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Netflix Downloads Finally on Deck

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Variety is the first to report on solid details of the long-expected Netflix digital download service, which “will be rolled out over the next six months.” Netflix chief Reed Hastings has previously complained that the terms attached to digital downloads were too onerous; it appears he is sick of waiting and will finally launch a hamstrung service that only works on a PC.

The service will be rental-only, with a certain number of hours of streamed content included with subscribers’ monthly fees. For instance, a $17.99 plan will be allotted 18 hours of viewing time. Rentals will not allow for transferring to other devices or burning to a CD, something competitors like CinemaNow already offer.

The launch will reportedly include just 1,000 titles, compared to 70,000 in Netflix’s physical library. The company does have most of the studios onboard: Paramount, Warner, MGM, New Line, and Lionsgate, as well as television programming from networks such as BBC Worldwide.

Netflix will possibly reward the studios based on how many times a film is streamed, says Variety.

The company’s stock doesn’t yet reflect the news, but we’ll check back tomorrow after the markets reopen following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday today.