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Netflix's CFO on HD movies rental rates and the future of discs

Ben Drawbaugh

Netflix has revolutionized the movie rental business by using the good 'ol US Post Office to deliver millions of discs all around the country -- even if we have to wait a long time for some titles. But while many are predicting the end of packaged media, Netflix is seeing growth, but of course, like any good business Netflix is hedging it's bets, with its Watch Instantly feature. And according to Barry McCarthy, Netflix's CFO, those shiny discs aren't going anywhere, he said in San Francisco earlier this week, "If you really think people are going to stop renting DVDs, you need to lie down until that thought passes." Well then, but we wouldn't argue with him either, especially when you bring HD into the mix. As we've seen discussed online many times recently, HD downloads leave a lot left to be desired -- some content doesn't even seem it deserves the HD name -- and Netflix just makes it so easy. The other interesting tidbit is that when the format war is over, Netflix may raise its rate on HD movie rentals and while we don't want to pay more, we have to say we expected the increase all along.

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