Netflix to offer "streaming only" plans in future

A DVD rental from Netflix is seen in Medford, Massachusetts July 25, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Netflix Inc Chief Financial Officer Barry McCarthy said on Wednesday it plans to offer its online streaming service on a stand-alone basis.

“We’re likely to do that in the foreseeable future,” McCarthy said at the Jefferies 5th annual Internet and Media conference in New York.

Netflix customers currently pay a fixed monthly subscription fee for access to the company’s popular by-mail DVD service, with about 100,000 titles, as well as its online streaming service, with more than 12,000 titles available for viewing.

Netflix recently said it had hit 10 million subscribers, and said last month its stronger-than-expected quarterly results were propelled by growth in its Web video streaming service.

The Watch Instantly streaming service was first available only on personal computers, but is now offered through various devices, including the Roku set-top boxes, Microsoft Corp’s Xbox, and LG Electronics Inc products.

McCarthy stressed the company still remains focused on providing a bundled offering, but said he understands that some viewers will find a stand-alone streaming service to be compelling, particularly as more compatible devices become prevalent.

Reporting by Sue Zeidler; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe