The competition is gunning for Netflix, with retail stalwarts including Wal-Mart and Amazon.com planning to debut online subscription video services or to expand their existing ones, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Would-be competitors need to act fast, however, as it may become harder to challenge Netflix once it surpasses 30 million subscribers, the article notes. Netflix currently has more than 20 million customers, and it plans to expand, readying new services in Latin America and Britain, the story notes.
Wal-Mart and Best Buy digital-video services are considering shifting from their current pay-per-view system to a subscription plan similar to Netflix, the article notes. Amazon.com, which debuted a Netflix-like service in February, plans to beef up its library from its current 2,300 videos. Hulu, meanwhile, is talking with studios about expanding the selection of movies available on its subscription service, Hulu Plus, the article notes.
Studios, for their part, are interested in creating competition among online services to make sure Netflix doesn’t get more power over the way movies and TV shows are sold to consumers. The studios also hope to see bidding wars among competitors that might help offset declining DVD sales, the story notes.