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314 comments

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me! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284518)

I'm first.

Re:me! (0)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#37284550)

First run comments are no longer offered.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284570)

Well isn't that just fan-frick'ntastic. Great job Netflix, one more reason for your subscribers to become UN-subscribers.....Its unfortunate that they can't seem to do ANYTHING right lately. -_-

Re:Really? (1)

gtvr (1702650) | about 2 years ago | (#37284658)

And you know how that this is all Netflix's fault?

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284696)

Who gives a shit whose "fault" it is?

It makes the Netflix streaming service useless, so as far as I'm concerned, if Netflix wants me to pay to stream, they have to have content I want to watch.

They already have next to nothing interesting on streaming, their streaming clients universally suck ass and routinely crash, and now they're going to reduce the available content even further?

I don't care if it's "Starz's fault," it's Netflix that has to keep me as a customer, and right now, their streaming service still isn't worth paying for.

Re:Really? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | about 2 years ago | (#37284800)

Here,here. If Netflix wants to be rewarded for their good intentions, they should join a religious order. If they want to be rewarded for effort, they should get a government contract. If they want to keep me as a subscriber, they better deliver some high quality content.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284922)

If they want to be rewarded for effort, they should get a government contract.

Never been involved in government work, have you?

Re:Really? (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#37284880)

Exactly. Netflix is designed so people can watch DVDs and streaming content. I don't care who's fault it is that I can't watch what I want to watch. If Netflix doesn't have what I want to watch, why should I subscribe to them? Between this and their spin on rate increases that somehow it is a /good/ thing I'm paying more, I'm not sure if it is really worth the price.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37285484)

I've never had Netflix streaming client crash on me. Not on WinXP, not on Win7, not on the Wii. It handles network traffic well and I get a decent DVD quality picture 95% of the time. We disagree on the "nothing interesting on streaming". I've been able to watch a lot of tv shows that are either unavailable or that I like. I've been able to watch a lot of documentaries or science shows that are never or no longer aired. I've been able to watch a lot of movies I've either never heard of or was not interested in spending $7 - $12 to see at a theater (sure, I have to wait a half year, but so what).

You are correct, Netflix does have to keep customers. But it seems to me that the movie industry is doing their best to kill the cash cow.

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

mmarlett (520340) | about 2 years ago | (#37284776)

Well, it's more likely that Starz wants more money for its content than Netflix gets out of its subscribers. According to the article, Starz wanted $300 million a year for the rights to show the same content that four years ago it was passing along for $30 million a year. Netflix has 22 million subscribers. Stars wanted more than $10 per subscriber per year, which would probably be fine if Netflix _only_ had Starz content and no other significant expenses.

But for my $8/month streaming account, I can say without a doubt that I do not watch more than 10% of Starz content.

Netflix just signed a streaming deal with Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM for about $200 million a year — and those three have more and better content than Starz, which suddenly thinks its worth 1/3 more than those others. Not likely.

Netflix basically just said, "Meh, we'll take the money we were going to give to you and give it to someone else for their content." Starz is not the only game in town. It's not even the best game in town. And now everybody knows how much is too much. It's just hardball.

Re:Really? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 2 years ago | (#37284882)

Also with the slow death of video rental stores, the only place to get their content will be torrents.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#37285438)

Also with the slow death of video rental stores, the only place to get their content will be torrents.

C'est la vie; torrenting is still the easiest and most convenient way to get the content anyway. Sooner or later these companies are going to realize that if people want to see something, they're going to see it...especially digital media. The more difficult they make it to get the content legitimately, the more people turn to The Pirate Bay and they get nothing.

Case in point, HBO Go...I recently tried to sign up for this service since I'm supposed to be eligible to get it due to being a cable subscriber (Charter), after about 6 steps into the process requiring me to use the Charter email address I've literally never touched in my 10 years as a subscriber I said "fuck it" and just download the shit illegally like I always did. I shouldn't have to do that, I'm a paying customer, but the legal process is so retarded that they make it impractical.

They'll learn, just like the record labels did. It's only a matter of time...

Re:Really? (1)

PopeScott (1343031) | about 2 years ago | (#37285032)

Thank you for this post. "Netflix just signed a streaming deal with Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM for about $200 million a year" This right here just saved my streaming account. Sound's like my selection is going to get better. Screw Starz.

Re:Really? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#37285092)

Didn't Netflix make like more than two billion dollars last quarter, alone? It seems like $300m isn't too unreasonable. Of course it was only $30m several years ago. Netflix wasn't nearly the huge deal it has become (streaming-wise).

What I don't get is - why does Starz have all this content? Why doesn't Netflix just buy the rights to the content from whoever it is that Starz is buying the rights to the content from?

Re:Really? (3, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | about 2 years ago | (#37285306)

Last quarter, they had revenue of $788 million with income of $110 million. I'm more of a letter guy, but I do believe that's less than $2 billion.

Re:Really? (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#37285326)

$2B in revenue but $160M in profit. So with no other changes, Netflix stands to lose money next year if they accepted the deal. Unless they get a lot of subscribers, or they figure how to significantly cut costs, or they raise prices again.

Re:Really? (1)

RobNich (85522) | about 2 years ago | (#37285386)

Starz isn't "buying" the rights. They "own" the rights for a period of time. Until that time period is over, they are the only source.

Re:Really? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#37285480)

Beauty of copyright: they ARE the only game in town when it comes to movies that they own copyright to.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about 2 years ago | (#37284816)

So you blame Netflix? There are two parties in this contract; we won't know which one is at fault without knowing how much Starz is demanding, and how little Netflix is offering.

Of course, the real villain here is copyright. Not the law, but the idea that it gives publishers complete control over their works (rather than just being a way to help them make a reasonable return). It means that publishers like Starz feel entitled to demand whatever price they want for their content, or flat-out refuse to license it - particularly if they'd rather you spent $10/mo on their service (even though you only want to watch the odd show), rather than paying Netflix $x/mo, of which only a fraction will end back at Starz.

The same issue is gradually making itself known with computer gaming; particularly the current Valve/EA fight, with contract negotiations breaking down as both parties want to push their own distribution systems (Steam/Origin resp.) with their products (notably Crysis2, Dragon Age 2, and soon SW:tOR).

This is bundling, it occurs when you have publishers, distributors and copyright owners all mixed together, and is anti-competitive and evil. This is what led to the EU fining Microsoft €899m [wikimedia.org] in 2008, for bundling WMP with Windows (and made MS give EU users a choice of web browser, by default).

Sadly, the only way around this (short of having very strict and rigorously-enforced anti-trust laws - which take a long time to work; the initial complaint against MS above was made in 1994 - an appeal is still pending) is compulsory licensing. This would mean we could get dozens of Netflixes and Hulus, iTuneses and Spotifies, Steams and Origins, all offering competing services to access the same content - giving consumers the choice for which service to go with (rather than the copyright owner), depending on the terms ($n/mo for streaming v $m per download etc.) - with copyright owners getting paid a 'fair' amount, and not having to worry about endless contract negotiations.

Of course, this will never happen in the US/EU etc. as it would involve the big copyright owners (Disney, Warner Bros, Starz etc.) giving up control, and their refusal to allow these sorts of services already (or reliance on excessive DRM) shows how tightly they cling on to this. Plus it would probably have to involve registering copyrights, a state-run scheme, international co-operation and a significant change to the big copyright treaties (such as TRIPS or the Berne Convention).

But one can dream...

Re:Really? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#37285350)

It’s not Netflix fault or Starz – because – gosh – it sounds one of them is doing something sinful or illegal Think about it this way

Starz is a monopoly – in so far that that they are the only people selling first run streaming Disney movies.

Netflix is a quasi-monopsony [Technically not, but it’s the largest streaming video company, and if Starz want’s Netflix consumers they have to go through them]

What is the “fair” price that Netflix should pay Starz? There is $X of profit for 1 year for steaming videos that needs to be split between these two. [I am not ignoring that there are substitute products (DVDs, ITunes, Bit Torrent’s, etc – it just limits the profit to $X – not $X + more)

I don’t think there is one in the sense that there is a moral division of profits in this case, nor does game theory help much.

Protracted negations often happen when you have a Monopoly/Monopsony dynamic going. As a comparison, look at the negations that occur between Somali pirates and ship-owners. Everybody knows that in the end the ship-owners will pay the pirates. The pirates can’t sell their stolen ship to anybody else and it is the ship-owners best interest to get there ship and crew back as fast as possible. On the other hand, neither has much leverage over the other to force negations forward – other than brute force. . Thus the negations can last for months over a few million dollars.

Re:Really? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#37285358)

Sadly, the only way around this (short of having very strict and rigorously-enforced anti-trust laws - which take a long time to work; the initial complaint against MS above was made in 1994 - an appeal is still pending) is compulsory licensing. This would mean we could get dozens of Netflixes and Hulus, iTuneses and Spotifies, Steams and Origins, all offering competing services to access the same content - giving consumers the choice for which service to go with (rather than the copyright owner), depending on the terms ($n/mo for streaming v $m per download etc.) - with copyright owners getting paid a 'fair' amount, and not having to worry about endless contract negotiations.

It would also require someone to decide what is "fair". Is an hour of "big brother" or "american idol" worth the same as an hour of "planet earth" or "mythbusters"?

Re:Really? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#37285070)

Netflix has been doing great and I've been of the mind that they could charge me triple what they do now and I'd still feel like it was a great deal.

Unfortunately, it seems like 50% of the content is from Starz. If they're going to lose all of that, there's less reason for me to remain subscribed.

If this occurs, I'm sure we'll see torrent traffic rise, again.

Next up: tiered pricing (5, Insightful)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | about 2 years ago | (#37284574)

Thank you for selecting Netflix. Along with our basic package would like to upgrade to the following?

Starz Package - $5.99/month
Fox Sports Live Streaming - $12.99/month
Nickelodeon Package - $4.99/month
Slashdot Channel - £2.99/day
NFL On Demand - $14.99/month
NHL Prime Time - $0.99/decade

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (2)

AkaKaryuu (1062882) | about 2 years ago | (#37284644)

If the packages contained enough content and the base price for non premium was acceptable, this is still a cheeper option than major cable providers, with no commercials and no filler channels. Really its not about getting charged for what you use, because you'll happliy pay for that. What gets me is when they make you pay for what you wont ever use.

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | about 2 years ago | (#37284694)

Exactly.

The problem is that content providers are the mountain and Netflix is the "prophet". This means eventually Netflix will be stuck with a pricing model similar to what cable/satellite providers offer. The archaic business model will linger a bit longer, otherwise how many people will seriously want to subscribe to FoodTV, RaptorsChannel (we're in Canada), or ESPN Classic?

I got Netflix because it replaced some of the packages I had with my cable provider. I did it partly for the cost, but mostly on principle because as you stated the cable companies give you stuff that you never watch. I have 300+ channels, I'm interested in only about 3-4 of them, 3 of them having live sports. For the rest of the family we could get by with a dozen or so specific channels.

Overall the cost is not crazy cheap; one still has to fork out for a high-speed internet connection and all the ones in our area have caps.

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (1)

drfishy (634081) | about 2 years ago | (#37284982)

Dude, don't be knocking FoodTV... Alton Brown has a lot of fans on Slashdot...

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (1)

kvothe (2013374) | about 2 years ago | (#37285366)

True that! I'm all about his detailed explanations and pithy comments on good eats, and my wife just loves the frantic cooking on iron chef.

Per Event (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284732)

What I want is to be able to buy individual events. Buying a package is so 80's (think big dish).

Say I want to watch the V8 Supercars event. Why can't I buy just that from whoever is producing it and watch it live?

Or say you DVR something while you are gone, and the power goes out for a few hours and you don't get it. Why can't I just buy that event and watch it after the fact?

That is something I've never understood. They have already paid to produce the content, putting it up for streaming is a trivial expense that can add more profits.

Re:Per Event (1)

The Snowman (116231) | about 2 years ago | (#37285000)

Why can't I just buy that event and watch it after the fact?

It is more profitable for the content provider to charge you a lot more money for crap you don't want that happens to include something you do.

True on-demand content would essentially impose a free market on the system, which does not benefit the copyright cartels.

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (1)

Noland150 (847733) | about 2 years ago | (#37284692)

The Slashdot Channel looks vastly over priced by comparison.

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (0)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#37285006)

The Slashdot Channel looks vastly over priced by comparison.

Why? You get premium content there. To name just a few highlights: The First Post series. Goatse & Rickroll. Soviet Russia Jokes. Imagined Beowulf clusters.

And reruns (called dupes) of the best stuff!

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (1)

rwa2 (4391) | about 2 years ago | (#37285456)

No, three pounds per day is what you get just by exposing yourself in posts.

<pound>

And maybe if you opt-in to advertisements you'll get more!

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (2)

mrjatsun (543322) | about 2 years ago | (#37284762)

This would be much better than have to pay $70 and forced to get everything (i.e. like cable or directv)

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (1)

rotide (1015173) | about 2 years ago | (#37284826)

You're not thinking this through. They aren't going to _drop_ the price of the current plan, they would _raise_ the cost to get the additional stuff, even if it's the _same_ stuff you had before. In other words, exactly like cable/sat. Oh, you only want the basic channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS), that will be $15/mo. Oh you want extended basic to get TNT, FX, etc? That'll be another $15. Oh, you want the HD tier with Discovery Channel, etc? That's another $30. With the content owners holding all the cards and slamming Netflix with higher rates, expect this to happen to Netflix as well. Basic movies? $9.99. Oh, you want the TV show package? That's another $9.99/mo. Oh, the Stars Package? Another $9.99 a month. Now you're paying $30 for the same thing we have today. Wait, watch, and see.

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (1)

TheJabberwocky (876055) | about 2 years ago | (#37284920)

This is exactly why the Starz deal fell through. Starz was demanding a tiered upgrade for Netflix customers to access Starz content. It was their way of maintaining a premium image. Netflex said they refused to do that. I would never pay extra for a "higher tier" on Netflix so I'm ok with them taking that money and using it for different content that would be equally available to all subscribers.

You forgot DVDs by Mail (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | about 2 years ago | (#37284926)

They recently "upgraded" their DVD model as well.

DVDs by Mail - First Born Male Child

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37285156)

you're probably right. The cable companies and premium channels have wised up that Netflix is essentially another cable company that just delivers over the internet. Unless something really drastic happens, Netflix will probably be forced to start pricing like a cable company if it wants to maintain its streaming service.

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 2 years ago | (#37285172)

Thank you for selecting Netflix. Along with our basic package would like to upgrade to the following?

Starz Package - $5.99/month Fox Sports Live Streaming - $12.99/month Nickelodeon Package - $4.99/month Slashdot Channel - £2.99/day NFL On Demand - $14.99/month NHL Prime Time - $0.99/decade

Interestingly enough, a good sports package would actually put a huge dent in cable as that is mainly why a lot of people still have it. If ESPN was somehow available via another channel (PlayOn with ESPN3 live streaming for me), many more would be dropping cable. It might even be enough if like your example Fox Sports was offered.

ESPN could come up with their own "cable box" like a Roku type player and then really hurt cable, that or piggy back off things like Netflix or have an app for the ever growing number of net connected TV's/BR players.

Re:Next up: tiered pricing (0)

galfridus73 (873250) | about 2 years ago | (#37285280)

I demand a CowboyNeal option for $99/minute.

Wow.... (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 2 years ago | (#37284576)

This will surely hurt business after splitting the Instant plan. Some of their best (some of their few blockbuster/A titles) were available through the STARZ offerings. I'm a huge fan of netflix instant, but between only carrying half-series of Shonen-jumps for months before completion(if they do get completed) and now this, I'll seriously be reconsidering my membership.

Re:Wow.... (1)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#37284792)

Yeah, it is sad.

But it is a long time from February, and this may be a move by Starz or Netflix for publicity on the issue.

Or, they could land another company like HBO.

Re:Wow.... (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 2 years ago | (#37284914)

If you want Anime, then check out Crunchy Roll.

Streaming is already dicey... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#37284594)

I've seen lots of good titles disappear from instant streaming with little or no advance warning. Now they're dropping all the Starz-provided material? I'll have to - at the very least - go and record all the 30-second-bunnies clips.

Re:Streaming is already dicey... (1)

garcia (6573) | about 2 years ago | (#37284794)

Use Instantwatcher [instantwatcher.com] . It tells you exactly how many days are left before "good titles disappear from instant streaming."

I don't think I am going to have enough time (1)

Moe Taxes (304424) | about 2 years ago | (#37284598)

To watch the 100 or so episodes of "Have Gun - Will Travel" that are left in my queue.

useful (5, Insightful)

Haven (34895) | about 2 years ago | (#37284600)

Netflix is a wonderful supplement to piracy.

If it isn't on Netflix, it is popular enough for a torrrent. If you cannot find it through nefarious means, it is old enough to be on Netflix.

Re:useful (2)

berzerke (319205) | about 2 years ago | (#37284750)

I like the quote: "...Starz, in a statement, called its decision "a result of our strategy to protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging" of its content...". Translation: We think we can gouge Netflix now that they are big enough and if we pull our content, then people with just buy it elsewhere. Piracy doesn't exist.

I can't help but wonder if this is just hard-ball negotiating tactics and as Feb 28 approaches, some deal will reached.

Re:useful (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#37285052)

Seems that Starz confused "premium" with "overprized" ...

Re:useful (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#37285060)

Seems that Starz confused "premium" with "overprized" ...

Oops, overpriced, of course.

Re:useful (4, Insightful)

PixelScuba (686633) | about 2 years ago | (#37284866)

I used to download gigs of movies to watch with before streaming Netflix. It was so convenient I never bothered to torrent any movie because I could just boot the XBox and watch them. Torrenting was never really about wanting it free it was about the quickest and most cost effective way to watch movies. Netflix is reasonably priced and easy to access... any other streaming service I tried was a nightmare or outrageously priced (Hulu was OK, but I wasn't really impressed with their streaming selection) With all the providers pulling their content because they feel they can either 1.) start their own streaming service and believe I will also "subscribe" to that or 2.) force Netflix to give them more per film. I'd be willing to pay twice what I pay now for Netflix if it meant they could significantly improve the size and quality of their online catalog but it seems the media companies are going to go for greed on this one and drive me back to torrents.

Any good sites for finding movies now?

Re:useful (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#37285184)

Any good sites for finding movies now?

Yes...google "[name of movie or show] torrent" and pick one.

Re:useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37285246)

https://binsearch.info/ [binsearch.info]

Re:useful (2)

sgbett (739519) | about 2 years ago | (#37285312)

You know what, that is *exactly* the point. It's not all about piracy and getting stuff free. If it was, then people wouldn't pay $35 month for giganews subs.

This is over 4x the current netflix price. Funny that.

Never mind crap like "Sorry, Netflix is not available in your country... yet"

No big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284612)

Disney sucks anyway.

More like the Canadian catalog. (1)

Jeltz (19692) | about 2 years ago | (#37284614)

Most Canadians were hoping that the catalog offered to us would become more on par with the US catalog. This isn't the way to go about it though.

DVD plan (2)

dj245 (732906) | about 2 years ago | (#37284616)

When Netflix raised their 1+streaming plan to $16, I went to the 2DVD plan. This was based on the very limited streaming selection, plus my wife's first language is not english so she needs subtitles. Despite our owning a Roku and a Toshiba TV that support Netflix streaming, neither of these devices support the Netflix streaming. Netflix is really screwing the streaming customers. I feel pretty validated with my decision after hearing this.

I haven't heard many people going to a DVD-only plan. Most people were planning on canceling, or doing the streaming plan +Redbox. Does this change anyone's plans?

Re:DVD plan (2)

dj245 (732906) | about 2 years ago | (#37284634)

Damn, I should have previewed one more time. Roku and my Toshiba TV do not support Netflix Subtitle streaming.

Re:DVD plan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284652)

Where did you order your wife from? Russia, Vietnam, or Phillipines? What were the prices like?

That's interesting about the Roku (1)

brokeninside (34168) | about 2 years ago | (#37284676)

I've been thinking about getting a Roku. But not supporting subtitles for streaming would be a deal breaker for me. Which generation Roku do you have?

Re:That's interesting about the Roku (1)

Curien (267780) | about 2 years ago | (#37284912)

The recently-released Roku2 reportedly supports subtitles for Netflix Streaming. I know first-hand that the Wii app does also (but I don't know about the other consoles).

Re:That's interesting about the Roku (3, Interesting)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 2 years ago | (#37284964)

According to the Netflix FAQ, no Roku device supports streaming subtitles.

I'd link to the FAQ, but there doesn't appear to be a way to do that, so instead, here's the list of devices that support subtitles:

* PC/Mac
* PS3
* Wii
* Google TV Devices such as Logitech Revue and Sony Internet TV
* Boxee Box by D-Link
* iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Note that on the PS3 at least, you have to turn on subtitles before starting to stream, and if subtitles aren't available, the option is just missing entirely.

Re:DVD plan (2)

Derek Pomery (2028) | about 2 years ago | (#37284656)

Wait. There's a DVD only plan? I should check to see if we can get a cheaper one.
Streaming isn't Linux compatible anyway, and we signed up long before they had streaming.

Re:DVD plan (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#37284976)

Yes. Netflix recently separated their DVD and Streaming plans. Streaming costs $7.99 a month. 1 DVD at a time costs $7.99 a month. 2 DVDs at a time costs $11.99 a month. If you want 2 DVDs and Streaming, that would cost $19.98 ($7.99 + $11.99).

Re:DVD plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37285120)

What if you want 2 streaming, 1 LaserDisc at a time and a transcript of last night's news? How much is that?

Re:DVD plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284754)

i switched to redbox/blockbuster depending on convenience for dvd's but honestly for what $8 a month it's a better deal in my opinion i've had the same movie for 5 days and still haven't watched it... that's only $3 short of being able to keep it all month or watch maybe 5 to 6 dvd's a month with netflix...

Re:DVD plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284766)

Netflix is going to lose out to other streaming providers like EpixHD, Hulu and Amazon.

Re:DVD plan (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 2 years ago | (#37285150)

And their streaming content providers won't pull the same shens as Stars is with Netflix?

Hollywood and the content companies learn through pain. They have to shoot themselves in the foot at least a dozen times before they begin to realize that their current activity may be hindering their profits, not improving. Streaming content in particular seems to be taboo. They do it, because market forces have essentially forced them to, but they don't understand it and will fight it every step of the way.

Ditto (1)

localroger (258128) | about 2 years ago | (#37284980)

I got Netflix in the first place because my most reliable option for high speed internet is wireless 3G, thanks to the crappy wiring in an inaccessible alley behind my house. And it's capped at 5 Gb/month, and video stalls frequently during periods of high usage. So I did the same thing, switched to 2 DVD's, and I'm getting a lot more content for just a little more money. Thanks, Netflix!

Re:DVD plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37285056)

I haven't heard many people going to a DVD-only plan. Most people were planning on canceling, or doing the streaming plan +Redbox. Does this change anyone's plans?

I switched to a DVD-only plan. I was working my way through re-watching Babylon 5 via Netflix streaming, when they dropped the episodes from their streaming. Plus, since I prefer documentaries that mostly aren't offered via streaming anyway, waiting for the DVDs is not that big a deal. So screw their streaming.

I also dropped the BluRay option; one too many special rental-version of a BluRay movie filled with 20+ minutes of previews for other movies that you can't skip.

Re:DVD plan (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#37285256)

I haven't heard many people going to a DVD-only plan. Most people were planning on canceling, or doing the streaming plan +Redbox. Does this change anyone's plans?

Nine times out of ten when I see "STARZ PLAY" at the beginning of a movie I know it sucks ass and I won't actually finish it.

Streaming is the best way to rent movies EVER because so many of them are such total shit. I actually watch less movies to the end than I stop watching them in the first fifteen minutes. Going to the 2-DVD plan would be idiotic for us because we're already having trouble finding anything we want to rent. Of course, we're also having trouble finding stuff we want to watch streaming.

Netflix...for kids now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284654)

Anyone else noticed an astonishing lack of decent content lately? All the new things they seem to be adding have been childrens shows, bad cartoons, and anime... oh and more shitty B movies then i can wrap my mind around. Starting to think they are screwing stuff up on purpose. The new HORRIBLY laid out website being the first blow (damn thing wont stop showing me stuff i have repeatedly told them i have NO interest in). Amazon Prime is starting to look better and better.

Re:Netflix...for kids now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284714)

working out well though for me since I mostly watch B movies anyway

Re:Netflix...for kids now? (1)

Segisaurus (1526837) | about 2 years ago | (#37284994)

Same here. I like Anime and the B-Movies. And an A -List movie just means the actors are overpaid. It says nothing about the quality of the story or how much I will enjoy watching it.

Hard to resist the gravitational pull of stars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284666)

Netflix simply needs more mass.

Replacement Content? (2)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 2 years ago | (#37284678)

Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said the company was "confident we can take the money we had earmarked for Starz renewal next year, and spend it with other content providers to maintain or even improve the Netflix experience."

Good luck with that. What content would that be exactly? Losing access to Sony and Disney will be a fairly large void to fill, especially for the amount Netflix has "earmarked" for it. On the other hand I wonder how much of a "bonus" Starz might be receiving from cable or satellite providers to play hard ball with Netflix?

Re:Replacement Content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284700)

YES! We can get more Veggie Tales!!!!!

Re:Replacement Content? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 2 years ago | (#37284744)

On the other hand I wonder how much of a "bonus" Starz might be receiving from cable or satellite providers to play hard ball with Netflix?

Hard to say. Chances are if you have Netflix and watch it on TV, you have cable. I realize that's not always the case, but it seems like that's the majority of broadband subscribers. We have Comcast with Starz as a part of our package, so whenever we want to watch Starz content, we watch it in HD on OnDemand instead.

Re:Replacement Content? (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 2 years ago | (#37284802)

With DirecTV, Starz is an optional package. A package a friend of mine canceled shortly after getting a Roku box, considering that had Netflix and she can watch movies through that.

Personally, I was already disappointed with the streaming Netflix offering (see older comment), but with this change it's just going to be much worse.

Soon Netflix's streaming offering will just be one 'recent' half a year old) A title with the rest filled with B and C titles, the odd A title from 5+ years ago, and a lot of anime series.

The Roku box is still great to access content in general, but Netflix? Humdrum.

Re:Replacement Content? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#37284864)

Netflix already has a content deal with Disney (signed in December 2010) and thus does not need Starz in order to show Disney/ABC titles.

Sony on the other hand has been playing serious hardball, but Starz will not have Netflix revenue to throw at Sony any longer. Their deal ends in 2014 so the best move for Sony is to start grabbing revenue directly from Netflix, essentially "double dipping" for 2 to 3 years.

Re:Replacement Content? (1)

Curien (267780) | about 2 years ago | (#37285028)

>Netflix already has a content deal with Disney... ... for TV shows and direct-to-video movies ("Aladdin 4: Jafar's really mad this time"). I can watch Phineas and Ferb thanks to the Disney deal, but I can't watch Aladdin. I can watch Tangled and Princess and the Frog, but that's only because of the license with Starz.

Re:Replacement Content? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#37285294)

Disney doesn't really want you to be able to watch their movies any time, though, so they probably planned for this deal to fall apart anyway. They want to be able to sell you exorbitantly-priced DVDs (etc) so they don't sell them all year. Or is that over now? It's been their traditional model, artificial scarcity. Which means the internet must scare the living piss out of them. When's the last time you saw a Disney movie (and not a PIXAR movie, but a Disney movie) that had the palpable quality of Peter Pan or Cinderella? Oh yeah, when you saw Peter Pan, or Cinderella.

Netflix Starz Lacked HD and 5.1 (1)

mgmartin (580921) | about 2 years ago | (#37284698)

Although the content offered by Starz on Netflix was good, I was always disappointed the encodings were not high definition or even with a 5.1 surround sound channel. I won't be missing Starz ( too much ).

Re:Netflix Starz Lacked HD and 5.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284890)

While the streaming selection could always be better, I find the service to be well worth the $8. The starz content was always encoded very poorly to the point where I refused to view it. If this frees up money for Netflix to license viewable content then I am all for loosing starz.

Don't care. Won't affect me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284758)

I refuse to install Silverlight on my computer and I get almost all my movies for free anyway. Sony/Disney can just suck it.

The other side? (5, Insightful)

ksdd (634242) | about 2 years ago | (#37284770)

Everyone seems to be commenting on how this is bad for Netflix, but I'm kind of wondering how the Starz brass thinks leaving anywhere between $250-$300 million on the table is a good idea, or who they're going to receive better offers from. The content is OK, but I somehow doubt their stuff is as premium as they like to think it is...

Re:The other side? (1)

hellop2 (1271166) | about 2 years ago | (#37285122)

hulu

Re:The other side? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37285316)

Very good point, even on cable Starz is only sold as a piece of a package. I have never known any to get Starz by it self. It is usually buy HBO, get Starz included. They only have one series worth anything, Spartacus.

Now I See (1)

BigSes (1623417) | about 2 years ago | (#37284786)

I'm glad that now I know my extra money for the recent fee increases goto Netflix themselves, not to pay for content. I've been a NetFlix member for more than 10 years now, but I'm not so sure how much longer thats going to last.

THIS is why people torrent (4, Insightful)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 2 years ago | (#37284788)

Because it's easier. Honestly, if I could find a dependable source, with as broad a selection of US *and* foreign material as, say Pirate Bay, at a reasonable ($1.99 per title?) price, I'd sign right up. But no, that source doesn't (legally) exist...due to the seemingly constant bickering over licensing, and who gets how big a cut of the rapidly diminishing pie. Maybe one day the media companies will get a clue, but apparently that day isn't here yet.

Re:THIS is why people torrent (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#37285048)

I don't torrent, but I agree. If Netflix announced tomorrow that they had come to an agreement with the major studios to put all movies on streaming, say 90 days after the DVD release, then tons of people would sign up for the service. Netflix and the studios would both win. They could even raise their Streaming plan to $10 a month and it would still be a great deal. Instead, the content providers complain that if people access their titles on Netflix they won't buy the DVDs when many people will either 1) Go without the movie or 2) pirate the movie instead.

Re:THIS is why people torrent (1)

themightythor (673485) | about 2 years ago | (#37285134)

Maybe one day the media companies will get a clue.

You know, I've always wondered what this proverbial clue would look like. That is, what model could the media companies adopt make the people who make this argument as an argument for stealing actually use it? As it is, you can go to your local Redbox and get a DVD for $1/day. What is wrong with that? Selection you say? Okay. So what you're looking for is some company who will somehow have literally anything that you're looking for available instantly for a nominal price? I think the logistics behind that are mind-boggling. Seriously, work up some numbers. Since you've implied that it should be easy to do, you should have no problem coming up with a model in which everyone wins. When you do that, go ahead and put yourself in business and make millions. You're welcome.

Is there a list somewhere? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | about 2 years ago | (#37284808)

Is there a list somewhere of what exactly is in the Starz catalog? I see it includes Disney movies but what about Disney Channel or ABC Family? What else is in that catalog?

Better content sources for netflix. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284830)

Netflix pays Starz to show Sony & Disney.

Sony pulls their content anyway.

Spend the cash somewhere else.

People Should Cancel Instead of Bitching (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37284896)

I just pulled the plug on my Netflix account 2 days ago. I had the 2 DVD + Streaming plan, and we used it a lot, but they pissed me off with the rate increase...so I voted with my wallet. It's the only way to make an impact at all.

Re:People Should Cancel Instead of Bitching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37285404)

I have a better idea: let's do both.

Partly to make sure that Netflix knows why they're losing customers in droves, but more importantly to make sure that anyone thinking of becoming a Netflix customer knows why they shouldn't.

The free market only works when the people buying are informed. One of the ways to ensure that potential customers ARE informed is to bitch about things like Netflix deciding to randomly raise prices while dropping content.

So, yes, vote with your wallet, but ALSO make sure everyone else is informed so that they can ALSO vote with their wallet.

why the HELL is this on slahsdot ? (-1, Offtopic)

mehemiah (971799) | about 2 years ago | (#37285180)

why the HELL is this on slahsdot ?

Netflix's response (3, Informative)

whoop (194) | about 2 years ago | (#37285192)

How can you have this story without Netflix's response? Google it for a good read.

Spoiler: Basically Netflix said thanks for what they had, but with all their other studio agreements, Starz only accounts for 8% of what people watch now. Not much of a loss, and they'll spend that on deals with other studios.

Re:Netflix's response (1)

RulerOf (975607) | about 2 years ago | (#37285308)

Starz only accounts for 8% of what people watch now.

Gotta love the obstinate party in a negotiation that simply can't fathom how someone else's statistics can royally fuck their argument.

lol (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#37285212)

This is what you people get for paying for your content. Suckers.

Spartacus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37285408)

I guess I'm torrenting the next season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand.....

Jerks.

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