Well, that was fast.
Just one day after launching its new Chromecast device, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has already pulled the promotion for three free months of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) streaming offered to early buyers.
The reason? Here’s the statement Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) gave to the L.A. Times Thursday: “Due to overwhelming demand for Chromecast devices since launch, the 3-month Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) promotion (which was available in limited quantities) is no longer available.”
Sounds simple enough. To Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s credit, there was a “While supplies last” stipulation below every mention of the deal, and the offer was good for both new and current Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) streaming subscribers. For those of you keeping track, remember Netflix’s total streaming subscriber base currently stands at a whopping 39.55 million people, so it’s no surprise so many people jumped on the deal when you consider the $35 device ultimately had a real cost of around $11 when you include the free Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) subscription.
Here’s why Google really did it
The thing is, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s not stupid, and I think they knew exactly what they were getting into by offering — then quickly dropping — this deal.
As I wrote yesterday, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) had to know their cheaper device would immediately draw comparisons to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s own $99 solution in Apple TV. In addition, as it stands, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV is admittedly the more comprehensive product as it not only has access to a broader array of web-based content, but also can display content stored locally on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS-driven gadgets like the iPhone and iPad.
Meanwhile, Chromecast is currently limited to just displaying web content from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), YouTube, Google Play and Chrome, and can’t (currently) send your device’s locally stored pictures and videos over to your TV. Of course, that also means the battery drain on your device isn’t as substantial, but it still represents reduced flexibility nonetheless.
And that’s exactly why Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) needed to draw as much attention to Chromecast as possible in the first place. Heck, it was already cheap at $35, anyway, but throwing in the almost-ludicrous Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) deal made it simply irresistible to millions upon millions of people.
So now that Chromecast has everybody’s attention, will most of the people who missed out on the deal still buy it?
I think so, and you can bet Google does, too.