What should Apple do with all that money? Some say the company should buy Neflix and get into media streaming a big way. I say to Apple, ‘just say no to Netflix.’ Why? Content may be king, but Netflix is not the king of content.
15-minutes Of Fame
What does Netflix have that Apple does not? Apple has more customers, more money, more ways to display content, more ways to stream content to customers.
Netflix, until recently, was a darling on Wall Street, reflected in a rising stock price that seems to have hit a wall as reality prevails.
The reality is this. Despite what Richard Saintvilus says, Netflix doesn’t have much for Apple to buy that Apple doesn’t already have.
Wait. Netflix has 44-million subscribers. Alright, Apple has about 500-million paying customers, plus technology, plus agreements with content providers. Netflix has content, too, right.
Have you compared Netflix’s content library to what Apple has in iTunes?
What Netflix has is an
unproven unprofitable business model that streams content for a flat monthly subscription rate; a model which the market is now beginning to realize has no legs.
Netflix has agreements to stream TV shows and movies but have you looked at what’s actually in that library recently? The total numbers look impressive, but other than a few dozen headliners, Netflix vaunted library appears nearly full of content that no one cares about.
Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher? How about The Real Husbands of Hollywood? How about Disney’s The Aristocats? Yes, the Netflix library of content appears large, but is it deep enough to cut out cable TV entirely?
No. Content providers will never let Netflix become to video content what iTunes is to the music industry already. The subscription model is attractive to subscribers, but profitable is it to the rest of the cable TV industry (which provides internet access for much of the U.S.) or the content producers?
The answer is ‘Not enough.’
Television is a tough nut to crack so kudos to Apple, Netflix, Hulu, and others who want to invent the future of content on demand. For now, Netflix’s attempts to become the dominant player are anemic at best, and through a series of notorious bandwidth agreements may singlehandedly destroy the famed ‘net neutrality‘ needed to make it happen, an issue which seems to be less of a problem in other countries with more advanced internet infrastructure.
Apple may not have the solution to provide all content on demand, but neither does Netflix, and the rest of the entertainment industry and distributors are too fragmented to create their own inclusive solution.