Andrew Bond on Fool.com reports that NCR "...has essentially become Blockbuster," and is working on a streaming strategy:
NCR is also planning on joining the digital revolution. The company has partnered with InMotion entertainment and will be installing kiosks in airports across the United States. Travelers will be able to download movies, e-books, music, and other digital media to their personal devices. NCR will look to expand its offerings to other kiosks in time. Coinstar's (Nasdaq: CSTR) Redbox is NCR's main competitor in this space, and it also plans on entering the streaming video market.
Seems like everyone is working on a streaming offering...
Inside Redbox reports that Redbox (a division of Coinstar) revenue was up 54%, and Coinstar CEO Paul Davis confirmed that they are seeking a streaming partner, but no announcement yet:
“We are at the table in negotiations, discussing the possibility with a number of partners . . . We’re far better off by partnering [for digital distribution], and we can leverage a partner’s technology. We feel that’s the most prudent path. I’ll tell you there’s a lot of interest out there.”
Roku officially announced the Netgear deal we've known about since early September, putting the Roku Player into Best Buy, Fry's and Radio Shack. The most interesting part of the announcement is that this is the first Roku license, and Roku is actively pursuing new consumer electronics licensees.
Do you want Roku's 85 channels built into your TV, Blu-ray player, home theater, or other connected device?
Peter Kafka at AllThingsD wonders if Netflix's spending on streaming could cost them billions next year. Citing a Netflix 10-Q filing, Netflix has already committed $1.2 billion in streaming deals, but renewing the Starz deal could bring that total to more than $2 billion.
The Starz deal gives Netflix access to Sony and Disney titles, so it’s crucial that Reed Hastings hangs on to it. And that will make a new Starz deal about as expensive as the Epix deal, says Barclays analyst Douglas Anmuth: He figures Netflix will have a total streaming commitment of $2 billion by the end of 2011.
The magic of the Netflix Web model, though, is that as people consume more on the Web, they cut back on discs –”You’re replacing the postal cost with content cost,” in Hastings’s words.
So, do you think Netflix getting their money's worth from these deals?
TechCrunch reports that more than 275,000 Comcast customers cut the cable TV cord last month, and Comcast is blaming the economy:
During the earnings call, Comcast blamed the drop on the lousy economy. Always a handy excuse. Sure, many people are struggling right now, and it makes sense that the high cost of cable is an expense they can no longer afford. Comcast said, based on exit interviews, only a ‘small number‘ seemed to cut the cord for over-the-air signals, and they are not planning to switch to internet tv alternatives.
In related news, Comcast's Xfinity (Fancast) service went live, and if you're not a HBO or Showtime subscriber the choices for movies are pretty weak, like Hulu's.
Home Media Magazine cites an analyst report that Redbox will announce a new partner for streaming tomorrow, possibly Amazon or Wal-Mart.
Citing changes to its corporate structure disclosed in an Oct. 26 regulatory filing, Eric Wold, analyst with Merriman Curhan Ford in New York, said he expects Coinstar will unveil a deal with either Wal-Mart or Amazon to distribute disc and streaming on a monthly subscription basis.
Wal=Mart, which owns and operates Vudu movie download service, represents 20% of Redbox’s retail footprint. Amazon, which sells physical media and transactional video-on-demand via Amazon VOD, has said it is working on a streaming initiative.
Things are about to get very, very interesting....
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has made the final 4 in Fortune's Businessperson of the year contest. Hastings is slightly behind Steve Jobs, and the winner of this contest will probably face Ford CEO Alan Mulally (he's beating Warren Buffet 97% - 3%). Anyone can vote on the Fortune Businessperson of the Year webpage.
Roku has added a new PlayOn channel, enabling streaming of Hulu (Plus not required), Comedy Central, Spike, PBS, ESPN, CBS, ESPN3, Nick, TBS, and more. The PlayOn service streams video from your PC to the Roku Player over a wired or wireless network, and costs $39.99 for the first year (additional years are $19.99).