Great news: Not only will Netflix be more expensive, it’ll be twice as hard to use

posted at 6:11 pm on September 19, 2011 by Allahpundit

What better business plan could there be in an age where consumers are strapped for cash and expect their entertainment platforms to be simpler than ever?

The company’s stock was the single worst performer in the S&P 500 last week, down 24 percent. Total number of customers expected to depart over the price change: One million — this quarter.

Over the summer, Netflix angered customers by splitting its popular DVD-by-mail and unlimited-streaming package into two separate services—and by charging what amounts to a 60% price hike for customers who wanted to keep the same services. Once the price changes took effect, it was evident that Netflix subscribers were fleeing, and the stock price tanked. Now, there are more big changes happening at Netflix, though no new price hikes (yet)…

The big news is that the service you originally got to know as Netflix—DVD by mail—isn’t going to be called Netflix anymore. It’ll be called Qwikster, and it’ll be a completely separate business from Netflix—which will become strictly a streaming operation.

When Hastings says the businesses will be separate, he really means it. They’ll have separate websites, and if you subscribe to both services, you’ll need to manage your queues separately. If you rate or review a movie at Netflix, it won’t show up at Qwikster, and vice-versa. On your credit card statement, you’ll be billed separately by Qwikster and/or Netflix.

Just read this cartoon and all shall be explained. Then watch the non-apology apology vid below, in which CEO Reed Hastings says sorry for pretty much everything except the new prices and extra hassles for hybrid users. Presumably this guy will be making his own version of those Domino’s “yes, we were idiots” ads before too long. One question lingers, though: Is Netflix doing this because it wanted to or because it had to? An interesting theory from Bill Gurley at Above the Crowd:

So here is what I think happened with Netflix’s recent price change (for the record, I have no inside data here, this is just an educated guess). Netflix has for the past several years been negotiating with Hollywood for the digital rights to stream movies and TV series as a single price subscription to users. Their first few deals were simply $X million dollars for one year of rights to stream this particular library of films. As the years passed, the deals became more elaborate, and the studios began to ask for a % of the revenues. This likely started with a “percentage-rake” type discussion, but then evolved into a simple $/user discussion (just like the cable business). Hollywood wanted a price/month/user.

This is the point where Netflix tried to argue that you should only count users that actually connect digitally and actually watch a film. While they originally offered digital streaming bundled with DVD rental, many of the rural customers likely never actually “connect” to the digital product. This argument may have worked for a while, but eventually Hollywood said, “No way. Here is how it is going to work. You will pay us a $/user/month for anyone that has the ‘right’ to connect to our content – regardless of whether they view it or not.” This was the term that changed Netflix pricing.

With this new term, Netflix could not afford to pay for digital content for someone who wasn’t watching it. This forced the separation, so that the digital business model would exist on it’s own free and clear. Could Netflix have simply paid the digital fee for all its customers (those that watched and not)? One has to believe they modeled this scenario, and it looked worse financially (implied severe gross margin erosion) than the model they chose. It is what it is.

Costs are fixed on the DVD side of the business because law provides that once you own a disc you can rent it as much as you like. Not so with streaming content, which has to be licensed. And needless to say, the more customers the streaming side of the business has, the bigger the piece that Hollywood wants. If Gurley’s theory is right, Netflix is essentially a prisoner of its own success; the “hybrid” users used to pay 10 bucks a month for DVDs and got the streaming service more or less for free, but as that customer base grew, so did the cost of streaming. Netflix’s solution, then, was a, er, “balanced approach” replete with cuts (service cuts, that is) and new revenue raisers in the form of a price hike. This is what austerity looks like, my friends.

Read Megan McArdle for more on how Netflix’s big mistake was conditioning users to expect a free-ice-cream model that was never sustainable as streaming grew in popularity. Three questions to ponder. One: If Gurley’s right about Netflix being squeezed by content providers, why didn’t Hastings just say so in the video? Explain the economics of copyright and Hollywood’s demand for more of the pie. As it is, customers think Netflix HQ is simply trying to soak them. Two: Now that streaming is here to stay, how long will it be before we see attempts to reform the law governing content licensing to bring it more into line with the law governing fixed media like DVDs? All the cheap streaming new releases you can handle are just a few congressional copyright lobbyists away! Three: Does anyone actually like Netflix’s library of streaming-only content? As NBC notes, there are almost no recent top-shelf movies. In fact, in my experience, the online service is good for exactly two things: Film classics that you’ve been meaning to watch forever but never got around to seeing and drunken nostalgia trips where you queue up a season of “Fat Albert” or “Family Ties” or whatever and count how many beers it takes before you find those shows enjoyable again. Not even worth eight bucks a month, really.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

I and the whole family dumped Netflix already and we’re never going back. We’re done with them.

VUDU is where it’s at now, baby!

FlatFoot on September 19, 2011 at 7:26 PM

lorien1973 on September 19, 2011 at 6:18 PM

My 75 year old mother-in-law has been doing the Netflicks DVD thing. There’s nothin’ ‘retarded’ about it. She likes watching her DVD’s-but she won’t watch anything if she has to stream it.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 19, 2011 at 7:28 PM

HakerA on September 19, 2011 at 7:11 PM

I am using a Sony blu ray player with both Wifi and ethernet connections. I hard wired mine and have really enjoyed Netflix and Amazon streaming, but I have had my eye on a Roku as well.

d1carter on September 19, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Not even worth eight bucks a month, really.

Maybe not for a single guy, but for parents there’s lots of kids programming — everything from Disney Channel to Spongebob to movies like Tangled. $8 a month is a steal to keep children entertained for hours on end.

amerpundit on September 19, 2011 at 7:32 PM

They have destroyed the third party steaming movie market at it’s infancy. There will never be cheep steaming À la carte at least not legal steaming. It will be what every Hollywood wants it with no relationship to market value.

As Blu-ray is the last hard copy movie medium and in no time they will not have releases dates at the store it will be open to streaming day and then direct from the studios with no middle man. They will not have to reduce the price to a third party when the studios can get what every they want, when their are their own streamer.

tjexcite on September 19, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Good thing there are numerous sites where I can just download all my TV and most of my movies for free

Opinionnation on September 19, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Will Blockbuster rise from the ashes?

itsnotaboutme on September 19, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Three: Does anyone actually like Netflix’s library of streaming-only content?

No, it stinks. I need to check my bill. When did/do prices go up? What’s the new price? I didn’t read it in the AP’s post and didn’t click on links (on phone now). Anyone know?

I use the mail service for movies that don’t live-stream. Their classic selection is decent. We started last year watching every Oscar winning movie since its inception and they have nearly all of them, the others we got from the library. Netflix works for versatility (livestream on tv, computer, iPhone app, hard copy), but iTunes is better for tv shows and instant new movies (except the price). I’m not going to like the separate companies though. You’d think they could work that out.

conservative pilgrim on September 19, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Cable has on demand – there is red box $1.oo a movie rental. It’s not like a person has to put themselves out to watch a movie. You can still buy a movie on DVD, and have it to watch whenever you want. If you go to You Tube they have movies. Netflix doesn’t think it has any competition?

I don’t get the business plan, but since I didn’t use netflix in the first place, it makes no difference to me.

Dr Evil on September 19, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Maybe not for a single guy, but for parents there’s lots of kids programming — everything from Disney Channel to Spongebob to movies like Tangled. $8 a month is a steal to keep children entertained for hours on end.
amerpundit on September 19, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Yes indeed! They have all the Veggie Tales episodes, which have come in handy many times. ;-)

conservative pilgrim on September 19, 2011 at 7:45 PM

All this talk about netflix live-streaming content made me go find a movie to watch.

1) They have a ton of great documentaries. Unfortunately the political ones are few and left leaning. On of my personal favorites is fathead.

2) I’m watching Conan the Barbarian now. But there is all kinds of stuff, like all the twilight zone episodes.

jhffmn on September 19, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Getting a DVD in the mail is retarded. It’s the 21st century.

Improve content on the streaming end, and no one will care.

lorien1973 on September 19, 2011 at 6:18 PM

I know a few folks that live in the boonies. The only internet service they get is dial-up. I know satellite is out there but they do not care enough about it. One of them does do the DVD in the mail thing and loves it.
Dawnsblood on September 19, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Also, you can take a DVD with you to view with friends & family without having to fire up a PC, login from what may be a comprised computer and have to have a decent enough sized monitor/screen so folks can gather round and watch. Watching “Gone With The Wind” on a smartphone just doesn’t quite measure up.

whatcat on September 19, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Love, love, LOVE the fact that the ad at the bottom of this web page is for Hulu+.

ROFL

RationalIcthus on September 19, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I cancelled my Netflix subscription today and signed up with Blockbuster.

JeffinSac on September 19, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I might have to cancel my memberships simply because of the name Qwikster. What an F’in joke.

jnelchef on September 19, 2011 at 7:59 PM

I might have to cancel my memberships simply because of the name Qwikster.

jnelchef on September 19, 2011 at 7:59 PM

I agree. I hate the cutesy names they come up with. Like ‘The SciFi Channel’ – you knew they had crap on it, but the name was alright. But then they switch to ‘SyFy’. WTH is that? Just proves that marketing is 5% intelligence, 5% intuition, and 90% alcohol.

Timothy S. Carlson on September 19, 2011 at 8:07 PM

If you go to You Tube they have movies.

Dr Evil on September 19, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Looks like the same or worse prices than Amazon and a very limited selection.

There are tons of exceptionally good, free documentaries uploaded on youtube if you look around for them.

pedestrian on September 19, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Maybe we’ll see less of those %$#@# Netflix pop-ups now.

zoyclem on September 19, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I love the streaming with Netflix. Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Farscape, MST3K, Spartacus… There are lots of great stuff. I’ve got 84 items in my queue. With Redbox and Amazon instant I didn’t see the need for the DVD side though.

The two separate websites and names seem lame now but I thing they’re planing for the future. They want it to be seen at 2 totally different companies and services. Then you won’t wonder why you get one without the number. Keeping the 2 tied in anyways keeps them tethered in peoples mind. I don’t get the point of the video though. .. I would think it’s the type of move they’d want to draw LESS attention to. It’s kinda like when Philip Morris changed their name. They didn’t make a big announcement to the press about it. The whole point of the name change was to distance themselves from the Philip Morris name and reputation.

Ampersand on September 19, 2011 at 8:14 PM

This is the last straw, I’m dumping them.

boomer on September 19, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Like a lot of people who had Netflix, apparently, making it more expensive made it easier to cancel my service than it otherwise might have been.

Knott Buyinit on September 19, 2011 at 8:21 PM

I just did my laundry. I deserve a peace prize, just like Obama!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnLqoRtUAVg

yubley on September 19, 2011 at 8:29 PM

As far as I can tell, they plan to have two separate websites. I posted the following on the Netflix Blog, to which the email from Reed Hastings linked:

Right now every film icon on Netflix tells me whether the movie is available on DVD, or by streaming, or both. Having to search in two places is nuts! If you can’t cross-link the individual films, either find better programmers, or don’t separate the two sites.

The watchword should be customer service and convenience. If you make it more complicated, you’ll lose customers. That’s the wrong direction for any business.

Until the streaming universe is as comprehensive as the DVD one, we’re going to need the DVDs for all the oddball, niche, and unusual films that we like to discover. My guess is that we’re still several years from the point where you can stop the DVD service, as I assume you intend to do. /Mr Lynn

MrLynn on September 19, 2011 at 8:35 PM

THR: Are you concerned that American Netflix subscribers will look north and ask for the same discount Canadians get at $7.99?

Hastings:

How much has it been your experience that Americans follow what happens in the world? It’s something we’ll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed.

I dropped Netflix in 2010 when Hastings had this to say about Americans when offering Canadians a better price. Hastings is an ass.

tessa on September 19, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Every movie or show you watch, puts money into the enemy’s pocket.
Every non-productive minute you spend watching your T.V. keeps you from doing something worthwhile.
Every minute your child spends being “entertained” by your T.V. only pollutes their mind and ruins their outlook on family, morals and values.

KILL your T.V. and get involved in LIFE.

KMC1 on September 19, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Netflix stock price down 51% since they announced the price hike.

This guy was just sitting on a random twitter name, until today:

http://twitter.com/#!/Qwikster

pedestrian on September 19, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Worse business move since “new coke”.

vcferlita on September 19, 2011 at 8:53 PM

This was such a good product. I did not have a problem with the price rise (I knew it was too good to be true) but I did not know they were going to screw this up like the CEO of Borders screwed up that company.

Too bad.

Mr. Joe on September 19, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Wasn’t “Qwikster” Spongebob’s superhero name when he joined the International Justice League of Super Acquaintances?

PantsDailyon on September 19, 2011 at 9:12 PM

I miss video stores…

equanimous on September 19, 2011 at 9:18 PM

You’re the CEO’s of multi-million dollar businesses, put on a freak’n suit.

lowandslow on September 19, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Netflix is not making good choices as demonstrated here; http://theoatmeal.com/comics/netflix

Dasher on September 19, 2011 at 9:25 PM

I miss video stores…

equanimous on September 19, 2011 at 9:18 PM

Seriously?

I couldn’t be happier that they’re dead. Netflix streaming is the way to go.

You-Eh-Vee on September 19, 2011 at 9:30 PM

omg stop yer freakin crying and pay the extra couple bucks. Damn!

tlynch001 on September 19, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Have we already gotten the breathless:

“Oh, I Just LOVE it!!”
“Oh, This Is SO Much Better!”
“Why Didn’t They Think of This Bee-Fore?”

Or, did I miss it?

TimBuk3 on September 19, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Here’s a clue – scr$w Hollywood. They’ve been dead for years! And when a new idea comes along, all they say is “It’s my content; where’s my cut. Hollywood has been behind the technological revolution ever since 3D. They’re all a bunch of lawyers – like ambulance chasers. Not leading the field in technology. No Hollywood thinks all entertainment revolves around them. It doesn’t. When was the last time you and your honey went out to a theater to watch a “good” flick? Hollywood plays you all for suckers that you are.

Bob in VA on September 19, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Does anyone actually like Netflix’s library of streaming-only content?

That’s all we have. We dumped DISH network and watch it exclusively. Plenty of stuf for our 6 & 8 y/o boys. It’s all we need.

elfman on September 19, 2011 at 10:22 PM

This calls for a r*volution by l*sbians.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on September 19, 2011 at 10:24 PM

I dumped NetFlix during my free trial when the CEO went on the record to insult American citizens and his customers by relaying how dense the thought they all were.

So I kept my dense dollars in my wallet.

I usually root for American bases businesses, until they piss on American’s.

Hog Wild on September 19, 2011 at 10:26 PM

The company’s stock was the single worst performer in the S&P 500 last week, down 24 percent. Total number of customers expected to depart over the price change: One million — this quarter.

Yoo-hoo. Sometimes Wall Street still reflects things other than Soros.

The mind of an Obamunist CEO shows the idiot side of idiot savant. Some advice here. No, don’t let her shoot him, but the first part.

Feedie on September 19, 2011 at 10:36 PM

But then they switch to ‘SyFy’. WTH is that? Just proves that marketing is 5% intelligence, 5% intuition, and 90% alcohol.

Timothy S. Carlson on September 19, 2011 at 8:07 PM

I thought the same thing, but the Hubby explained that it had something to do with copyrighting/trademarking name, not necessarily a branding issue. SciFi is a generic term that any other Channel would have been able to copy.

Laura in Maryland on September 19, 2011 at 10:37 PM

OMG.. what a gay ‘we’re sorry’ video… that is a couple minutes of my life I will never get back.. thank you Netflix Quickster Suxter.

gatorboy on September 19, 2011 at 10:43 PM

I think its funny how people talk about budget-busting over like 6 bucks a month. If your budget is that tight, you should be on basic cable and cut out the high-speed internet altogether and SAVE some money. If 6 bucks a month is the best you can save, you’re screwed for life. Still cheaper than it used to be to rent movies at blockbuster.

jimmy the notable on September 19, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Timothy S. Carlson: I believe the SciFi/SyFy transition was based on the fact that they couldn’t trademark SciFi (for all of those excellent movies they keep churning out, plus the inevitable plush toy franchise), and not from a desire to be “hip” and “with it” and “happening”. It still bugs me too, but at least I understand why they did it.

HTL on September 19, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Have people ever bitched this much about $16?

That’s less than the cost of one new dvd.

And, Netflix is worth $8 a month for the collection of TV series alone. Everything else there is a bonus. It’s a great deal. That’s 2 movie rentals anywhere else online.

I laugh at the people that expect it to have every single brand new movie available immediately. Talk about feeling entitled. Howe spoiled are you anyway?

Moesart on September 19, 2011 at 11:02 PM

jimmy the notable on September 19, 2011 at 10:54 PM

A 60% increase in price in services that are not increased, but made more difficult for the consumer.

This is the free market at work. Not only are you going to pay more, your life is going to made more difficult because of it.

What’s not to like?

It’s not the $6.00… it’s who’s getting the $6.00 and why.

Soooo…. since $6.00 is nothing, start paying that much more for gas per gallon, car payments, water bill, electric bill, internet bill, house payment, school lunches for kids, field trip for kids, clothes for kids, clothes for yourself, golfing fees, marina fees, private school fees, insurance for cars, insurance for home, insurance for whatever. As soon as Netflix gets away with it, every other industry will be saying “hey, I’ve got an idea”.

“Money for nothing… and your chicks for free.”

Hog Wild on September 19, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Have people ever whined this much about $16?

That’s less than the cost of one new dvd.

And, Netflix is worth $8 a month for the collection of TV series alone. Everything else there is a bonus. It’s a great deal. That’s 2 movie rentals anywhere else online.

I laugh at the people that expect it to have every single brand new movie available immediately. Talk about feeling entitled.

Moesart on September 19, 2011 at 11:09 PM

And, Netflix is worth $8 a month for the collection of TV series alone. Everything else there is a bonus. It’s a great deal. That’s 2 movie rentals anywhere else online.

Streaming movies isn’t a threat to Hollywood.

I don’t get the business plan, but since I didn’t use netflix in the first place, it makes no difference to me.

Dr Evil on September 19, 2011 at 7:43 PM

All you need to know is that the studios hate Netflix with a passion and anything that can be done to kill their growth is seen as an achievement. The studios are undoubtedly winning at this point.

As with streaming music, consumers will simply go the illegal route- you can’t ignore consumer demand for low cost video streaming and force low cost disc rental as the only choice (Redbox). In 5 years Netflix will seem like the holy grail to every entertainment exec. Can you imagine how much money the music industry would be generating today if they had embraced Napster’s original model of unlimited music for $15 a month? Instead, the industry ignored consumers, letting them grow accustomed to free music downloads (piracy), and now can only dream of charging a monthly fee to a substantial percentage of the population. The studios are headed down the same path of short-sighted stupidity.

bayam on September 19, 2011 at 11:32 PM

jimmy the notable on September 19, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Moesart on September 19, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Let me guess, you’re the quiet type who never speaks up because he fears conflict.

Netflix hiked their price, they did so abruptly considering how long many have been with them, and there is NO noticeable improvement in the streaming service that lead them to hike the price.

So you continue what you do and keep quiet while the rest of us behave like consumers and express our distaste.

You can whine about the whiners, but they’ve lost 1 million subscribers and counting. Enjoy your American bashing CEO.

Daemonocracy on September 19, 2011 at 11:53 PM

You can whine about the whiners, but they’ve lost 1 million subscribers and counting. Enjoy your American bashing CEO.

Daemonocracy on September 19, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Nice shot. 25% of their customers… so far, have said their product is not worth the price.

Perhaps, and this is just a crazy guess, the leadership at NetFlix shouldn’t have taken their strongest customer base for granted. It’s probably best for for NetFlix that most of their customers don’t know the NetFlix CEO referred to them in terms that can only be described as “clueless”.

Hog Wild on September 20, 2011 at 12:17 AM

I love the streaming….That is just about the only t.v. we ever watch anymore, and since I am an old movie buff, I love the selection….There aren’t any new movies that I can’t wait to see so it doesn’t matter if they’re a year getting to streaming…I like the fact that any time you want to watch a movie, they are there, and you don’t have to wait for the postal service to bring you a movie that may be broken or unplayable!

theaddora on September 20, 2011 at 12:18 AM

The non-apology apology was stupid.
Adding Qwikster’s inconvenience (or at least uncertainty) and pretending it’s an improvement is boneheaded.

However, Netflix is the best legal option there is.

Amazon VOD, iTunes, Vudu, and Epix are all pay-per-view.
Netflix is the only pay-per-month streaming service I know of.

Anyone who’s been following the fight between Netflix and the studios knows that the studios hate what consumers love: the idea that consumers can watch any content for a flat monthly fee.

I’m still rooting for Netflix, even though it looks like they faltered a bit here, I hope they regain their footing.

hatespam on September 20, 2011 at 12:27 AM

Idiot. Must be a Obamabot.

pat on September 20, 2011 at 12:38 AM

I’m upset Allah never mentioned the reason they are doing this. They realize that the DVD rental side is a sinking ship, so by totally separating the business models they can easily dump the dvd-streaming portion on Amazon or Hulu to free up capital for them to keep developing original content.

Rainsford on September 20, 2011 at 1:02 AM

I had no problem with the price hike. I switched from having 3 dvds out at a time to having 2 out at a time. No big deal. I think I even saved a buck or two.

What really pisses me off, and what will make me drop the DVD plan altogether, is having the split websites. As someone else mentioned, this will be a huge pain in the ass. One of the thinkgs I like about Netflix is that I can search for a movie… and if it’s available by streaming, great! I can watch it now instead of 3 days from now. If it’s not, I add it to my dvd queue.

Having two sites will make this far more complicated than it needs to be. I won’t bother with DVDs. It’ll be easier to rent from Amazon or iTunes.

But I’ll keep the streaming. I love having hundreds of hours of the X-Files and 24 available anytime I want.

Meezles on September 20, 2011 at 1:06 AM

Oh, and Quikster? Seriously? They couldn’t come up with somethng better? It immediately made me think of Nestle Quik and that idiotic bunny.

Meezles on September 20, 2011 at 1:08 AM

Nutflux.

The next name they’ll come up with.

Streams video directly into your medulla oblongata.

I.V. drip unit optional.

profitsbeard on September 20, 2011 at 1:27 AM

It’s not surprising people react to the increase at all, it is economics. It doesn’t matter what the service is “worth” at all, it is only worth what people will pay for it. Those who use it a lot won’t quit, but they will lose much of their warm and fuzzy feelings for the company.

But a hike of this much – 60% is huge, even if it only $6 – does invite those people who were signed up and just stayed on the rolls, now using the service rarely because it was too cheap to bother canceling to take another look at how much the use it. An excuse to quit.

Netflix isn’t sympathetic, necessarily – they would be a huge beneficiary of “Net Neutrality” rules and no doubt lobby for them – but I do hope the studios suffer some losses out of this, too. Perhaps that accounts for the separation: Hollywood will only get paid for those who pay for streaming.

Adjoran on September 20, 2011 at 1:51 AM

I don’t get this attitude that if it’s a new technology (or really just an upgrade of an existing technology) that it should be treated with reverence and awe. Lots of people still play wooden instruments, you know, like with their fingers. Many people still like the feel of a paper book in their hands. Other still actually ride horses (I know, hard to believe!).

There was a time when if you didn’t have an 8-track player you weren’t cool (I have 2 so I guess I’m double cool…LOL). Then it was casettes, then it was CDs, then it was MP3s/i-pods. Live long enough and you’ll easily pay for the same beloved show or song at least twice in different formats.

These technological upgrades are indeed really neat in many ways. But people need to stop and think about some things…do I really need it? How am I being manipulated by marketing strategies? Am I falling into the keepingupwiththeJoneses and conspicuous consumption thing? If you do, fine, buy why berate others that have a penchant for older technologies?

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 20, 2011 at 1:52 AM

Lame and lamer.

Sherman1864 on September 20, 2011 at 4:42 AM

If you do, fine, buy why berate others that have a penchant for older technologies?

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 20, 2011 at 1:52 AM

I’m with you. I’m fairly big on convenience, so I like iTunes, Kindle, etc. where I can have a large collection in a small space at my fingertips. But I also recognize that others may have different priorities. It’s none of my business, they aren’t infringing upon me, and there is something unattractive and snooty about the need to put them down.

DrMagnolias on September 20, 2011 at 5:50 AM

Never used Netflix and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. They must believe they will get past this bad PR and rebuild their customer base. We’ll see. Competition, anyone?

SKYFOX on September 20, 2011 at 6:20 AM

I can rent a physical DVD of a newly released movie from the RedBox for $1.00. I should be able to stream a movie for a similar price. I refuse to spend $4.00 for a streaming new movie when I can rent one for $1.00. The first service to stream newly released movies for $1.00 will be the winner.

Amazon comes the closest with their $1.99 rentals of fairly recent movies.

Netflix streaming library sux. Didn’t I just read that Starz pulled their content from Netflix?

Dandapani on September 20, 2011 at 6:32 AM

To all you children and chronic whiners out there.

You can’t keep getting a service that costs $1 per usage, multiple times a month, for a dollar or two. And you know what you Netflix whiners? It’s still cheaper, for more, than it was a few years ago.

So go back to your $80 cable, whiners, because $16 for Netflix is such a “ripoff.”

MNHawk on September 20, 2011 at 6:36 AM

Enjoy your American bashing CEO.

Daemonocracy on September 19, 2011 at 11:53 PM

I’m America bashing. Any country that puts the trash of the Chicago Machine into the Presidency deserves to be bashed. Any country that thinks they can go full Greece, without the consequences of such deserves to be bashed. Any country that throws Taiwan and Israel undr the bus, to curry the favor of dictators, deserves to be bashed.

And you know what. Again, judging from the absolute whining about having to pay the cost, for a service, Americans deserve to be bashed.

MNHawk on September 20, 2011 at 7:07 AM

I dropped Netflix when my streaming started to time out. Annoying as ever.

RDE2010 on September 20, 2011 at 8:26 AM

I visit Half Price Books far more often than I would use Netflix.

Vashta.Nerada on September 20, 2011 at 8:56 AM

I think this is a great idea. I hate paying for the DVDs when all I do is stream. I’d like to rip my mailbox out and burn it – nothing more annoying than checking my mail and having to figure out what to keep and what to throw away.

I recently got the Roku player – love it, highly recommend. I used to use my ps3 for Netflix but hated the clunky interface. I’m all about streaming now (and yes, I do Amazon too).

Cheers

jeffthevoter on September 20, 2011 at 9:03 AM

Netflix will be gone soon. Kinda sad really. I got into Netflix a little late, but it was a great business model. The problem is the power lies in the hands of the companies that make the movies. That is why StarzPlay talks broke down.

I am planning on cancelling my Netflix eventually and just renting thru redbox.

jeffn21 on September 20, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Reed Hastings’ reasoning here pretty much fits along the same guidelines of that master plan George Custer had for surrounding all those Indians at the Little Big Horn.

pilamaye on September 20, 2011 at 9:16 AM

So go back to your $80 cable, whiners, because $16 for Netflix is such a “ripoff.”

MNHawk on September 20, 2011 at 6:36 AM

There are lots of options. You really need to look around a bit and get informed – Netflix is not the only show in town. And the internet is a one mighty big town.

whatcat on September 20, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Laura in Maryland on September 19, 2011 at 10:37 PM

He’s right. It’s why they’re called Bratz dolls, or Petz toys, or a great point and click adventure game is called Syberia. Essentially you can’t copyright real (common use) words, but if you make up an alternate spelling you can copyright that (misspelled) word.

DrAllecon on September 20, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Whatever. Netflix will either change their business model to make customers happy or suffer the consequences.

I don’t understand the whining. Use them or don’t. It’s not like the government where you don’t have a choice.

Missy on September 20, 2011 at 10:34 AM

rumors keep cropping up- and being denied- until they crop up again- that Apple was going to get in on the streaming game- to which they totally have the software, infrastructure, money and hardware to do (doesn’t jobs have some connection to a major studio? i want to say it’s dreamworks). itunes has been revolutionary in the distribution of content- changing nearly all forms of popular entertainment media single handedly. and AppleTV has existed for some time often having even rabid fanboys questioning what its purpose really was besides bringing your mac to a big screen.

netflix could be crushed like a bug by apple along with amazon if they don’t manage that all by themselves through this sort of douchebaggery. this tool sounds like obama- a fatuous, lying tool fumbling for the exit before everything hits the fan. nothing i hate more than a simpering fireside non-apology by someone who is going to plow ahead and keep doing what they were doing, pretending they’re responsive to their clients concerns, thinking we’re too stupid to notice their slimy moves . and what a stupid name that has FAIL all over it undoubtably by design.

the oatmeal rules.

mittens on September 20, 2011 at 10:40 AM

I really don’t see the kurfuffle. I like getting DVDs because I like to listen to the director commentaries, and the blooper reels. Streaming was a fun bonus, and now it is not. I rarely used it.

Queen0fCups on September 20, 2011 at 10:47 AM

It’s more expensive, but at least it’s got a stupid name.

Kenosha Kid on September 20, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I think this is a great idea. I hate paying for the DVDs when all I do is stream. I’d like to rip my mailbox out and burn it – nothing more annoying than checking my mail and having to figure out what to keep and what to throw away.

I recently got the Roku player – love it, highly recommend. I used to use my ps3 for Netflix but hated the clunky interface. I’m all about streaming now (and yes, I do Amazon too).

Cheers

jeffthevoter on September 20, 2011 at 9:03 AM

By any chance, are you the evil troll king Threngor on WoW?

roy_batty on September 20, 2011 at 10:54 AM

You’re the CEO’s of multi-million dollar businesses, put on a freak’n suit.

lowandslow on September 19, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Only Jobs could get away with it.

Everyone else just screams “Hey look at me, I’m a hip CEO.”

roy_batty on September 20, 2011 at 11:01 AM

This reminds me of AOL. Once the leader in its’ industry, now not so much.

diogenes on September 20, 2011 at 11:15 AM

So its the people who make movies that suck (refer to G4 Network, “Movies That Don’t Suck) who forced NetFlix to cough up more dough, eh?

Shocked.

BobMbx on September 20, 2011 at 11:17 AM

I still think they are staging the DVD business for sale. The future is in streaming and they want to be able to jettison the DVD biz easily when the time is right.

The wife and I canceled our streaming subscription upon receiving his email. We used it to catch up on old stuff like the final season of Lost, but there isn’t really much content there we want to see. We will give streaming another look once they work out the content deficiencies.

stvnscott on September 20, 2011 at 11:18 AM

So go back to your $80 cable, whiners, because $16 for Netflix is such a “ripoff.”

MNHawk on September 20, 2011 at 6:36 AM

Can’t watch Romo and the ‘Boys on NetFlix. In my house, everything else on TV is bonus material.

BobMbx on September 20, 2011 at 11:19 AM

My wife and I love streaming Netflix. We are diehard BBC Britcom and mysteries fans. “Frost”, “Midsomer Mysteries”, “All Creatures”, “Men Behaving Badly”, “Coupling,” “Sherlock Holmes”, all of P.D. James’ “Adam Dalglish” mysteries….sigh, sadly no “Morse”, yet.

But even Midsomer wasn’t available when I first subscribed to Netflix so maybe Morse is coming?

They have dozens and dozens of BBC’s “Top Gear” available, who doesn’t love Jeremy Clarkson?

As for American TV I love “Eureka” and “Warehouse 13″ re-runs. Anyone remember the cheesy “Kolchak: The night stalker” series? It’s all there. How about the even cheesier “Dark Shadows”? Yup, all 160 episodes. “Angel”, ‘Buffy the vampire slayer” etc. And When was the last time you could watch all of “Soap” at once?

And you can find programs that you might have missed. Does anyone remember the “Dresden Files” when it first ran? I didn’t and was delighted to watch it in its entirity (It should have gone on) And All of “Firefly” as well as the movie??? What a bonus. Anyone remember “Accidentially on Purpose”? I never saw it and find it delightful.

I predict one thing; as more and more TV becomes reality bases (and there are lots of those to watch on Netflix, as well “Pawn Stars” “American Pickers” etc.) then more people are going to be drawn to the older, better made mysteries, comedies…just good TV that we use to watched and loved. Does anyone love a TV show today?? I can’t think of any, I truly can’t.

Ironically, I was just about to sign up to the movies by mail option (I really wanted to see “Tales of the Gold Monkey” again) when the prices went up so, now I’m going to buy “Tales” online; Netflix’s loss.

E9RET on September 20, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Netflix is *easily* worth the cost for the streaming. Their movie selection is only meh, but between Netflix and Hulu the selection of TV shows is sufficient to completely ditch cable TV (which I have). While they handled it poorly, they have a LOT of room to go up before they have to compete with cable.

DaveS on September 20, 2011 at 12:39 PM

While they handled it poorly, they have a LOT of room to go up before they have to compete with cable.

DaveS on September 20, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Unfortunately, perception is reality. I’m sure they planned on losing a certain number of subscribers, but if they continue to bleed away paying customers at the rate they currently are, I question their ability to survive.

gryphon202 on September 20, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I stream movies from Netflix would say it’d be worth the money if they put their whole library of movies online to stream. Besides all of the throwaway B movies, they have very few good movies in their streaming library – if you want to see them, you need to get the DVD.

Dagnar on September 20, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Does this qualify as a parable for the “free lunch, something-for-nothing” crowd of liberal big government types?

College Prof on September 20, 2011 at 1:31 PM

I dumped NetFlix as well. Their streaming content sucks. If all I wanted was to watch outdated movies I would subscribe to HBO.

stacman on September 20, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I thought the Netflix streaming resolution was horrible as well, and with limited selections, I’m dumping it. But, I like the flexibility of taking a DVD to a different room in the house to watch it, rather than having to buy a second Wii. Plus I like their selection – many hard-to-find movies and documentaries are only available there and via Amazon purchase. We keep hearing that the post office will close for good – I’ll worry about that when it actually happens.
Believe it or not, if you go without these services for awhile, you won’t miss them. I’ve yet to hear of anyone that absolutely, positively HAD to restart a service because they went through withdrawal symptoms. They had lives outside of TV. Trust me, they didn’t call it the “boob tube” in the 60′s because of all of the wet t-shirt contests that were televised.
If you look around, there is always something good you can find on cable – TCM and AMC are two of my favorite channels.

…and drunken nostalgia trips where you queue up a season of “Fat Albert”…

For me, it was always “Leave it to Beaver”.
“Ward, don’t you think you were a little hard on the Beaver last night?”

RMCS_USN on September 20, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Anyone else get the “I screwed up but I am not changing anything – so come back anyway” e-mail “from the CEO” of Netflix?

As if.

PJ Emeritus on September 20, 2011 at 3:32 PM

One thing they’re not mentioning is that little ‘iffy’ called the USPS pension plan.

Coronagold on September 20, 2011 at 3:49 PM

The guy doesn’t even have the decency to put on a real shirt and tie before coming out and talking to his customers.
It looks like he’s wearing what he slept in last night.

Obviously, he thinks he’s too big to fail and we’re too stupid to notice.

JellyToast on September 20, 2011 at 6:00 PM

New Coke…

My mother-in-law loves the dvd by mail service. She has satellite internet which isn’t fast enough for steaming. I think the Netflix is making a mistake but it would be the first time.

roux on September 21, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I ditched my satellite service and have been using Netflix as the primary means of TV entertainment for the last 2 years. I’ve kept myself thoroughly entertained with it. The money I save every month from the satellite subscription I just use to go to the bar and watch sports that don’t broadcast over the public airwaves. Right now I’m plowing through all 100 episodes of ‘Lost’ and ‘Star Trek Voyager’ which I never saw when they originally released. The fact that there are no commercial breaks just makes it all the more enjoyable. And ‘Lost’ is in full HD and looks gorgeous on my Vizio 42″ LCD. And keep in mind that new content is always being added. Just keep your eyes on the new releases and you’ll eventually get some series or movie that will get you hooked.

Just go to the store and browse around the electronics section and you’ll see nearly every device in your entertainment rack will have a Netflix player of some sort at some point in the future. Why, there is even a mobile Netflix player in my LG Winphone 7 smartphone. They have such a large amount of market saturation at this point that I don’t think they are fearful of going anywhere anytime soon.

I have noticed that not all Netflix devices are created equal. The Netflix player on my Xbox360 and on my friends PlayStation 3 just plain sucks. The Wii Netflix player is surprisingly good but no HD support I don’t believe. My Parents got a Roku and the playback is rock solid. But by far the built in Netflix player in my Vizio LCD has been the best. Nothing like flipping through channels on TV in one instant and then just press the Netflix button on the remote and instantly being transported to the movie queue the next. And because the player is actually built in as part of the TV system itself the picture quality is crystal clear.

Heftyjo on September 21, 2011 at 3:35 PM

omg stop yer freakin crying and pay the extra couple bucks. Damn!

tlynch001 on September 19, 2011 at 9:32 PM

The price hike didn’t bother me, but splitting my que is probably fatal. It was not simple getting every Dr Who episod available lined up in chronological order.

Voyager on September 22, 2011 at 12:40 AM

Comment pages: 1 2