An interesting guesstimate we hadn’t seen before: Lehman’s Doug Anmuth estimates Netflix (NFLX) will spend $65 million to $70 million on its Internet-streaming movie business this year, with “the bulk of” that going toward content and engineering.
He says that’s an “appropriate” investment, and we agree: While Netflix has done an excellent job so far getting distribution deals for its nascent streaming service — Microsoft’s Xbox consoles, set-top boxes, etc. — its tiny, sub-par streaming content library needs some help.
Preferably sooner than later. While Netflix will be primarily a DVDs-by-mail service for years to come, it needs to spend now to stay relevant as companies like Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Sony (SNE) all aim for a digital presence in your living room.
And new today: Amazon (AMZN) should prove to be a stronger competitor as it rolls out a new on-demand streaming service to complement/replace its lousy Unbox movie downloading/rental offering, which never took off.