Why shouldn't we believe Netflix
My friend Rick Munarriz says Hastings would be crazy to commit to the iPhone right now. I say he'd be crazy not to.
Sure, there are bigger priorities, including game consoles, TV, and Blu-ray. But there are also several good reasons why a partnership with Apple
1. You can't count on YouTube
There's no turning back for Steve Jobs. He'll never again be as close to Google's
YouTube is the problem for Apple here. The video-sharing service is already a featured iPhone application; what happens when movie renters begin using it?
Think about how often you use iTunes to play a video on your iPhone. If you're like me -- and I'll bet you are -- you're using YouTube for video and the iTunes App Store to deliver new software and software updates.
This model can't last if YouTube becomes a rental hub, and that creates an opportunity for Netflix. A simple app could connect Apple's trailers site with your Netflix account to instantly add your favorite previewed flicks to your queue. And that's just the beginning.
2. Carriers need a bigger load
From time to time, we all complain about the service that our mobile carriers provide. AT&T
This is at least partly due to the volume of data pumped through Ma Bell's wireless pipes. There's too much of it now, and the load is growing daily. AT&T is spending billions to meet the demands on its infrastructure, causing some to question whether the iPhone is even worth the hassle.
Here's the problem: Nokia's
That's important if you think of traffic as freight. United Parcel Service makes its biggest dollars from odd-sized, gotta-have-it-tomorrow deliveries. In a similar way, AT&T, Verizon
3. Hollywood needs Netflix
Movies make headlines at the box office, and profits from DVD sales. Or at least that's how it has been. Ask Marvel Entertainment. The Incredible Hulk was no box-office smash, but it still earned profits for the studio thanks to DVD sales.
Annually, DVD rentals are a better-than-$20 billion business. Netflix is the DVD rental market leader, and Hollywood studios want to see it renting discs for years to come. They'd likely support any technology that makes getting a disc to your door simpler and faster. (See point 1.)
Streaming isn't the only option when it comes to Netflix and the iPhone, but it is a very good option. Possibly as a replacement for YouTube. Or perhaps as a screening mechanism for iTunes previews. Either way, Netflix has a high-quality video player that's suitable for any Wi-Fi connected device.
Especially the iPhone.
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Apple, Marvel, and Netflix are Stock Advisor selections. Nokia and Sprint Nextel are Inside Value picks. Google is a Rule Breakers recommendation. United Parcel Service is an Income Investor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple, Google, and Marvel and a stock position in Nokia at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy is waiting for its star on Wall Street's Walk of Fame.