The chairman and CEO of a web-based video distribution company, Netflix, has joined Microsoft's board of directors. The appointment of Reed Hastings could well mean changes are on the way for Xbox Live's offerings of movie and TV downloads.
Netflix, an American DVD rental service, recently made a foray into the arena of web-based movie rental. The service currently allows subscribers to watch films and TV programmes directly through their PC on a pay per minute basis.
Netflix's involvement with the 360 could potentially bolster the 360's currently meagre video offerings. Alternatively, it could extend Netflix's instantly viewable materiel onto the 360 and cut out download times. Netflix would benefit in turn by having gotten itself off inconveniently placed PCs and into gamers' living rooms.
Although no deal was announced between Microsoft and Netflix, it seems unlikely that Microsoft won't make use of Hastings' expertise with its Xbox Live TV service
When Netflix announced its 'watch now' service in January, Hastings said "Over the coming years we'll expand our selection of films, and we'll work to get to every Internet-connected screen, from cell phones to PCs to plasma screens.” The 360 certainly puts your TV in the category of “Internet-connected screen”.
Bill Gates seemed pleased to have Hastings on board, saying “Reed’s track record for delivering innovative and disruptive technologies to market is very impressive.”
It's been a busy day for the games industry in terms of crossing media boundaries. Hastings appointment follows news of EA's new music label.
is the games industry getting serious about cross-pollination? Answers in the Forum, please.