Even the best, most finely-constructed plans can go wrong, it seems. And sometimes, having a good problem is still having a problem. Earlier in the week, Google introduced a $35 HDMI dongle
known as Chromecast, which was meant to bring some elements of Chrome and other elements of alternative TV viewing to anyone's HDTV
. For cheap. And perhaps the best deal of all was the fact that three months of Netflix service was included for free, and that even extended to existing users.
In other words, the Netflix service alone was nearly worth the price of admission, netting you the Chromecast
dongle for free. Welp, evidently too many people noticed the deal, and now what was largely too good to be true actually is. Google has quickly ended the Netflix promotion with Chromecast, citing "overwhelming demand." In other words, it was likely that Google was on the hook for much of those free subscription fees, and it now isn't willing to pay up.
So, what happened? It's very possible that Google miscalculated the native demand for a $35 streaming stick, which is no shock. Roku's latest box can be had for $50, and the streaming space has been well-saturated for years. Google was entering late, and althought the Chromecast was cheap, it's still "just another streaming solution" in a lot of ways.
On one hand, it's great to see so much interest in this given the dismal uptake of Google TV. On the other, Google's going to certainly have to be more careful about what it tempts consumers with in the future.