Is Netflix destined to fail?
Will Amazon turn from online mega retailer to full service content provider?
Will Google continue to sell us content so that we can click on their ads?
These are all questions that Netflix spawned this week when they announced drastic changes to their pricing policy. If Neflix goes down, and it seems like they might, as they just don’t have the relationships in place to continue moving forward with their On-Demand services, Google, Amazon and Apple all seem posed to take over.
Most people despise their cable operators enough to not buy on-demand movies through them and moving to Google TV/Apple TV or Amazon Instant streaming service all seem like viable options that may end up being the easiest ways to get fresh content.
Amazon seems like the best option to me. They started out by becoming THE place to get books and then get everything else. They offered everybook imaginable on their site and then made the leap to digital books and are able to keep their price points at a reasonable, if not cheap price. They already have the capability to provide access to the movies. You can already buy nearly every movie ever made from their site. So what is stopping them from providing you with every movie available to stream?
Google could end up being the long term winner in everything technology related. They aren’t always first to market but they are able to continually provide users with FREE content that is accessed easily through mediums they are already using. They’ve also just launched a music service to rival Amazon’s MP3 store and Apple’s iTunes. And they have Google Books and recently launched their own branded ereader to rival the Kindle. If those two services can take off, this would lend Google to have the upper hand among their competition in creating the ultimate suite of content services, available on your TV, laptop/PC, or Android mobile device. They have all access points covered and all they need to do is connect all this digital content to your Google+ account and all of a sudden Facebook and Twitter are no longer relevant, Amazon and Apple don’t have the access points and Google gives you the content and serves you the ads, raking in all the money. It’s a win win for them if they can pull it off.
Apple makes great devices. They aren’t for everyone though. They are expensive and elitest in their marketing efforts. iTunes is a great service but with so many other options available, they seem destined to take their ball and go play by themselves. They one caveat to this is the ability to strike an exclusive deal with a movie studio with the launch of a new product…AppleTV3D anyone? That or something similar with an exclusive studio deal could seal Apples venture into streaming movies much like they took over the cell phone market for a while.
Either way, Netflix doesn’t seem equipped to fight off all three of these competitors. More than likely, they will probably remain in business servicing the customers who either don’t want to migrate to the digital services or who don’t have access to highspeed internet connections.
For further reading, here is a great article on Netflix from Lance Ulanoff and PCmag.com that spawned my post.