It seems as if I’m the only person on my reading list who hasn’t said anything about the Netflix announcement regarding downloadable movies. There are two reasons for my silence: one is that I’m busier than a three-legged cat trying to cover shit on a marble floor when the only dirt is five miles away, and the second reason is that, to me, this is old news. Oh sure, the arrival of the technology is cool, but this has been in the works in one way or another for over 7 years. I’m happy to see all that work come to fruition, and I know it will be good, but I’m way past the point of being excited about it.
See, a lot of the articles I’ve seen about this announcement make snide comments about Netflix making this move to avoid “obsolescence,” but I don’t see that as much of an issue for Netflix. For one thing, downloadable movies are only going to account for a small percentage of their revenue for quite some time. Most people are still going to prefer the tangible DVD. But the main reason I don’t think obsolescence is an issue for Netflix is that they’re smart. Some of the sharpest people I’ve ever known have worked there, and many still do. The senior management is altogether the best I’ve ever encountered. They’re not going to let themselves become obsolete. They’ve built a strong brand, and they’ll continue to figure out how to use it.