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New Competition for Netflix

Boot Camp feature for Monday, November 11, 2002

New competition for Netflix. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. If you own a DVD player, chances are you've heard of Netflix... .which carved out a niche through a Web site renting DVD movies by mail. The company expects to have about 1.3 million subscribers by the end of the year. It has been successful enough for bigger companies to sit up and take notice... .namely Blockbuster and now Walmart. Both are planning to launch their own subscription by mail DVD rental businesses. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings...

"When we first heard about it we were pretty scared as anybody would be in competing with a large company like Walmart."

But Hastings looks at the ability of Amazon.com to outsell Walmart online and believes Netflix can survive...

"And so it turns out that even if Walmart promotes an online service from the stores, it doesn't really change consumers' perception and consumers don't perceive Walmart to be an online powerhouse. And that's why Amazon has continued to beat Walmart.com. Similarly Walmart has an ISP service that competes with AOL and MSN, but not that many people have heard about it even though it's sixty percent discount off of the AOL price. It's 9.94a months for the Walmart Connect ISP. But it has very few subscribers even though they promote it in store. Consumers don't think of Walmart as an online company."

And Hastings says his company is getting lots of support from the big movie studios... that he says like the idea of Blockbuster and Walmart having competition. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.