Link to August 11 New York Times article, "Netflix to Pay Nearly $1 Billion to Add Films to On-Demand Service".
Excerpt: Netflix’s open checkbook demonstrates that Internet streaming is clearly coming to the forefront in Hollywood, but in a carefully controlled manner. Mr. Sarandos said in an interview Tuesday that the content deals were part of “our continued commitment to making streaming a better and better proposition for our subscribers.”
Netflix’s future depends largely on cutting financial deals that keep those streams in place.
The company first took on the likes of Blockbuster with DVDs by mail. Then, in 2007, it set its sights on online streaming, but existing deals with pay TV operators like HBO made it impossible to stream many of the biggest film releases. These deals preserve what is called the pay television window, which opens up about a year after a film is first released in theaters and gives HBO, Showtime or Starz about 18 months of screening (and, more recently, Web streaming) time.
In other words, it's already so yesterday to mail DVDs to customers.
And in other Netflix news...