Only one in 12 Netflixers subscribe to the Blu-ray service, and at just 6% of their total streaming catalog, HD content is "underwhelming," according to Netflix. Two stories, one lesson: HD just isn't what matters right now to Netflix.
For all the marketing dollars thrown behind HD, Blu-ray is still a marginal technology when compared to DVD, the obsoleting of which is taking longer than many expected. That less than 10% of Netflix subscribers opt for the Blu-ray option isn't that surprising. In the larger context of Blu-ray adoption, this isn't too surprising.
What is surprising, though, is hearing Netflix actively downplaying the importance of HD content in this interview with The Wiire:
PS3 and Xbox users have 1 in 17 titles available in HD, and it's streamed in 720... it's not in 1080, and it's not in 5.1 surround sound or anything...So, the HD experience at Netflix Instant Watching isn't that overwhelming. It's a little bit underwhelming. So the Wii folks aren't going to miss that much.
Yep, that's Netflix Communications VP Steve Swasey. His job is specifically to make Netflix sound whelming, without the "under." And yet, in the context of the Wii, deflation. It's obvious why Nintendo would talk like that, but Netflix? Really?