Netflix's growth has been staggering, with its subscriber base having climbed to over 24 million subscribers. But a clause in its agreement with Sony Pictures has required Netflix to stop streaming Sony movies.
Netflix has achieved such a sustained subscriber growth that it has tripped a clause in Sony's agreement with Starz that forced Netflix to stop streaming Sony films. Sony streaming through Starz was begun in 2008 and its contract with Netflix runs through 2016. The deal, currently worth $30 million, will likely be renewed at a rate of over $300 million according to industry analysts. Starz films are some of the most watched on Netflix's Watch Instantly service. Some takeaways from this latest development:
- If you have any instant streaming movies from Sony in your Watch Instantly queue, you can request that those movies be sent to you by adding them to your DVD queue.
- The Starz content has been notoriously encoded at a low bit rate causing it to be much less crisp than other streaming movies. Hopefully the new contract will redress this shortcoming.
- Many film studios have been wary of the huge demand for instant viewing on Netflix and have withheld some of their better movies from ever reaching Netflix's on demand service. There's always been the perception that much of the Netflix streaming catalog is made up of B-grade movies and the Starz content has been a poster child for those movies. "Made for Netflix streaming" may be the new "made for cable."