Update October 1, 4:20 a.m. PDT: Netflix has officially announced the partnership, and says that the first 1,000 or so Starz titles are now available.
A major complaint with Netflix's current selection of streaming movies and shows available through its "Watch Now" service is that it doesn't contain enough recent titles. Now, according to several reports online, it looks as though Netflix is looking to change that.
On Wednesday, the company plans to announce a new partnership with Starz to offer subscribers 2,500 additional movies from Starz Play. Starz Play's selection includes current hits such as No Country for Old Men, Superbad, and Ratatouille, as well as indie films, concerts, and classic movies. The first 1,000 of those movies, added to Netflix's current offering of 12,000, should, supposedly, be available immediately, but they are not available on Netflix's site yet. Expect the update to come sometime on Wednesday.
This is big news for Netflix, which has been struggling to sign studios up to make their new releases available for instant watching. In terms of new releases, this deal gets Netflix one step closer to being on the same level as the on-demand offerings from Comcast and Verizon. Netflix's overall library, however, goes deeper than Comcast's or Verizon's because it offers many classics on top of these newly added new releases. Additionally, this deal allows subscribers to stream the Starz TV network on their PCs.
The best part of this news, for Netflix subscribers, is that all of this extra content isn't going to cost them a dime. All Netflix subscribers with unlimited subscriptions (those $8.99 and up) will have access to the Starz Play selections. When you pair this news with this summer's release of Roku's killer set-top box for Netflix and this fall's Xbox 360 dashboard update, which will enable Netflix streaming, Netflix's service is looking more attractive every day.