updated 01:15 pm EST, Fri February 20, 2009
Stream-only Netflix plans
Netflix will offer a streaming-only subscription option by 2010, according to CEO Reed Hastings. Though the company was founded on the concept of mail-order DVD rental, which still forms the bulk of its business, Hastings notes that "millions" of its 10 million subscribers are taking advantage of streaming through computers or set-top boxes. Microsoft's Xbox 360 is said to be a particularly popular medium, with over 1 million Netflix users.
A streaming-only plan is mainly said to be contingent on increasing the overall number of subscribers, which will allow the company to buy the streaming rights to more titles and make an online-only subscription more appealing. The company's future is in streaming, notes Hastings, as it concerned about the public increasingly preferring Internet options over physical delivery. No prices have been suggested for a streaming-only plan, though one may arrive as soon as late 2009.