Why Aren't More Movies Available on Netflix for Streaming to Your Computer?
As of this May 2008 CNET article, only 5% of Netflix's most popular movies and TV shows were available for streaming from that service's "Watch Now" library.
Unlike buying bulk orders of DVDs for its disc-by-mail business, the Watch Now queue is determined by the licensing deals Netflix can cut with the studios. And while those same studios will let the likes of Apple and Vudu offer a decent selection of download-to-own movies on their respective streaming boxes--often available the same day as the DVD release--as of mid-2008 the studios were less willing to negotiate deals that would allow Netflix to offer day-and-date streaming rentals on a pay-per-view basis.
Randy Finch's Film Blog:
Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.