Netflix sees subscribers opting for streaming over mailing, global surplus in red envelopes predicted

We already covered the numbers from Netflix's impressive earnings call this past Monday, but there was another story lurking in there too; a potential sign of the coming apocalypse for physical media. The company is reporting that many of its customers are replacing mailed movies with streamed ones, taxing the USPS less and their broadband connections more. CEO Reed Hastings is playing coy about whether this is a strong trend or just the curious behavior of early adopters, and since his company gets paid either way he probably doesn't care, but you can be sure those still firmly attached to profits from plastic discs are going to be watching this pattern rather closely. (As if Sony needed any more bad news.)