Another new movie-streaming partnership for Netflix: Sony (SNE) will offer Netflix (NFLX) streaming on Internet-capable Bravia hi-def TVs, and older TVs compatible with its $200 “Internet video link” module.
The partnership does not (yet) include Sony’s PlayStation3, as Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360 is currently Netflix’s exclusive video game console partner — a deal that we assume will run out eventually, leading to potential deals with Sony and/or Nintendo. On Netflix’s most recent earnings call, CEO Reed Hastings confirmed the deal’s exclusivity, but wouldn’t discuss other terms.
This probably isn’t a massive deal for Netflix in terms of potentially signing up a large number of new subscribers, but it’s definitely a good thing. When Netflix’s competitors like Amazon are on the same boxes, it’s important for Netflix to be there, too. (Bravia’s streaming service includes Amazon, YouTube, and CBS shows, among others.)
Moreover, it shows that Sony — which has struggled to do pretty much anything digital itself, and isn’t getting the traction it needs from still-overpriced Blu-ray discs — is increasingly open to partnership with quasi-rivals. Sony, of course, would have loved to have powered a service like this themselves, even though its home entertainment division makes some money from Netflix. But when’s the last time Sony made a service that anyone wanted?
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