A few weeks after the most eager Wii owners were granted a preview of Netflix on their console, the company has opened up the chance for all subscribers to access the ‘Watch Instantly’ content on their games machine.
And that’s a lot of people.
Watch Instantly On Consoles
Netflix has taken an aggressive approach to getting its ‘Watch Instantly’ streaming service on to devices other than computers. And games consoles have been at the heart of its strategy, as the company quickly realized how these Internet-connected living room hubs could be utilized effectively.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the first console to secure Netflix support in what was an exclusive deal for a period of time. Then the Sony PS3 joined in, followed by the Nintendo Wii a little later. Users of the latter two are having to rely on streaming discs until full support is offered.
Netflix On Wii
January 2010 saw Netflix CEO Reed Hastings promise that ‘Watch Instantly’ would soon be heading to the Wii. And streaming discs started being sent out to a selected few subscribers at the end of March.
Now, however, Netflix is opening up its offer, with all Wii owners who subscribe to Netflix having the chance to apply for a streaming disc which will enable them to get all ‘Watch Instantly’ content on their games console.
This is a huge opportunity for Netflix as the Wii is the best-selling home console of this generation so far. Around 33 million Wii consoles have been sold in the States at the time of writing, and it’s estimated that one in four of these are Netflix subscribers.
The casual nature of Wii owners means they’re less likely to hook their console up to the Internet. However, if even a small percentage of Wii owners who subscribe to Netflix receive a disc and do so then the number of people streaming ‘Watch Instantly’ content will increase massively.
While some of those who have used the Wii to stream ‘Watch Instantly’ content complained it wasn’t up to scratch, I doubt a slight dip in video quality will bother the majority of users. So this looks like being another victory for Netflix. And another reason to doubt Redbox will ever be able to catch up.
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