NetFlix appears to have scored a major win, as they now have a two-year content deal with CBS. And while this is not a stake in Hulu’s coffin, it is an indication that NetFlix is probably going to continue to gain more traction among paying subscribers.
To the average user, this may not mean much. But moving forward, more people are going to discover the Internet button on their new televisions. When they do, they will be hunting for quality content.
That’s not to say that the content on channels like Blip.tv and CNet isn’t good. Many of the offerings that you get free on a Roku can be quite good. As a comic geek, I love watching iFanboy on my Roku.
But sometimes you just want to watch a well-produced network television show, since the conversation around the watercooler tends to be about those shows. NetFlix now has CBS and ABC content, which makes it a bit more competitive with Hulu, which has ABC, NBC, and Fox.
If you already subscribe to Hulu or NetFlix (or both), this is good news, since the content libraries for both services will only continue to improve. It’s also good news for hardware manufacturers like Roku, Boxee, and Google TV. For now, Apple TV is nurturing their own pay as you go ecosystem, but that could change to a subscription model as well. TV manufacturers like Samsung and Vizio, since they will likely market the fact that these channels are available on their hardware.
Of course, it all comes down to content and most of the players are making a really good effort of lining up good deals with content producers. Will this eventually cut down on piracy? Possibly.
In the end, the victory will likely to go to the best marketers, since they will be the ones that will find an efficient way to lure the average person into this brave new world of streaming video.