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Captain Splendid's Journal: Why you're all wrong on Netflix 7

Journal by Captain Splendid

As best as I can tell, the reactions to the Netflix/Qwikster split from both users and analysts seems to be mostly negative, with a strong dash of incomprehension. The three legitimate complaints that stand out for me are the separation of customer info databases between the two companies, the feeling of being "abandoned" by Netflix to a new company (as the service is still DVD user heavy), and last but certainly not least, diminishing content.

The first issue is frankly the most bogus of charges. For starters, if they'd announced close integration, the privacy brigade would be howling about this. This was a decision where they could not score a complete win no matter what they did. Second, be honest with yourself: How many times over the last ten years have you entered your name, your address, tweaked preferences, checked boxes, rated an app/pic/post/movie/song, customized an interface, uploaded content? We human monkeys have no problem pushing buttons, expressing ourselves and putting up with abuse. Just toss those extra clicks on the pile with the rest. Hell, if the interface is interesting enough, you'll get reams of social media articles written about you!

As for the second charge, there's not much to say, really. Assuming Qwikster can continue the kind of service Netflix got rich on, I predict at least another decade of at least solid business. I understand there's been a price hike, but I'm sure a lot of money was spent number-crunching it to optimum perfection. This really is non-issue. Sure, competitors are sure to show an increase in new signups, but again, they'll have anticipated this.

What this does is allows Netflix to hopefully exist forever as one of the primary media-delivery services on the planet. The simple truth is that broadband is cheap, and getting cheaper, and the complaint that the majority of customers still rely on the DVD plan means nothing when Netflix has a business that will grow its customer base constantly for over the next 25 years. And this is why I don't understand all the gloom and doom. This is textbook Successful Spinoff. This is exactly as smart as the WB/AOL merger was dumb.

Assuming that the studios don't bite them in the ass first. Not only is there the incentive for producers to share as little of the pie as possible, they've also spent a lot of time and money over the last 10 years trying to decree what exactly can be done with their product. That ongoing quest for control is Netflix' biggest enemy, and, of the three gripes I listed, this is the only one I expect to be still hearing about 6 months from now. The only logical conclusion is that they're looking at the iTunes Store for inspiration and hoping their algorithm and streaming tech is indeed a better mousetrap.

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Why you're all wrong on Netflix

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  • The fun part with the mostly open privacy stuff is that I could read both ends of chat in FB.

    Including supposedly private talk between techies on this subject.

    That said, regardless of your feelings, or the fact that door is closed now, Netflix has to adapt to the cold hard reality that most of us are ditching DVD in favor of stateless drive tablets, specifically iPad and to a lesser extent Droid/iPhone viewers.

    Looking forward, this reminds me of when modems dropped in price as more people bought them, and h

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      The problem w. the nexflix split was that people were managing their bandwidth so as not to exceed their caps, by supplementing streaming video with snail-mail dvds.

      People can't do that any more. They also can't lend the streaming video to their kids (either at home in another room or if they're empty-nesters, at their kids' place). Ditto for friends and neighbors.

      There was a synergy that benefited both netflix and the consumer, which has now been destroyed. Not smart in a highly competitive environm

      • by gmhowell (26755)

        Signed. I will also lose the option to click one button and move something from DVD over to streaming. And what the hell happens when/if Starz no longer licenses streaming movies for Netflix?

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      stateless drive tablets

      I'm having trouble with the "stateless" drive. Do you mind explaining what it means? The google wasn't very helpful.

      And I wonder why Netflix didn't raise the price for me. There hasn't been any increase in my monthly payment to them. I wonder if there is some grandfather clause or something. And maybe that will end now with the Kwikster thing.

      I've been sort of on the fence with them for a while. I don't use them so much any more. My daughter still does but I find myself having

  • by symbolset (646467) *
    I still like Netflix. I have both. I'm going to continue to use both. I like streaming for the tablet, and discs for the different content I can get in that format. It will cost a little more, be a wee bit less convenient to get that in two places. But hey - first world problems. I seriously don't understand the level of anguish people are giving this one.

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