Qwikster? What’s that? A company that makes chocolate milk powder?
First you raise prices. Then we find out you’re losing Starz content (making your streaming service significantly less attractive). Now you decide to split your websites for some reason that may make sense to you, but basically makes Netflix less useful for us.
I used to love Hulu and recommend it to folks too. All it took was incompetence and greed and now I don’t even visit the site any more. (And I’m not alone — Hulu is going downhill in every metric.)
Here’s the thing about the DVD service — it handles long tail content, and everyone loves something that’s only available on DVD. And, it’s not easily replaceable. More importantly, we think of content in terms of TV shows and movies, not in terms of media. I don’t want to watch season 4 of NUMB3RS on DVD, I just want to watch season 4 of NUMB3RS. (And, obviously, I don’t want to maintain two lists of things I want to watch.) The only thing Netflix has that Apple, Amazon, Hulu, and so forth don’t as far as streaming services go is rights and customer data.
I would argue that at its core, Netflix is a company that collects customers’ viewing habits and tracks what they watch. And it’s not very good at it, e.g. when I watch an episode of NUMB3Rs on my AppleTV and switch to my upstairs Mac — Netflix thinks I’m halfway through the previous episode. How hard would this be to fix?* How hard would it be to differentiate ratings from different people sharing one account? Don’t think you’re going to sell multiple accounts to a household if you can’t manage one account.
* Hey, Apple isn’t much better — if you skip over a podcast iTunes won’t figure out you’ve “listened” to it, and in iTunes it’s almost impossible to jump to the beginning of a movie but very easy to skip to the previous movie — whatever it is.
Netflix is fucking up its core business and chasing ephemera. If Netflix is losing rights it’s probably because it doesn’t deliver value to content producers, which means that its business model was providing viewers a bargain by screwing the post office and content producers, and now it’s trying to screw its customers as well.
But hey, you’re sticking with red envelopes. Awesome.