Netflix Inc. announced that it is allowing its more than seven million subscribers to stream an unlimited number of movies and TV episodes on their PCs for no additional fee.
The news comes a day before Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs is expected to reveal the company’s move into the movie rental industry during a presentation at the Macworld Conference & Expo. Apple’s rental service is expected to offer its customers more flexibility, allowing movies to be viewed on the iPod and the iPhone.
All Netflix subscribers on unlimited rental plans – which start as low as $8.99 per month – will be able to stream limitless video from a library of more than 6,000 movies and TV episodes.
Since introducing PC-based movie watching last year, the company offered an hour per month of online video for every dollar of a subscriber's monthly subscription plan. For example, subscribers on the $16.99-per-month plan could watch 17 hours per month of movies and TV episodes on their PCs.
"In talking with members about our streaming feature during the past year, it became clear that, as with DVDs, the idea of streaming unlimited movies and TV episodes on a PC resonated quite strongly,” said Leslie Kilgore, the company's CMO. “And we're now in a good position to offer that."
Earlier this month, Netflix and LG Electronics announced that they are developing a set-top box (STB) for consumers to stream movies and other programming from the Internet to HDTVs – therefore bypassing the need to use a PC.
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