Netflix just forged an unlikely partnership, as DISH has officially become the first major pay-TV provider in the U.S. to integrate the popular video streaming app into its second-generation Hopper set-top boxes.
This will allow Netflix subscribers –those who aren’t cord cutters, of course – to access and stream Netflix content right from the DISH set-top box. No smart TV, streaming stick, gaming console, or other conduit device needed.
This proves Netflix’s stance that its customers aren’t subscribing to the service as a cable replacement, but to augment existing subscriptions. That said, the numbers don’t lie, and people have been eliminating, or at least cutting down on, traditional linear TV subscriptions in large numbers. This isn’t to say Netflix is the cause, but its $8.99/mo. price point for unlimited access to library titles (assuming one doesn’t exceed their Internet bandwidth allowance) is hard to compete with.
Naturally, the incentive for providers like DISH is to enhance their service, and offer another reason to stick with linear TV. You don’t need to cancel – you can watch live content and Netflix using the same box! Indeed, Bill Holmes, Global Head of Business Development at Netflix says “many households” subscribe to both. “Our vast library of TV shows and movies, combined with DISH’s lineup of live television content, gives customers easy access to a wide variety of complementary programming,” he notes.
Vivek Khemka, Senior Vice President of Product Management at DISH calls the pairing a “consolidation of two incredible video experiences.”
“This app integration eliminates the need to switch television inputs to access content on varying devices,” he adds. It’s also worth reiterating that it eliminates the need for a smart TV interface, or other third-party device – that is, if Netflix was the main reason for using one.
The integration will roll out to customers throughout the day – if you don’t see it yet, hold tight! Once there, customers can access Netflix from any channel by simply clicking the blue button on the DISH remote and selecting the Netflix icon, or from the Netflix icon on the main menu of the Hopper. If you aren’t signed up for Netflix yet, there’s even a dedicated portal where DISH subscribers can sign on, at www.netflix.com/dish.
With many of DISH’s 14.041 million customers with a second-gen Hopper set-top box now having easy access to Netflix, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the over-the-top service’s subscriber numbers, or at least usage figures, skyrocket by the time the next quarter rolls around.