Netflix: Mac Streaming Coming This Year (NFLX, AAPL)

One of the biggest shortcomings of Netflix’s Web movie streaming service: It doesn’t yet work on Apple’s Macs. Why not? Because the Microsoft-based DRM the company uses only works on Windows. Expect a solution this year: During the company’s Q4 earnings call this evening, Netflix said it hopes to support Web-based streaming for Mac owners in 2008.

A few other interesting bits from the call:

  • Netflix must be getting a good deal on its streaming bandwidth. It professes not be worried about the costs of streaming unlimited movies to its customers. Alternate, more likely explanation: It doesn’t expect many of its customers to stream any movies at all — because watching a movie on your laptop or PC is a distinctly second-rate experience.
  • Beyond its partnership with LG, Netflix won’t make many more set-top box deals this year. It may tie-up with a gaming console (most likely Microsoft’s Xbox 360, we think). But expect a lot more deal-making next year than this year.
  • A “meaningful” percentage of overall Netflix subs are renting HD disc content (HD DVD, Blu-ray), but they’re not renting many discs — because there are so few HD titles available. So HD doesn’t make up a “meaningful” percentage of overall disc shipments.
  • Netflix doesn’t expect download-based rental services to take off for a long time.

Recent NFLX coverage:
Netflix Q4 Earnings Call: Live Notes
Pali On Netflix: Sell “On Any Strength”
How Will Apple’s Movie Rentals Stack Up Against The Competition?
Comcast: Dump Fancast, Buy Netflix
Five Questions About LG’s Netflix Movie Devices
Netflix-LG Movie Deal: Picking Winners And Losers

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