Nothing is going to usher in wider adoption of broadband internet more quickly than online video streaming, says Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. At the NewTeeVee Live conference this week, Hastings called his company’s streaming video service “a killer app for broadband data”. According to Hastings, the main reason customers upgrade to faster internet service isn’t because of email or basic web surfing—it’s because of bandwidth-demanding video streaming such as Netflix’s service.
Much like the iPod and iPhone have drawn more customers to purchase Macs from Apple, Hastings says that Netflix’s video streaming can create a “halo effect” that sells more broadband. Netflix is quickly expanding the number of devices that support its streaming service, which Hastings feels creates a “symbiotic relationship” with broadband because as the number of compatible devices increases, so does the demand for bandwidth to support them. Says Hastings:
“Netflix is going to try to wire up every device with its application — Wi-Fi is just a $10 part. . . We’re making great progress there,”
Is Hastings right about online video compelling consumers to upgrade their Internet service? Do you already own a Netflix streaming-capable device, or do you plan to in the near future?