Netflix: No Platform Left Behind

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) will not rest until you can stream movies on your toaster.

The "instant watching" feature of the digital movie service already pumps out pixels to Sony TVs, Samsung Blu-ray players, TiVo set-top boxes, every modern video game console on the market, and much more. The Netflix movie-watching app is a big hit on the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPad, and there's an iPhone version headed your way this summer.

Loath to leave a platform too far behind, the company is gearing up for a launch on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android devices, too. Netflix is hiring video engineers with Android expertise at the moment. This makes a ton of sense because Android is growing like the dollar weeds on my lawn and will eventually be a bigger end-user delivery platform than the Apple ecosystem. While the operating system currently runs on nothing but smartphones, that's about to change; Android tablets are on their way, alongside TV sets and set-top boxes powered by the operating system. It's a match made in heaven: Everywhere Android goes, Netflix wants to be, too.

In fact, the synergies between the Netflix media delivery model and Google's Android ambitions make me wonder why analysts keep pointing to Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) whenever they're building Netflix buyout rumors, with the occasional mention of Apple. Google has definite entertainment plans and buckets full of cash; Netflix has the movie magic know-how and could always use some more money to pay up for more digital movie licenses. Moreover, the two corporate cultures seem very much aligned already, as both companies promote self-starter innovation to degrees I haven't seen anywhere else.

I'm fine with Netflix staying independent forever, but if a sugar daddy ever steps up, I'd expect it to be Google.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Netflix and Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple, Amazon, and Netflix are Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.


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