A Pitstop On The Information Super Highway

Netflix Offers Streaming Service to Macs

October 31st, 2008 Posted in Entertainment

by Kim Peterson

Netflix is finally expanding its streaming-video service to work with Macs, which have been excluded from the offering since it started last year. Anyone with a PC could watch Netflix’s vast collection of online movies, but Mac users paying the same subscription fees were not allowed in.

Now, a limited number of Intel-based Mac subscribers can access the online movies, with full availibility by the end of the year.

I doubt this will make much of an impact on Netflix’s bottom line, although some people have said they held off subscribing for precisely this reason. Netflix may get a small bump in subscribers, but the additional online movie watching will also weigh on operational costs. Netflix cut its subscriber growth forecast twice this month, now saying it expects 8.85 million to 9.15 million adds next year. That’s 100,000 fewer than it expected at the beginning of October.

It’s ironic that Microsoft technology allowed Macs to get access. Subscribers will have to download the Firefox browser and Microsoft’s Silverlight plug-in to get it to work (which are both free). Silverlight is Microsoft’s attempt to compete with Adobe’s Flash.

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