Netflix Buyout? Round 1- Walmart vs. Google, Amazon vs. Verizon

With March Madness having come to a close I'm still in the mood for one game elimination tourneys.
As I wrote in my last column, Netflix is facing some serious competition in streaming video, its success having attracted a lot of big fish to its waters. With Netflix's streaming business operating on low margins, and the increased price of content due to bids from the other giants, it's sure to put a dent in the company's bottom line.
Nevertheless, it would make a tasty acquisition for many of the sharks, and that's the one thing that I'm worried, being shorted the stock and all.
So, let's put all the potential big fish into a tourney format, and see which is most likely to take a bite out of Netflix. Let's take a look at the teams that made the tournament, and get the first round under way.

1) Google
8) Walmart

4) Comcast
5) Viacom

3) Apple
6) Time Warner

2) Amazon
7) Verizon

We're going to see how the top two seeds fare against their competition, and pick up the action tomorrow with the other half of the bracket.
Walmart vs. Google
Let's take a look at brick and mortar retailer Walmart, who has been diligently working to improve its online presence to better compete with with Amazon. Part of their online emergence, if you will, has been in their joining Hollywood's emerging online movie locker system.
It works as follows, people who own DVDs from the five major studios will be able to permanently access them on Wal-Mart's Vudu online streaming service by paying $2 per movie. The offer applies regardless of where customers bought the discs, but they must bring them to a store in person.
It's supposed to give consumers confidence that DVD's bought today won't be completely un-watchable in two years, when their DVD Player breaks down, and to watch their discs, they would have to steal the last functional machine from the Smithsonian.
Of course Wal-Mart will benefit from the added foot traffic, and help familiarize their customers with Vudu.
Frankly, to me this is a lackluster effort in the streaming realm, and not something the company is attempting to specialize in.
A quick look at Google in this one sided match-up. Google has been known to spend big $ on strategic acquisitions, in effort to speed along their growth. hell, they offered Groupon six bills (billion), were spurned, and only then created Google Offers.
Additionally, Google is coming out with a new version of Google TV and has invested 100 million dollars into buying exclusive content for their Youtube channels. We'll discuss Google further next round, but today, it's Google in a blow out over a team that shouldn't have even made the tourney.


Amazon vs. Verizon

In the white uni is Jeff Bezos, Amazon's star point guard. He's nailing almost every shot he's taken coming into the tourney, but is up against the big bruisers of Verizon, and their deep pockets.
Unfortunately, Verizon enters the tourney with an injured center.  They have recently announced a streaming partnership with Coinstar (Red Box) they'll be trying to offer what used to be Netflix's staple- (DVD's + streaming) and while Verizon handles streaming content, consumers will likely be sent to Coinstar machines to fulfill their DVD requests, eliminating postage and the huge expense Netflix, without a physical presence, has, allowing them to beat Netflix on cost.
Thus, it makes little sense for Verizon to buy Netflix, as there would be major redundancies as the company has allied itself with Coinstar.
Amazon on the other hand, has all sorts of reasons to purchase Netflix, but in this game of high stakes, billion dollars move, they want to rest their starters, and not show their hand.

AMAZON advances easily

So, as usual, the higher seeds have taken out the pretenders. Tomorrow, we'll have the rest of the first round, and then the Final Four. I promise it's going to get interesting.


  1. Google, Amazon, Wal-Mart(lol), Netflix NO THANKS! While these companies are scrapping over content/distribution rights, I am happy, content and watching my! I have a DISH account, and with my Sling Technology I can go to Dishonline and access thousands of clips, TV shows, movies and even order PPV to my laptop or PC! It's very well-organized, which means it takes almost no time at all to find the show or film I'm searching for. This is a lot easier than endless searches online, often yielding one or two sites with a few selections! A DISH coworker told me about it, and since you don't actually need a DISH account to try it, you should definitely check it out!


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