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Netflix Passes $100 With a Side of Post Office Love

The big one for me is the DVD thing. That doesn't get enough play. Reed Hastings made the DVD irrelevant a long time ago.

That's likely why Friday afternoon's news that the U.S. Postal Service needs to explain why it gives Netflix DVDs preferential treatment over, say, Gamestop video games flew under the radar.

It's worth a few sentences simply because it's an interesting case. The Post Office gives Netflix its own bins and handles the company's DVDs by hand. USPS processes everybody else's DVDs, video games and such via the standard and inferior auto-sort system. What does Gamefly expect?

In the red envelope's heyday, the post office really had no other choice. Did you ever see a mail carrier's bag when Netflix DVD was peaking? There's nothing even close to that level of ubiquity now, not even Amazon.com (AMZN) boxes or election booklets in October.

But the DVD's dead now. Hastings made it Netflix's redheaded stepchild and proceeded to kill it. He put his money not only on streaming and international expansion, but on original programming. It must succeed in a big way for Netflix to win.

Over the weekend, I ran into somebody who works on a team that produces Netflix original programming. This person echoed my thoughts -- if the original programming doesn't take off Netflix is finished.

In other words -- and this is me talking here -- Netflix needs to hit a level somewhere within spitting distance of HBO. If it doesn't . . . if more than one of its original shows fails to catch on, we'll see another massive NFLX crash from these new highs. Because, make no mistake about it, while NFLX will gyrate, this thing's going to keep climbing. It has nine lives. I've lost count how many it has used so far.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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