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Netflix spins off its DVD-by-mail service as Qwikster

post #1 of 128
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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sent a letter to subscribers on Monday, admitting he "messed up" and announcing that it would spin off its DVD and Blu-ray-based mailing business as a new service dubbed "Qwikster."

The company's changes come in response to a subscriber backlash that was spurred by higher prices for rentals of physical DVDs. Hastings said the pricing for combined streaming, via Netflix, and mailed rentals, from Qwikster, will remain the same as it is currently.

"We realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently," he said.

The changes will leave Netflix as a streaming-only rental service, making it in even more direct competition with Apple's iTunes. But while Netflix is exclusively a rental service for streaming video, Apple's iTunes is largely focused on purchases.

Apple recently moved even more away from the rental business, when the company abandoned 99-cent TV show rentals, a service that originally launched in 2010 with the company's revamped $99 Apple TV. Apple revealed that iTunes customers "overwhelmingly" preferred buying TV shows over renting them.

The new Qwikster service will also allow the company to expand its mail services to include console video games. For an extra fee, in the same way users are charged for Blu-ray deliveries, Qwikster will rent Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii games to customers by mail.

Netflix remains the dominant player in digital video delivery in America, as the NPD Group found in March of this year that Apple's iTunes represented just 4 percent of domestic streaming and downloadable video content. The Netflix Instant Watch streaming service was said to represent 61 percent of all paid digital video viewings.



But in terms of sales, where Netflix does not compete, Apple is the undisputed king, with a study released in February revealing that iTunes represented 64.5 percent of the market.

Apple has been rumored for years to be interested in offering TV subscriptions through iTunes, allowing users to pay a flat monthly rate to have access to their favorite shows. One plan pitched to television studios in 2009 would have allegedly cost $30 per month.

But those plans never materialized, and Apple instead turned its attention toward the ill-fated business of 99-cent TV show rentals. That offering, too, was met with resistance from content providers, who said they felt Apple's pricing was too cheap.

When 99-cent TV rentals debuted in 2010, Apple only had two of the "big four" U.S. networks onboard -- ABC, which is owned by Disney, the company in which Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder; and Fox, owned by News Corporation, which partnered with Apple to launch The Daily for iPad earlier this year.

The full letter from Hastings to Netflix subscribers is included below:

I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.

For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn't make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldnt have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.

So here is what we are doing and why.

Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.

I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.

So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

Its hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to Qwikster. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name Netflix for streaming.

Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow. A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated.

There are no pricing changes (were done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges. We will let you know in a few weeks when the Qwikster.com website is up and ready.

For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.

I want to acknowledge and thank you for sticking with us, and to apologize again to those members, both current and former, who felt we treated them thoughtlessly.

Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.

Respectfully yours,

-Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix
post #2 of 128
Quitster.
post #3 of 128
A Netflix article? It must be a slow news day.
post #4 of 128
What was AOL dialup great at? I remember back in the 90's getting endless busy signals until AOL was sued for breach of contract. What was Borders great at? Barnes and Noble always had a better selection of books. I finally stopped referring to Borders as a bookstore.

Now, Borders ceases to exist and AOL has evolved several times from an ISP to now a puppet website of the Huffington Post.

Thankfully, Netflix's recent moves have woken me up to the diminished value of its businesses. The selection of streaming content has always sucked, and will get worse when the Starz contract ends in February. As much as Mr. Hastings will hate to admit it, the DVD service is Netflix's bread and butter. So he kicks it to the curb. But even that has been eclipsed by instant gratification services such as Redbox and iTunes.
post #5 of 128
Apologizing for something without making any amends, or correcting the thing you are apologizing for, is nothing but p.r. spin and reveals myopic hubris.

And parroting Apple's utterly far-fetched claim that viewers "overwhelmingly prefer" to own TV shows vs. rent them is just insulting to readers' intelligence. Let's see, let me pay $5 for a single half-hour TV show of disposable entertainment instead of renting it for $1 - yeah, that sounds like the savvy American consumer to me... not. Streaming Netflix is popular because it's a bargain, it's simple, and it has just-enough variety of programming. Apple TV charging $5 for movies offers nothing more than cable already does (sometimes for less), so if Apple want to move it out of "hobby" status, they'd better take a good look at the $8/month Netflix model, and they'd better keep an eye over their shoulder on Hulu.
post #6 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by katastroff View Post

Quitster.

Indeed. But I suspect that Netflix is/was a draw to Apple iOS devices. Could have an impact on demand for Apple TV and others.
post #7 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

What was AOL dialup great at? I remember back in the 90's getting endless busy signals until AOL was sued for breach of contract. What was Borders great at? Barnes and Noble always had a better selection of books. I finally stopped referring to Borders as a bookstore.

Now, Borders ceases to exist and AOL has evolved several times from an ISP to now a puppet website of the Huffington Post.

Thankfully, Netflix's recent moves have woken me up to the diminished value of its businesses. The selection of streaming content has always sucked, and will get worse when the Starz contract ends in February. As much as Mr. Hastings will hate to admit it, the DVD service is Netflix's bread and butter. So he kicks it to the curb. But even that has been eclipsed by instant gratification services such as Redbox and iTunes.

Same here. I am amazed at how bad the Streaming Movie selection is - mostly B movies and seeing the same ones at that for many months. On the DVD Side, the wait is glacial compared to what i could get for cheap at the local rental store or Redbox or Itunes or....
post #8 of 128
Netflix => Tailspin

They will auger in soon. Hulu & Blockbuster say thanks

Apple probably not too upset either...
post #9 of 128
Wow! how stupid. They have this great brand name. Technology would allow them to integrate the services like they are currently doing. But now they want us to go to two different websites and have two different logins. This makes no sense!
post #10 of 128
Netflix streaming blows. I'd say realistically that 80% of their selection is just complete low-rated garbage.

Netflix would kick ass if they had what was available on the DVD rental side available on the instant streaming side.

The ironic thing is piracy is the concern/reason for not having that content available on the streaming side, and yet ripping a DVD is easier than ripping a live stream.
post #11 of 128
i will do better by using netflix for streaming, but their choices become narrow especially for family stuff
cut out the "dvd" option altogether

and use redbox

i figured that i rent less than 8 dvd's a month and i can reserve them at the redbox at my nearby walmart and

RECUCE my fixed cost

netflix is becoming less and less relevent


hello redbox
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post #12 of 128
It seems as if some people who complain about Netflix seem to be making the same tired arguments, as if they were all repeating the same dumb talking points.

Starz? Really? Are some people blind or do some people just have really low standards?

I have Netflix streaming and I'm very glad to see Starz go as Starz content on Netflix is shit quality. I'm not talking shit quality in terms of the selection, I am talking shit quality in regards to the technical quality of Starz's content. When you go to see a Starz movie on Netflix it looks like garbage. It's on a tiny little box with big black borders around it. Starz content on Netflix is completely useless to me (and anybody else with taste and standards) and Netflix is better off spending their money buying better content from elsewhere now that Starz and their shit content will be gone.

As for Netflix splitting their business in two, that is a good move. Streaming is where the future is at and DVD rentals through the mail is a dying business. I think that Netflix streaming is a great deal for $8 a month. Show me who else has something better? I recently saw that they just added the first 3 seasons of Breaking Bad, that's fucking awesome!
post #13 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It seems as if some people who complain about Netflix seem to be making the same tired arguments, as if they were all repeating the same dumb talking points.

Starz? Really? Are some people blind or do some people just have really low standards?

I have Netflix streaming and I'm very glad to see Starz go as Starz content on Netflix is shit quality. I'm not talking shit quality in terms of the selection, I am talking shit quality in regards to the technical quality of Starz's content. When you go to see a Starz movie on Netflix it looks like garbage. It's on a tiny little box with big black borders around it. Starz content on Netflix is completely useless to me (and anybody else with taste and standards) and Netflix is better off spending their money buying better content from elsewhere now that Starz and their shit content will be gone.

As for Netflix splitting their business in two, that is a good move. Streaming is where the future is at and DVD rentals through the mail is a dying business. I think that Netflix streaming is a great deal for $8 a month. Show me who else has something better? I recently saw that they just added the first 3 seasons of Breaking Bad, that's fucking awesome!

by the time that future is here my blu-ray collection will have grown even more

now with this dumb move i'll probably dump netflix streaming and keep the blu ray plan. buy an apple tv and dump my dvr. add hulu or just buy the few shows my wife likes on apple tv. and keep buying blu rays
post #14 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by resnyc View Post

Apologizing for something without making any amends, or correcting the thing you are apologizing for, is nothing but p.r. spin and reveals myopic hubris.

And parroting Apple's utterly far-fetched claim that viewers "overwhelmingly prefer" to own TV shows vs. rent them is just insulting to readers' intelligence. Let's see, let me pay $5 for a single half-hour TV show of disposable entertainment instead of renting it for $1 - yeah, that sounds like the savvy American consumer to me... not. Streaming Netflix is popular because it's a bargain, it's simple, and it has just-enough variety of programming. Apple TV charging $5 for movies offers nothing more than cable already does (sometimes for less), so if Apple want to move it out of "hobby" status, they'd better take a good look at the $8/month Netflix model, and they'd better keep an eye over their shoulder on Hulu.

Your response is exactly what I felt. Both Netflix and Apple insult our intelligence with these statements. Netflix took a bad move and made it worse. Nice trick.
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post #15 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

Wow! how stupid. They have this great brand name. Technology would allow them to integrate the services like they are currently doing. But now they want us to go to two different websites and have two different logins. This makes no sense!

It makes perfect sense if they plan to sell off the DVD service in the future. No one will blink an eye at a news article stating, "Qwikster sold off to ????".

Two years with Netflix was a nice run, but we already cancelled our service. Goodbye Netflix and goodbye Qwikster (I feel silly typing that name). We will use the extra $$$ and just upgrade our U-verse account from U100 to U200.
post #16 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I have Netflix streaming and I'm very glad to see Starz go as Starz content on Netflix is shit quality.

You are glad to see 8% of the content you pay for disappear with nothing announced to replace it?
post #17 of 128
Wow.
How to kill a good thing 101.
post #18 of 128
This is So Stupid! Let's take an incredibly well known name, with incredible customer good will - and destroy it all in a matter of months! As someone said an a Washington Post article today, the only thing left of Netflix 2 years from now will be a Harvard Business School case study in what not to do when you have a successful company!
post #19 of 128
I'm hoping they can introduce less efficiency by granting us two distinct websites to maintain queues on. Maybe they'll require you type in the full correct name of a movie to access it?
post #20 of 128
Terrible “trendy” new name, but the beauty is in the massive film/TV selection, not the name!

And “Netflix” is actually a great, logical name for the streaming-only service.

I’m still not likely to get both—maybe I’ll alternate! Offer a cross-promotion discount (again) even a buck off, and I might go for both.

If this is a sign of worse to come, that’s a shame Fingers crossed, because nobody else can touch Netflix/Qwikster's’s selection.
post #21 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It seems as if some people who complain about Netflix seem to be making the same tired arguments, as if they were all repeating the same dumb talking points.

...

As for Netflix splitting their business in two, that is a good move. Streaming is where the future is at and DVD rentals through the mail is a dying business. I think that Netflix streaming is a great deal for $8 a month. Show me who else has something better? I recently saw that they just added the first 3 seasons of Breaking Bad, that's fucking awesome!

The idiocy is taking your well-know brand name that stands for movie rentals (whether dvd or streaming) and calling it something completely different, billing separately, managing the website side separately.

Bundling it and using the brand name keeps people using that product. A '$2 off per month' when using both DVD and streaming deal would help with the same. Calling it Inprise instead of Borland doesn't. (Oh, sorry, just thinking of other completely asinine moves like that. ) You lose the entire brand for no reason.

There's no reason that Netflix can't have 2 units with independent heads running them - make sure you have synergy where appropriate, but that each person can focus on running the best version of their particular business. You don't have to dump your company name - unless you're really trying to destroy your own brand for some reason. Maybe the guy shorted his stock or something.

For that matter, 'Hi, I'm the largest hammer maker in the world. I'm going to stop making hammers now and focus on enterprise software because it has higher margins.' has to go down as another piece of lunacy. Replace hammer with PC, obviously. And of course people make these terrible decisions and walk away with huge severance packages when the ouster comes. C'mon, _I_ can make bad decisions and take a lot of money for it, where's my gravy train?
post #22 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

You are glad to see 8% of the content you pay for disappear with nothing announced to replace it?

There are new things that get introduced from time to time.

And no, it doesn't bother me at all that Starz content will be gone, because I never watched any of it. At that shit quality, it simply wasn't even an option for me. I would equate it to Android kicking malware apps off their app store.

I think some people are pretty unrealistic. No streaming service is going to have brand new movies on it as soon as they are released for $8 a month, as a subscription service. There are some streaming pay per view services around, but that's not the same thing at all.
post #23 of 128
Yes, this sucks more than it should. I don't like that the 2 are separating into two different websites, especially, since I rent things on disc that aren't available for streaming, and build my disc list mostly that way. Now it'll be search, this bit's not on disc, go over to qwickster, and then search again? Yeah, that's gonna be fun.

The only reason I don't just stop the disc subscription is that redbox doesn't have all of the discs I'm looking for, some are older, some are tv shows (which iirc, redbox doesn't get).
post #24 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Netflix streaming blows. I'd say realistically that 80% of their selection is just complete low-rated garbage.

Netflix would kick ass if they had what was available on the DVD rental side available on the instant streaming side.

The ironic thing is piracy is the concern/reason for not having that content available on the streaming side, and yet ripping a DVD is easier than ripping a live stream.

My thoughts exactly. I would love to drop the DVD side, but my queue has a few hundred operas that are not streaming, and I doubt ever will be. Oh well. And my 2 yr old would pitch the mother of all fits if we couldn't stream Word World, Thomas, etc anymore. I guess it's more years of two bills as far as I can see. \
post #25 of 128
Mr. Hastings seems to be on his own agenda. Doesn't care what the customers think or want. He was quite clear with that when he did the price hikes. Now he writes a stupid letter of what he calls an apology. But in reality he is sticking to his own agenda and making what customers didn't want even worse by splitting its services into two different names and making customers sign up some where else to get there DVD's and Blu-rays. Then on top of that we can't even cross reference what are physical media cue is versus our streaming media? Stupidity at its highest! This will make even more customers even more angry then they were before and probably cause hemorrhaging of his Netflix subscribers. One million lost was just a little cut compared to what this will cause.
Mr. Hastings should be removed as CEO.
post #26 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

This is So Stupid! Let's take an incredibly well known name, with incredible customer good will - and destroy it all in a matter of months! As someone said an a Washington Post article today, the only thing left of Netflix 2 years from now will be a Harvard Business School case study in what not to do when you have a successful company!

Maybe someone has kidnapped his family and threatened to kill them if he doesn't destroy the company? So he's overdoing it and hoping we'll all be thinking 'nobody could be that stupid, his family must need help and we have save them!'?

So who here will be first to help him? Not one of us! I'm so embarrassed to be part of humanity at times.
post #27 of 128
Mr. Hasting you wanted to srew me and relized you were srewing yourself, how did it fell. Like everything else I have moved on as you forced me to learn more regarding my options. thank you
post #28 of 128
I got the "apology" e-mail from Reed and I could not believe they picked "Qwickster" for their split company name... It's absolutely horrible as a name because it's so easy to mistype that it damages their credibility. If they actually are able to negotiate 90% of what the movie studios and production companies offer today in the form of DVDs, I'll drop the mail service in favor of online only. I certainly don't intend on keeping both. If their online library continues to blow, I'll cancel both. Movies are not a necessity anyway.

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post #29 of 128
I don't get it. Netflix announced a 60% price increase and lost 5% of their customers. What the heck is he apologizing for? And then he takes his well established brand name and smashes it on the floor and rolls around in the shards while shouting ad hominem attacks at Apple and iTunes? What's the point? All in response to consumers who want from Netflix the same thing they want from the government: better selection of streaming movies including just released titles at no additional cost. If he had just stuck to his plan, 6 months from now everyone would be writing about how Netflix had weathered a storm and successfully raised their prices, allowing for better streaming content, while holding on to their membership and increasing profits. They'd be writing about that and how Michele Bachman was quitting the presidential race in the wake of a rentboy.com scandal involving her husband.
post #30 of 128
For DVD customers, this might be a bad thing, but for streaming only customers, I see it as a good thing. No longer will useless DVD results show up when I'm searching for something. Netflix is expanding globally, and streaming will be a big part of that.

Netflix clearly sees the Streaming and DVD through mail business as being two different things, and the DVD business has got to be much more costly to operate than streaming, with physical media, distribution centers to operate and mail delivery, all of which adds to the costs. People who want physical media should pay more.

Netflix is most likely not a bunch of socialists and the streaming people shouldn't have to subsidize the mail rental people. I can totally see why they would want to separate the two businesses from each other.
post #31 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by b9bot View Post

Mr. Hastings seems to be on his own agenda. Doesn't care what the customers think or want. He was quite clear with that when he did the price hikes. Now he writes a stupid letter of what he calls an apology. But in reality he is sticking to his own agenda and making what customers didn't want even worse by splitting its services into two different names and making customers sign up some where else to get there DVD's and Blu-rays. Then on top of that we can't even cross reference what are physical media cue is versus our streaming media? Stupidity at its highest! This will make even more customers even more angry then they were before and probably cause hemorrhaging of his Netflix subscribers. One million lost was just a little cut compared to what this will cause.
Mr. Hastings should be removed as CEO.

I agree with the suggestion to fire Reed Hastings. He's caused enormous damage to their reputation with these recent boneheaded moves.

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post #32 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by b9bot View Post

Mr. Hastings seems to be on his own agenda. Doesn't care what the customers think or want. He was quite clear with that when he did the price hikes. Now he writes a stupid letter of what he calls an apology. But in reality he is sticking to his own agenda and making what customers didn't want even worse by splitting its services into two different names and making customers sign up some where else to get there DVD's and Blu-rays. Then on top of that we can't even cross reference what are physical media cue is versus our streaming media? Stupidity at its highest! This will make even more customers even more angry then they were before and probably cause hemorrhaging of his Netflix subscribers. One million lost was just a little cut compared to what this will cause.
Mr. Hastings should be removed as CEO.

Yea, Mr. Hastings should be removed. He should be replaced by somebody that isn't concerned with running a business and should just give everything away to make the customers happy. Capitalism sucks, profit is evil. Right?

But yes, I do agree that he could have been a bit more tactful with his changes. What bugs me most is everybody screaming about how Netflix sucks. Everything somehow is either great or it sucks. Nothing in between. How about - Netflix is a reasonable return for your $8 a month.
post #33 of 128
Netflix seems to be floundering badly and I think they will fail if the keep going down this path. They had me as a loyal customer until they split streaming and DVD's. That was the end of that for me. This latest decision to actually split the company makes me happy that I made the decision and that it was the right one.
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NoahJ
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post #34 of 128
Will be interesting to see what happens to Netflix, what the reaction is from consumers, and how fast the stock drops when the new Blockbuster/DISH system is unveiled this Friday.
post #35 of 128
Flixter will sue over the name.
post #36 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

For DVD customers, this might be a bad thing, but for streaming only customers, I see it as a good thing. No longer will useless DVD results show up when I'm searching for something. Netflix is expanding globally, and streaming will be a big part of that.

Netflix clearly sees the Streaming and DVD through mail business as being two different things, and the DVD business has got to be much more costly to operate than streaming, with physical media, distribution centers to operate and mail delivery, all of which adds to the costs. People who want physical media should pay more.

Netflix is clearly not a bunch of socialists and the streaming people shouldn't have to subsidize the mail rental people. I can totally see why they would want to separate the two businesses from each other.

I think the core issue is that the movie studios control the content, therefore they control Netflix. They likely demanded separate revenue streams from DVDs vs. streaming AND I'm betting that Netflix will soon offer on-demand movie options soon that will compete with cable's for-pay offerings (probably something like $9.99 each for movies that have been in the theaters for a month or two).

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post #37 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

Yea, Mr. Hastings should be removed. He should be replaced by somebody that isn't concerned with running a business and should just give everything away to make the customers happy. Capitalism sucks, profit is evil. Right?

But yes, I do agree that he could have been a bit more tactful with his changes. What bugs me most is everybody screaming about how Netflix sucks. Everything somehow is either great or it sucks. Nothing in between. How about - Netflix is a reasonable return for your $8 a month.

I haven't heard many people that have seen the lesser "upside" of this. If you had the streaming with DVD before it was what, $9.99? I have no idea what I paid. I never had time to actually watch the DVD's with a 6 month old at home. So when this came out it was perfect. I dropped the DVD part and my cost dropped $2 a month. Not a big savings, but I wasn't able to devote 2 hours to sit down and watch a movie anyhow. Now I can use streaming to watch shows and the occasional movie that actually comes available AND I want to watch.

Just don't take Start Trek NextGen away until I have finished watching all seasons. 45 minutes is perfect to watch an episode during a kids nap.
post #38 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I think the core issue is that the movie studios control the content, therefore they control Netflix. They likely demanded separate revenue streams from DVDs vs. streaming AND I'm betting that Netflix will soon offer on-demand movie options soon that will compete with cable's for-pay offerings (probably something like $9.99 each for movies that have been in the theaters for a month or two).





I would do that in a HEARTBEAT. I know a lot of parents that don't have time to go see movies in the theaters, but want to see a movie before it has been out for 9 months. I refuse to go to the sites that show ripped off versions of the movies, because it is just a matter of time before all those people get billed/busted. So, I have no options. If only they could pipe the movies into my house where I can pause them, and do so after only a month old? SIGN ME UP

Side note, Cinemark and the theaters will not allow that though.
post #39 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

Yea, Mr. Hastings should be removed. He should be replaced by somebody that isn't concerned with running a business and should just give everything away to make the customers happy. Capitalism sucks, profit is evil. Right?

But yes, I do agree that he could have been a bit more tactful with his changes. What bugs me most is everybody screaming about how Netflix sucks. Everything somehow is either great or it sucks. Nothing in between. How about - Netflix is a reasonable return for your $8 a month.

I think there might be other rationales for firing him than striking a blow against capitalism. He screwed up with the way in which he announced the pricing changes in July and now he is making a move that might actually do serious financial damage. He would appear to be ill-equipped to handle the company he founded as it adapts to new technologies and new types of deals.

There were a lot of ways that he could have sold the plan changes last July that would have created no backlash at all. Instead, he created a sh*t storm and he doesn't seem to know how to operate the umbrella.
post #40 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I think the core issue is that the movie studios control the content, therefore they control Netflix. They likely demanded separate revenue streams from DVDs vs. streaming AND I'm betting that Netflix will soon offer on-demand movie options soon that will compete with cable's for-pay offerings (probably something like $9.99 each for movies that have been in the theaters for a month or two).

Yep. They likely wanted more money and it cascaded into this.

Personally I'm not totally bugged by this move so long as it doesn't make me rebuild my queue. I also think that they could do with qwikboxing things up, at least for the big titles and putting up boxes to save on postage. They could perhaps even make an app where you could search for a box with a certain title or see if the titles in your queue were available at a box and pick one to rent. Or just pick to get something by mail. If your next title isn't in a box you would have to get it by mail and return it by mail. It could work.

Course by the same token I would like to see the studios not treat iTunes etc as bastard children. And work with Apple etc to have one format for extras etc and not two to get visually tracks, commentaries, subtitles etc into things. Drop the price on the plain vanilla version that comes out the night before and then perhaps after the season release these enhanced versions an let us 'Plus' upgrade to them. Give us HD on everything, even if just their low-grade version of HD. And have the nets count downloads as viewers to offset the crappy outdated ratings system
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AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Netflix spins off its DVD-by-mail service as Qwikster