Netflix continues to enjoy immense popularity as a subscription-based movie rental and streaming video service, a business model which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings previously said would stay the same going forward.
"We don't plan to enter the pay-per-view segment, where Apple, Amazon, Sony, and others focus, or the ad-supported segment, where Hulu, YouTube, and other compete," Hastings said in July 2008.
Maybe success has gotten to Netflix's head. Since Hastings' statement, Netflix has made major gains to its streaming service, which is now found on Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, offered through a standalone Roku player, integrated into select Blu-ray players, and even is available on some TiVo units. More homes than ever now have easy access to Netflix's streaming catalog, and a new customer survey seems to suggest that Hastings and company might be reconsidering Netflix's position as a subscription-only business. One of the questions being asked is whether customers would be willing to pay an additional $10 per month to stream "HBO original series and movies."
It's unclear how quickly Netflix would make new episodes of, say, Big Love available for viewing after first appearing on HBO, or whether new episodes would be available at the same time. But what is clear is that Netflix has become too large to ignore other business models. Even if survey respondents shoot down the idea of a $10/month HBO add-on, one has to wonder how long it will be before additional services find their way onto Netflix.
Would you pay a premium for HBO content through your Netflix account? Hit the jump and sound off.
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