In what is a solid example of the best sort of problem to have, Google’s just-announced Chromecast video streaming dongle is already proving too damned popular for its own good.
At yesterday’s debut, Google announced that buyers of the $35 device would also be getting three free months of Netflix service with their purchase. Just 24 hours later, that deal is off. Sad trombone.
Why? “Overwhelming demand”, says the Googles. Someone had to pay for that service in the end, after all — so if Google can’t even keep these things on the shelves, they can probably get away with nippin’ out the Netflix perks.
With that said, those three free months might have been a non-trivial part of why the device was getting snatched up so quick. A streaming-only Netflix plan costs $8 per month ($24 for three months) and Google’s Netflix deal applied even if you were already a Netflix subscriber. For current Netflix customers (or for anyone who would be down to sign up for 3 months of free service) it brought the effective cost of the (already crazy cheap) Chromecast down to eleven dollars. At that point, there’s not even a decision to make.
If you snatched up a Chromecast before Google killed the deal: don’t worry. The LA Times got confirmation that Google will honor the promotion for all the early buyers, though it’s not entirely clear where they plan to draw the line.
Update: Amazon updated their product page to say they’ll honor the deal for anyone who ordered before 5:31 p.m. yesterday. Sucks for you, 5:32′ers!
[Disclosure: Google loaned me a Chromecast for the week so I can tinker with it. It's going back (read: I'm not keeping it), but I'd rather disclose too much than disclose too little. Review should be up this weekend.]