By Harry McCracken | Friday, October 9, 2009 at 7:09 pm
Over at Yahoo Tech, my friend Chris Null blogged about an interview the Motley Fool did with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in which the DVD-by-mail tycoon says he thinks DVD has two years left as the primary delivery format for movies. That’s a little like hearing the president of McDonalds opining that burgers are on the way out. But it also sounds like as sensible a prediction as any.
As Chris says, Hastings didn’t make clear what he thinks will replace DVD, but the likely scenario presumably involves the format suffering at the hands of both digital downloads and Blu-Ray short-term, and virtually all distribution being digital over the long haul. (At least I’m assuming that we’ll all look back at Blu-Ray as a stopgap.) There’s still lots of work to do–relatively few of us have any way to watch content from the Internet on our TVs, for instance–but an awful lot can happen in very little time.
I suspect that I’ll still pull out DVDs from time to time for years to come–for one thing, I have hundreds of them and no interest in repurchasing or recreating all of them in purely digital form. (Hey, I even watch VHS from time to time.) But I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if I buy my last new DVD in 2011. And I look forward to seeing how Netflix works to reinvent itself as the neat idea the company was founded on becomes obsolete. (Its Watch Instantly feature is a fun start.)
Your forecast, please: