Looks like my predictions for online video in 2008 are already coming true...
#8 Online Video in the Home - We will continue to see movement towards development of devices similar to AppleTV whereby online video and online movies will start to migrate into our living-rooms apart from our desktop computers.
Here is the press release from Netflix, released today:
LG Electronics and Netflix Announce Plan to Stream Movies From the Internet to the TV
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the world's largest online movie rental service, and LG Electronics, a global consumer electronics leader, today announced they are joining forces to develop a set-top box for consumers to stream movies and other programming from the Internet to HDTVs -- bypassing the need to use a personal computer.
The collaboration is expected to deliver a compelling new online home entertainment service via technology embedded in an LG networked player planned for the second half of 2008. Today's announcement sets the stage for next week's 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES®), which will emphasize digital content as well as hardware solutions.
"Consumers crave compelling and immediate content, and the Netflix online streaming movie feature can provide instant gratification. This alliance underscores LG's goal of developing smart technologies that deliver flexibility, convenience and control to consumers," said KI Kwon, President of the Consumer Electronics Division of LG Electronics USA, Inc.
The technology collaboration supports the Netflix core strategy of offering a multi-dimensional, or "hybrid," service that gives its more than 7 million members a variety of ways to receive movies and TV series for one, low monthly fee.
With the availability of the networked LG product planned for later this year, Netflix subscribers can watch movies streamed from the Netflix Web site on their large-screen home theater HDTVs, in addition to the current capability to watch movies instantly on their PCs.
On top of its rich catalog of more than 90,000 titles on DVD delivered fast through the mail, a growing selection of more than 6,000 familiar movies and TV episodes delivered instantly over the Internet to Netflix members' personal computers or TVs will even more strongly position Netflix in online movie rentals, which it pioneered in 1997.
"Internet to the TV is a huge opportunity," said Netflix Founder, Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings. "Netflix explored also offering its own Netflix-branded set-top boxes but we concluded that familiar consumer electronics devices from industry leaders like LG Electronics are a better consumer solution for getting the Internet to the TV."
In all, today's announcement enhances LG Electronics' position as a top-tier player in the U.S. digital television marketplace and advances the Netflix goal of making electronic delivery -- including future high definition content -- a meaningful addition to its existing DVD delivery platform and a valued enhancement to the Netflix subscriber experience. Netflix took its first step in that direction in 2007 when it enabled members to instantly watch movies and TV series on their personal computers.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the development of a set-top box for delivery of content over the Internet to television sets, the delivery of a compelling online home entertainment service, Netflix's strategy and positioning in online delivery of content, and the future of Internet to the television. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ, including, without limitation; the risk that the development of the set-top box or its associated online delivery service may not meet technical requirements, consumer expectations, or otherwise be implemented by the parties; that certain studios will not grant either of the parties necessary rights or otherwise impose limitations on such rights that might impede implementation or hamper consumer adoption, Netflix's ability to create other partnership opportunities for the delivery of digital content to the television, and possible technological or content licensing impediments. Other risks and uncertainties that could impact Netflix performance are included in Netflix's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 28, 2007. Netflix undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.
About LG Electronics
LG Electronics, Inc. (KSE: 066570.KS) is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, mobile communications and home appliances, employing more than 82,000 people working in over 110 operations, including 81 subsidiaries around the world. LG Electronics USA, based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is LG's North American subsidiary. In the United States, LG Electronics sells a wide range of consumer electronics (digital display and digital media) products, mobile phones and digital appliances under LG's "Life's Good" marketing theme. For more information, please visit http://www.lgusa.com/.
About Netflix Inc.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is the world's largest online movie rental service, providing more than seven million subscribers access to over 90,000 DVD titles plus a growing library of over 6,000 titles that can be watched instantly on their PCs. The company offers nine subscription plans, starting at only $4.99 per month. There are no due dates and no late fees -- ever. All Netflix plans include both DVDs delivered to subscribers' homes and, for no additional fee, movies and TV series that can be started in as little 30 seconds on subscribers' PCs. DVDs are delivered free to members by first class mail, with a postage paid return envelope, from over 100 U.S. shipping points. Nearly 95 percent of Netflix subscribers live in areas that can be reached with generally one business day delivery. Netflix offers personalized movie recommendations to its members and has more than one billion movie ratings. For more information, visit http://www.netflix.com/.
SOURCE: Netflix Inc.