Even though Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told Reuters a few months ago that Netflix wasn’t going to work on an iPhone app for a while, it seems that Netflix has been feeling the water about it. A RWW article notes that:
Recently, Netflix sent out a survey to select subscribers in order to determine interest in an iPhone application for streaming movies via mobile phones. According to the survey’s wording, the proposed app would be Wi-Fi only and would offer the same content that the Netflix “Watch Instantly” service provides.
Hacking Netflix has the full text of the survey:
Imagine that Netflix offers its subscribers the ability to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on their iPhone. The selection availability to instantly watch includes some new releases, lots of classics and TV episodes. There are no advertisements or trailers, and movies start in as little as 30 seconds. You can fast-forward, rewind, and pause or watch again. The movies & TV episodes you instantly watch are included in your Netflix membership for no additional fee.
Whenever you want to instantly watch content on your iPhone, your iPhone must be connected to a Wi-Fi network (such as one you might have at home or at work, or in public places like coffee shops, book stores, hotels, airports, etc.)
If this functionality were available, how likely would you or someone in your household be to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on your iPhone via a Wi-Fi network?
As a long-time Netflix customer, I have to say that I’ve been waiting for an iPhone app pretty much since the iPhone came out. It does make sense for Netflix to be present on mobile devices, especially the iPhone.
Now there are two problems. First issue is technological. Flash is not going to happen, so what technology could Netflix use to make itself available on the iPhone? Well apparently, Microsoft has been working with Apple on porting Silverlight to the iPhone and it seems to be working well. That would be a solution. I personally think Netflix would develop its own format but it’s just a guess.
The second problem facing Netflix is… Apple itself. Would Apple allow video streaming when it has the same plans in mind for iTunes? While I doubt Apple will be particularly excited about having a Netflix app, I believe it will have to allow it in the App Store to avoid being taught a lesson by the FTC.
At any rates, I’m very excited about having Netflix on my iPhone. You know what? I’m even more excited about having Netflix on my iPad!
What say you?