Movie rental service Netflix (NFLX) has hired a new executive to bring its Internet streaming service to more living rooms.
Netflix plans to announce Thursday that it’s hired Gregory K. Peters as VP of partner products. He will be in charge of partnerships with gadget companies to offer devices like Blu-ray players and set-top boxes that play Netflix’s Internet streams directly on TVs. So far, Netflix’s partners include Microsoft (MSFT), Samsung, LG, Roku, and TiVo (TIVO).
Streaming movies don’t move the needle much for Netflix yet, and Netflix’s streaming library is relatively small — 12,000 titles, compared to its DVD library of more than 100,000 titles.
But the idea is to build Netflix’s streaming business gradually while most consumers still prefer DVDs, and have a robust, advanced streaming business ready by the time consumers prefer digital delivery. In the meantime, it’s a decent add-on to help retain subscribers and potentially attract a few new ones.
One crucial step is figuring out how to get Internet video onto TV sets — not just laptops. And so far, while it’s early, Netflix seems to be doing as good a job as anyone getting gadget companies to support its service. Rivals include Apple (AAPL), whose Apple TV has been a relative flop, and EchoStar’s (SATS) Sling Media, which recently launched a set-top box and is testing an ad-supported Internet streaming service. (It would be impressive if Peters could get Netflix’s service on either or both of those devices, especially Apple TV.)
Peters joins Netflix from Macrovision (MVSN), where he was VP of consumer electronics products. Macrovision bought his previous company, Mediabolic, where he was VP of engineering. He’ll report to Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt.
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