Will Netflix Survive a Future Without DVDs?

    July 5, 2008
    Chris Crum

There have been questions as to whether or not Netflix will be able to survive the future where DVDs are obsolete.

Many don’t think they will be able to compete with companies that offer downloadable and streaming movies via set top boxes.

Of course the Roku was released a while back offering Netflix movies via such a box, but a very small percentage of Netflix’s inventory is actually available through it so far (Roku has just announced that it is teaming with more content providers, so owners of the box won’t have to settle for just the limited Netflix selection).

Betsy Schiffman at Wired.com doesn’t think Netflix’s future is so gloomy, and neither do I (a happy Netflix customer of 5 years), especially when the company grew its subscriber base by 21% last quarter.

Mary Jane Irwin at Forbes.com notes that besides Roku, Netflix has recently partnered with LG Electronics and two other suppliers of set-top boxes, with Micosoft’s Xbox speculated to be a potential partner.

It is going to take some time for Netflix to offer their entire catalog in the streaming format, but I believe it will eventually get there, and their catalog is quite an extensive one.

I honestly don’t see them having much trouble competing when DVDs become obsolete. I think they’ve got time to prepare before that’s really a factor anyway, especially in an economy where many are struggling to even afford broadband Internet access.