One of the major selling points for Google’s new Chromecast streaming video dongle was that it initially came with three months of free Netflix service, which saves the customer $21 in monthly fees. But only a day after beginning to take orders, Google has already put an end to that promotion.
The Internet giant confirmed the promo cancellation to the L.A. Times’ TechNow blog on Thursday afternoon.
“Due to overwhelming demand for Chromecast devices since launch, the 3-month Netflix promotion (which was available in limited quantities) is no longer available,” explained Google, which also clarified that people who were able to order a Chromecast before the promotion was pulled will be able to redeem their code and get three months of service for free when they get the device.
What will be seen in the next couple days is how much of a draw that Netflix freebie was for early adopters of the Chromecast. At Wednesday’s demo, Google showed off how well Chromecast works with Google Play videos and YouTube the only worthwhile non-Google streaming service shown was Netflix, and it’s the only non-Google Android app currently ready to support Chromecast. Will people still buy the device if the $35 cost isn’t offset by the free Netflix months?
The long-term future of Chromecast will depend on how quickly other services gravitate toward it. If you’re just trying to stream a video from your computer’s browser window, it looks like Chromecast will work, but not for all file types (Wired testers could not get Quicktime videos to stream through the device).
So you can use the device to watch things like HBO Go, Hulu, and Amazon Instant if you’re connecting to Chromecast through your computer, but not yet for your smartphone or tablet.
Given the relatively low price of $35 and the apparent high volume of pre-orders, Chromecast could develop a sizable enough user base that it can leverage to convince reluctant streaming services to make their apps work on the new device.