Netflix is diving into an online movie feature that will be offered to subscribers at no additional charge.  Currently, there will be 1,000 movies and TV shows available to view.  This “Instant Viewing” feature was designed and aimed for the under-30 crowd, the same crowd that has made YouTube popular.  A lot of people are excited about this, but with anything, there are still a few aspects to take into consideration before you go running after Netflix to set up an account.

Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings says, “For consumers under 30, they are doing so much with online video this is a natural extension of their usage paradigm on a laptop.” This comes two months after Blockbuster announced their “Total Access” program that allows subscribers to swap movies in-store.  The move by Blockbuster caused a bit of a stir with Netflix customers, some which switched services for the enticing offer.

This new virtual delivery process has been a work in progress for quite some time.  Netflix has a goal of signing up 20 million subscribers by 2012.  That’s a pretty hefty goal, and might take more than a virtual delivery process to meet it.  Subscribers will be required to install software so that they will be able to stream movie from the Internet. One good thing is that it’s designed to adjust the resolution based upon the user’s bandwidth to prevent the movie from freezing.

A few things to consider and think about…. How often do you really like to watch a movie on your PC? If you had the choice, wouldn’t you rather sit down in front of the TV to watch a movie?  I wouldn’t exactly consider this a quality viewing experience.  This service will be available only for XP and Vista operating systems, Mac users will be neglected for now. And finally, there are still people that haven’t taken the plunge and switched from a dial-up service to broadband Internet.  They definitely wouldn’t be able to take advantage of this.

Now that I’ve said it wouldn’t exactly be a quality viewing experience, that alone may be to the advantage of Netflix.  Some people don’t care about quality.  They care that they can get what they want, when they want it, and fast.  And of course, there’s always the option to connect your PC to a TV to get a better experience.

The cost for this was 40 million with some of the money allotted to licensing deals with companies like NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and the list goes on… Because Netflix isn’t charging anything additional, they are definitely taking a risk with this service and betting on more subscribers to increase revenue. 

It will take several months for the service to be available to everyone. The amount of time allotted to each subscriber to watch streamed content varies upon their plan with Netflix.  Plans range from 6 hours of viewing time to 18 hours of online viewing time per month. And, to make sure that their servers can handle the demand, Netflix will be rolling this new service out slowly over the next six months.

News Source: Yahoo

Thanks for the tip CoryC!