I’ve spent the last two weeks bashing all of Netflix’s recent decisions. I bemoaned its new pricing scheme and mocked its choice to split their streaming and DVD/video game renting services into two web sites. It is with great pleasure that I finally get to discuss something Netflix did right: acquiring the rights to films and television specials from DreamWorks Animation.
With fans upset at all the changes the company has gone through, Netflix was in dire need of a win. Its streaming library is sparse and will only get thinner when Netflix loses the rights to stream Walt Disney films and other related content after negotiations with Starz Entertainment failed. The DreamWorks deal may not go into effect until 2013, but Netflix can at least say they will have exclusive rights to something at some point.
Sometimes a victory, no matter how small, is enough to get you through the day. Netflix should thank the entertainment gods for giving it something to celebrate. They better savor this moment, because the company’s plummeting market value has made it a prime target for potential buyers. This adds a new wrinkle to the twisted tale of a once prosperous entertainment giant.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter believes that Amazon might be a legitimate candidate to buy Netflix’s streaming service. Amazon’s streaming library now includes over 11,000 titles, which pales in comparison to Netflix’s nearly 32,000 titles. It would make sense for Amazon to take this opportunity to take over Netflix for a relatively cheap price (Pachter predicted Amazon would be willing to pay up to $7.2 billion) and expand its services.
Netflix, take joy in your DreamWorks acquisition. Drink, be merry, and laugh when you turn on HBO (who DreamWorks turned down). Enjoy it while you can, for you might find yourself making even more drastic changes in the next few weeks. With the direction you’re going in, maybe Amazon will help you right the ship and return to your former glory.
Photo: _taro_ at flickr.com