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Visionaries cannot be swayed, only sidelined. He'll get the next quarter, at least, and probably the one after that. Netflix has its player on a lot of devices, and that access is compelling to content owners who think there's more money they're not already getting through existing windows. That doesn't bode well for the hot new content, just more leftovers, unless Netflix embraces a PPV or tiered model for content and pitches itself as a (better-paying) replacement for one of those windows. In other words, there's still time for Reed to make a few more bold/crazy moves that piss off existing subscribers (and maybe interest new ones) before he's crowned or canned. But the rosy glow that Netflix had with existing and potential customers? I doubt they'll ever get that back.
Panel 3 could just as easily say "check Blockbuster." Or "let's go to Redbox." Of course, Reed is probably fine with that. Will he still be fine with that in March when Netflix has no premium-worthy content and has to raise rates more or even change the whole pay model to get some?
GoPostal seems an apropriate name at the moment.
The only way this makes sense is if Netflix can deliver most of the content that people get via DVD today, via streaming, at a similar price. But if they were able to do that, they should have held their split announcement until then. And we know they're not able to do that, because the studios want PPV money -- and in a world that includes PPV streaming, cable, and premium channels, the studios have no incentive to give Netflix anything. So thanks, Netflix, for killing customer convenience for no reason except short-term shareholder gain. Wait, it's trading at 143.75? Oops.
Two websites? Two queues with no connection to each other? Two sets of ratings? Two places to go to see what my viewing options are? That is not in any way, shape, or form an improvement for media consumers. That's an arrogant business reducing customer value for increased shareholder value, DARING customers to go elsewhere. Challenge accepted. The day the sites split, I'm cancelling both services.
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Sep 19, 2011