster anytime soon. They are good companies that are adapting and offering downloads in their own ways. Everyone is just trying to figure out the best ways to use the internet to deliver video. We’re only now reaching the point where broadband penetration is great enough to support it so know we are dealing with codecs, players, delivery networks, payment models, DRM, and a slew of other issues with no one clear solution.

    If anyone has questions about anything use the contact form at http://www.axiom.tv and I’ll be happy to answer your questions or respond to your comments.

  3. As a Netflix subscriber, what I enjoy is the queue. I read about a movie that sounds interesting, add to my queue and sometime later – days, weeks, it shows up. I always have 2 – 4 movies in the house, so I always have something to watch, but I have made the choice already. I hate having to choose what to watch when I sit down. I can go, hmm, I have “Casino,” I can watch that next weekend.

  4. As a Netflix subscriber, what I enjoy is the queue. I read about a movie that sounds interesting, add to my queue and sometime later – days, weeks, it shows up. I always have 2 – 4 movies in the house, so I always have something to watch, but I have made the choice already. I hate having to choose what to watch when I sit down. I can go, hmm, I have “Casino,” I can watch that next weekend.

  5. it’s not over until the fat lady sings, as they say :) Just saw a piece in the express paper today en route to the DC airport here this morning, and NetFlix is launching a “Watch Now” feature at their online store, so people can download a movie via high-speed broadband internet to watch (almost) instantly! This’ll avert its obsolescence, and there’re probably enough people who’d prefer to stick with their NetFlix queue habit than to switch to a new provider to do movies.

  6. it’s not over until the fat lady sings, as they say :) Just saw a piece in the express paper today en route to the DC airport here this morning, and NetFlix is launching a “Watch Now” feature at their online store, so people can download a movie via high-speed broadband internet to watch (almost) instantly! This’ll avert its obsolescence, and there’re probably enough people who’d prefer to stick with their NetFlix queue habit than to switch to a new provider to do movies.

  7. I wouldn’t wait that long for a movie to arrive at my mailbox, that’d just hilarious. I will just get it on demand or I will rent it somewhere else.

  8. I wouldn’t wait that long for a movie to arrive at my mailbox, that’d just hilarious. I will just get it on demand or I will rent it somewhere else.

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    Fun stuff…

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  13. “It made me realize why would any of us go into a Blockbuster in the future, or wait two days for a DVD to show up from Netflix.”

    Because satellite Internet will always be laggy and few people will want to use it as their primary connection line. It will be more than a decade until most North American people are on the speed of modern broadband.

  14. “It made me realize why would any of us go into a Blockbuster in the future, or wait two days for a DVD to show up from Netflix.”

    Because satellite Internet will always be laggy and few people will want to use it as their primary connection line. It will be more than a decade until most North American people are on the speed of modern broadband.

  15. What about a system where movies can be downloaded from the computer onto a memory card and then then memory card could be used with the television system.

    Verisign could work with PNY.

  16. What about a system where movies can be downloaded from the computer onto a memory card and then then memory card could be used with the television system.

    Verisign could work with PNY.

  17. Netflix is not dead, far from it, the New Blockbuster Access(trading my movies in store, while other a still being shipped, awesome) may dent it more than this p2p network. I hate watching movies from my PC, even when I have my 32″ Flat LCD hooked up to it. If could import to itunes and use something like an AppleTV, then maybe. Agrees with some of the posters, that relying on other people for content is a horrible way to get movies, and not to mention the added security concerns. Another factor, Connection speed, while high speed is growing and constantly getting faster, I personally know of places that are still using dial-up, simply because high speed internet isn’t even offered.

  18. Netflix is not dead, far from it, the New Blockbuster Access(trading my movies in store, while other a still being shipped, awesome) may dent it more than this p2p network. I hate watching movies from my PC, even when I have my 32″ Flat LCD hooked up to it. If could import to itunes and use something like an AppleTV, then maybe. Agrees with some of the posters, that relying on other people for content is a horrible way to get movies, and not to mention the added security concerns. Another factor, Connection speed, while high speed is growing and constantly getting faster, I personally know of places that are still using dial-up, simply because high speed internet isn’t even offered.

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