About two years ago, Netflix
But that's changing again. The last Netflix envelope I got contained a full-color ad for Sharp television sets, with nary a mention of Netflix or Qwikster. Sure, the ad mentions that the TV sets have built-in network connections and "over 100 apps," but stops short of saying that Netflix would be among them.
So what does this mean? Did mailer ads become a viable revenue source again? Is the company getting ready to split off Qwikster with some new ad policies in place? Maybe the streaming service graduated from the need to blare its availability from every available channel?
Pending word from the company itself, I'm thinking it's a combination of all three. When the third-party ads dried up in the spring of 2009, Netflix had just over 10 million subscribers, most of them unfamiliar with digital video streams. Now, about 22 million out of the company's 24 million customers have made the explicit choice to pay for digital streams. Preaching to the choir in order to convert the last 2.2 million foot-draggers seems pointless. Under these circumstances, the ad revenue doesn't have to be huge in order to make sense.
Now, my ears would perk up if we started seeing in-mailer ads for Amazon.com
Given that Qwikster will start shipping video games soon enough, I'd expect to see industry players including Sony
Does the all-new Netflix creep you out, or is it the screaming buy of the century at today's low prices? Add the company to your Foolish watchlist to stay on top of the heavy flow of Netflix news and analysis.Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Netflix -- very carefully -- but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard, Apple, and Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of and has written calls on Activision Blizzard. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Amazon.com, Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, and Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic long position in Activision Blizzard, a bear put spread position in Netflix, and a bull call spread position in Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.