For Netflix customers like myself that have a lot of Netflix enabled devices, it use to be a real hassle having to constantly go into your account to active and de-activate devices for Netflix streaming. If you had more than five devices, Netflix would limit how many you could activate at one time and many consumers have already gone over the limit of five Netflix enabled devices in their home. A single user with an iPad, iPhone/iPod, game console and connected Blu-ray player or TV would already be close to maxing out the limit of five devices per account.
So it's great to see that Netflix has removed the limit of five streaming devices and now allows customers to watch instantly on up to 50 unique devices per account. While I'm not the average user, and currently have about 30 unique devices I stream Netflix from, it's not crazy to think that many families that use Netflix already have ten devices in their home today that stream Netflix content. Between a family of four you could easily have six mobile devices (phone/tablet/iPod), three computers and two to three other devices like game consoles/Roku/Apple TV and broadband enabled TVs/Blu-ray players/STB. I'm willing to bet that a large percentage of Netflix users, who use the account within a family of four, already have ten Netflix enabled devices in their home today.
Think about that number when many in the industry are quick to say that Blockbuster, Redbox, Amazon or even Apple can easily dominate the living room. Getting on so many devices that are connected to the TV is not easy. It can be done by others, but it takes time, a lot of money and lots of development. Netflix has a huge install base today that just keeps on growing.
Currently, Apple is only available on one box that connects to the TV, that being their Apple TV and is not available via any broadband enabled TVs or Blu-ray players. For stand alone boxes, Amazon is only on the Roku, TiVo (VOD not Prime), Logitech Revue and Sony SMP-N100 and those four devices combined have sold less than 3M units. Amazon is getting on more Broadband enabled TVs from Vizio, Sony, LG, Samsung and Panasonic and is slowly getting a larger footprint which is good to see.
Redbox is not currently on any devices with any kind of digital offering and while Blockbuster is on a lot of broadband enabled TVs and Blu-ray players, it won't come to game consoles till late this year and currently is only on stand-alone devices from TiVo and players from Western Digital. Like Blockbuster, Hulu Plus, while growing, has a similar small footprint on devices today. Clearly Netflix won't be the only game in town for streaming content, but they sure do have a huge head start in the number of Netflix enabled devices already deployed inside the home.