None of the early adopters compared to Netflix Watch Now, which jumped on the ubiquity of broadband internet to stream lower-quality video without download wait-time. The quality couldn't compare to Blu-ray discs or even standard-definition digital rentals, but did customers really need to see all the crevices in Ben Affleck's brow during off-the-cuff viewing of The Sum of All Fears? Clearly not; within two years, the low-resolution, hiccupy service trounced Movielink (acquired by the already-struggling Blockbuster in August 2007) and similar digital-rental hopefuls the same way the company did the video store landscape. Like the VHS-vs.-beta format wars of the late '70s, convenience, not quality, would steer the future of streaming. The comfort of instant gratification, after an arduous seven years of real-world turmoil, would cement "Netflixing" as an essential cultural component.
What Netflix couldn't provide in hyper-crisp picture it made up for in content. The meager 1,000-title library boasted 12 Angry Men (1957), 12 Monkeys (1995), 3 Women (1977), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Badlands (1973), Battleship Potemkin (1925), Ben-Hur (1959), Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), The Breakfast Club (1985), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Casablanca (1942), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Clue (1985), Crumb (1994), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Dressed to Kill (1980), Fahrenheit 451 (1966), Five Easy Pieces (1970), The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), Ghost in the Shell (1995), I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), The Goodbye Girl (1977), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Jackass: The Movie (2002), Klute (1971), The Jerk (1979), La Cage aux Folles (1979), Lost in America (1985), Malcolm X (1992), Misery (1990), Network (1976), North by Northwest (1959), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Once Upon a Time in China (1991), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), The Parallax View (1974), Point Blank (1967), Postcards from the Edge (1990), Real Genius (1985), Rio Bravo (1959), Run Lola Run (1998), Singin' in the Rain (1952), A Star Is Born (1937), Strange Brew (1983), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Time Bandits (1981), and When Harry Met Sally (1989).