CNET: Netflix is Dead if it Listens to Wall Street

netflix_hastings2.jpgNetflix CEO Reed Hastings is being second guessed by Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst, who said in a recent Portfolio story that he “would prefer that Netflix stick to selling movie-rental subscriptions” instead of experimenting with online distribution, CNET News reports.

“I would say they’re crazy; it’s not worth it,” Portfolio quoted Pachter as saying. He said that he only likes the idea “if most of Netflix’s customers switch from receiving DVDs through the mail and start getting their flicks via the Web.”

As CNET News points out, that will happen—just probably not fast enough to satisfy Wall Street, which is usually focused on the next quarter results as opposed to long term strategic initiatives. The thing is, eventually, online distribution will be easy, enable high-quality video streaming, have tens of thousands of movies to choose from, and let people watch the same movies on their iPods, cell phones, and other portable devices as well as desktop, laptop PCs, and—most importantly—living room televisions.

The fact that Netflix sees the writing on the wall and is getting in early shows that Hastings is forward-thinking, not wasting money.