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Netflix Loses 800,000 Subscribers After Qwikster Gaffe

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the rebranding-gone-wrong dept.

Businesses 325

bs0d3 writes "Netflix's video subscription service lost 800,000 customers in the third quarter, the single biggest loss in its history. Shares plunged by more than 25 percent in Monday's extended trading. Netflix is predicting that its combined loss of customers and European launch will push it into the red next year where it may stay for all of 2012, according to a letter to its shareholders (PDF)."

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325 comments

Needs new leadership (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843246)

I didn't bitch about the price increase. I understood that one at least. With the big studios demanding more and more money for streaming their content, that was inevitable. And I *love* the streaming BTW. I think streaming was their best move in years. It's especially great for TV shows (which would take forever to watch if you had to get them one disc at a time). Where else can you stream the entire run of Battlestar Galactica (in HD, no less) for $8 a month? Louie, The X-files, Family Guy, Firefly, Lexx, BSG--my queue is filled with many days worth of geek greatness. And some of the content on there isn't available in HD in any other format.

But the Quikster thing really left me scratching my head. Now various theories have been floated as to why they did it. My own personal belief is that they were planning to break Quikster off and then sell it (to focus exclusively on streaming). But whatever the case is was a truly bonehead move from the consumer perspective, especially coming so soon after the price increase. The fact that the CEO responded to the issue of customer anger at the announcement press conference by basically saying "Huh, well, we hadn't thought of that" didn't exactly make it look like a well-thought-out move.

I think Netflix needs some new leadership. Keep the streaming, lose the dumbass moves.

Re:Needs new leadership (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843402)

What made sense to me was that as two distinct companies, Netflix and Qwikster could negotiate contracts separately, getting more streaming options for Netflix subscribers.

Re:Needs new leadership (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843670)

Announcing it shortly after having announced the rate increases was retarded. EITHER move would have worked out OK if they had done only one of them, and saved the other for a time several months later. But they didn't.

Re:Needs new leadership (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843752)

A lot of people seem to look at it that way...being separate they can better negotiate their own contracts. In a way that may be true. The best example to point to is the case where they had to agree to hold back DVD new releases in order to get more streaming movies (don't recall what studio that was). However, you can also look at this from the other angle. From the movie studio's standpoint, getting Netflix to hold back DVDs for a few weeks was probably a huge gain in their eyes. Without that carrot, they may not have agreed to stream a bunch more movies. So with both halves of Netflix being together, they were able to negotiate a small delay on the disc to make improvements to their streaming selection. I think that was a win for netflix. Although people might crap their pants at having to wait a few more weeks (not sure why, since they already waited 6 months since it was released in the theater), I think the streaming improvement more than makes up for that. But if they were 2 separate companies, I think that would have been a loss the streaming half.

Re:Needs new leadership (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844022)

If they needed the physical disk company to be a separate entity, then they should have broken it into 3 pieces - streaming, DVD's, and queue management and billing.

As soon as they announced the Qwikster split, I dropped the streaming service to save money and moved to Amazon prime free streaming. Netflix's streaming catalog sucks, its only saving grace was that the integrated DVD+streaming queue meant that when I was searching for a movie, I only had once place to look to see if it's something I've already seen. Sometimes I'll stream or rent a little known movie and stop watching after a few minutes, then in a year I can't remember if I'd already tried watching it or not.

It's nice that Netflix changed their mind about the Quikster split, but since I've already invested in a media PC so I can watch Amazon movies on my TV (Netflix is built-in to my Bluray player) I'm going to stick with Amazon unless Netflix gets a lot better streaming catalog.

I would have told Netflix all of this, but they apparently have no way to accept emails to customer service.

I agree. (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843432)

The leadership has been making a lot of bad decisions. Outside of the whole "Quikster" fiasco, the next worst decision they made was to play ball with the entertainment industry when they demanded more money. The Netflix competition right now is nowhere NEAR them. Netflix is literally on 95% of my home internet connected devices. From my Tivo, to my TVs, to my PS3, and 360. Etc. Netflix needs to expand its offerings. If they lose movies, then start adding games. They can also push into the adult movie industry as well. It's absolutely HUGE, and would gain them millions of more subscribers. This CEO really has no idea what the possibilities can be for them. If your current model is making you money, ignore Wall Streets screams for more profits. Look to expand while maintaining, not to simply profit.

Re:I agree. (5, Insightful)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843620)

They really should have taken a page from Apple. When the music labels tried to strong-arm iTunes pricing in the early days, Apple just laughed at them and said "No. You'll take what we give you, and you'll like it." They could do this, because the iPod, and thus iTunes, was by far the most wildly popular digital music platform in the world, and they knew they had all the bargaining leverage against the labels that they needed

Netflix is in the same boat. They are far and away the biggest streaming platform around, wildly popular, and almost ubiquitous at this point. At least in North America. Who can compete with them? Blockbuster? Their platform is a joke. Hulu? Nextflix is (was) not much more per month, and Hulu still forces ads on you and has asinine and frustrating device playback restrictions on certain content, mainly because they're run by the media companies. Netflix should have all the muscle needed to force their way around the studios.

What they lack, is a strong personality like Steve Jobs in their leadership, who had no issues playing hardball with anyone, anytime.

Re:I agree. (5, Insightful)

haystor (102186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843730)

iTunes was able to negotiate price because they were by far the second most popular method of getting music. The most popular by far was copying (not sharing) music for free. People were still going to buy Apple's hardware whether Apple had a music store or not. Netflix doesn't have that luxury. They must have the content or else they will have nothing to sell.

Re:I agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843800)

Interesting idea, but I think you're underestimating Amazon. I also think the studios were quite willing to take their ball and go home relative to Netflix. They're clueless enough to leave money on the table, waiting for some 'better future' where they could partner with the cable/internet industry for a better deal. I don't think the record labels were as ready to leave Apple.

Re:I agree. (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843852)

Apple had other revenue sources. If netflix decided to play hardball and lost, they'd be back to DVDs only, or would have to test that "Were playing a DVD in our warehouse, and streaming it to you" thing, which I believe is currently illegal

Re:I agree. (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843908)

Agreed about Hulu. They're the closest competitor to Netflix streaming and they make you pay the same pirce as Netflix, but still force *ads* on you. And their library is still not even *close* to Netflix's to boot. They're a joke. Not sure why anyone in their right mind would subscribe to them. About the only thing they have going for them is some NBC and Fox shows' more recent episodes. Whoopty-do.

Re:I agree. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843958)

Netflix is in the same boat [as Apple].

No they're not. iTunes Music Store had a power that Netflix lacks, due to the iPod. The iPod had success regardless of the iTMS and yet also encouraged people to use iTMS. As long as Apple mobiles have a large-enough marketshare (and I think that while it will continue to shrink it will effectively never fall below a viable niche) iTMS is guaranteed to be a major player.

Netflex may not have serious competitors, but they can have competitors. There's no real barrier to anyone else setting up a competing business, other than the exclusive contracts Netflix is trying to make with content creators. All your criticisms about Blockbuster, Hulu etc as a user, are things that could be effortless fixed, if those companies ever decided that they would like your money.

Contrast that to iTMS competitors: they may have no disadvantages to users at all (i.e. you wouldn't be able to bitch about them in the same way you'd bitch about Blockbuster or Hulu), and even be superior (IMHO, pretty much every single one of them is; the iTunes client requirement is a deal-killer for iTMS) and iTMS is still going to remain viable.

Apple's verticalness protects them from competition at various levels, without the need for dirty anti-competitive (in the regulation sense) tricks. Netflix does not have that luxury.

Re:I agree. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843632)

They can also push into the adult movie industry as well. It's absolutely HUGE, and would gain them millions of more subscribers.

People... pay... for porn?

Re:I agree. (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844162)

Well, every time my wife catches me watching it, I certain pay for it.

Re:I agree. (4, Insightful)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844096)

The trouble is that as we know from all the bullshit RIAA lawsuits (going after 75 year olds who don't own computers, etc) the media publishing industry is somewhere in 1975 and would like to keep it that way as long as possible. This is an industry famous for fighting every advance in technology that later ends up making that industry craploads of money. Tapes, VCRs, etc, were all fought tooth and nail. Hell, Sony had to get Mr. Rogers to testify for them in court before the VCR was finally acknowledged as legal.

With that model, not playing ball with them at this stage means that they will take that ball and go home, and Netflix will be back to streaming the crap content they were putting out when they first put their streaming online.

They're going to have to walk a fine line for awhile until the entertainment industry gets their head out long enough to realize that streaming content will make them a lot of money.

Qwikster Spinoff (2)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843652)

Netflix was always intended to be a streaming service. The main goal of the company was outlined back in 2001; they had planned to have completely shut down the DVD service (having replaced it with streaming) by 2007 but the US missed their internet data rate predictions by a large margin. The technology simply wasn't there.

Re:Qwikster Spinoff (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843846)

And the move would have made more sense if the streaming selection wasn't so blowful. I might have remained with them had the selection either been better or the price lower. Paying the same $8 for streaming as for DVDs makes no sense when the library is so much larger for DVDs than for streaming. Ultimately, I got pissed off enough that I went with Blockbuster, I'm paying an extra $3 a month over the 2 a plan at Netflix, but I get game rentals and Blurays.

Worse is that you can't necessarily count on something being available for stream later on if you put it on your queue. Like TV, well that entire series might require a couple DVDs to completely finish.

Re:Needs new leadership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843736)

Except that the price increase did not correlate to reality. Netflix made bad decisions and in an effort to gobble up exclusive content from competitors, overpaid and wasted money as well as some greed and a false assumption that they could get away with it... that was the real gaff. it always blows my mind that folks like yourself are willing to take a price doubling and believe it is all legit and necessary. $1 Billion CW deal? Really? You're all for that, eh? and willing to pay double your monthly bill for it. I'm not.

Re:Needs new leadership (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843806)

Yeah, the Dreamworks deal was crazy stupid. $30 million a pop for their movies and they can't even stream them until MONTHS after their DVD/Blu-ray release? WTF? Again, new leadership is clearly in order there.

Re:Needs new leadership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843780)

Yeah... Streaming is good and I am not going to be too angry about a price increase. Especially not when I could just drop the DVD portion and actually turn it into a price decrease for me... But the Qwikster thing was weird... As a company, it is business 101 that you don't do a redesign of your site that is ugly, follow it up with a price increase, and then cap it off with a move that makes things more difficult for those customers paying the higher price. That doesn't take a genius to realize it is stupid...

Re:Needs new leadership (3, Interesting)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843804)

I think Netflix needs some new leadership. Keep the streaming, lose the dumbass moves.
Wow, some people just don't get it. What does the Netflix streaming service have? A brand name and some servers. That's it. Now what do the movie studios have? Content and branding. So why oh why would the greedy ass studios want to keep Netflix as the middle man in the streaming service game, why the only barrier to entry is the servers to push the data. Unlike Apple who sold the hard ware you consumed Big Media's wares on, Netflix doesn't make players/set top boxes/portable electronic devices. So again why would a Sony Entertainment division want to keep Netflix around as the toll collector on the great movie streaming highway of the future? Where's the value added step?

Re:Needs new leadership (1)

rnswebx (473058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843968)

You grossly underestimate the infrastructure requirements to provide a service like netflix across the world. It's far easier, and more profitable, licensing to many companies (netflix, itunes, blockbuster, hulu, amazon, etc.) and sit back collecting royalties while focusing on their primary business, which is creating content.

Re:Needs new leadership (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844004)

Because with Netflix, I don't need 300 different apps from each studio (each with its own unique passwords, fees, layout, content restrictions, etc.) to contend with on my Xbox. It's all in one convenient, easy-to-use place.

Re:Needs new leadership (1)

VickiM (920888) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844018)

People were pissed enough when they heard that they'd have to go to two separate sites (Netflix and Kwikster) to get streaming versus mail delivery DVDs. I imagine there will be the same sort of reaction when we're told that if we want Sony movies, we go to Site A and pay $5.99 a month, and if we want Warner Brothers, we go to Site B and pay $5,49 a month, and if we want Disney we go to Site C and pay $7.99 a month. If that's the way things go in the future, I think a lot of people will go back to opting for Site D, also known as The Pirate Bay.

Re:Needs new leadership (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844208)

People were pissed enough when they heard that they'd have to go to two separate sites (Netflix and Kwikster) to get streaming versus mail delivery DVDs. I imagine there will be the same sort of reaction when we're told that if we want Sony movies, we go to Site A and pay $5.99 a month, and if we want Warner Brothers, we go to Site B and pay $5,49 a month, and if we want Disney we go to Site C and pay $7.99 a month. If that's the way things go in the future, I think a lot of people will go back to opting for Site D, also known as The Pirate Bay.

I don't see why the studios don't get together and implement a virtual theater where all their content is available. I go down to the local multiplex to view movies from every studio. I don't have to drive to the Sony Theater to see Sony productions, the Warner Theater to see Warner, etc.

Re:Needs new leadership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843836)

What the hell is Qwickster?

A new new Marvel superhero to compete with da Flash?

Re:Needs new leadership (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843890)

Keep the streaming, lose the dumbass. FTFY.

I didn't leave (5, Interesting)

fortapocalypse (1231686) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843308)

While it was a big mistake, and I agree that someone should be fired, I think what they have been offering and would have continued to offer (even if at a higher price) is *much* less of a ripoff than cable and satellite. I've been very pleased with my family quitting cable T.V. and going with OTA T.V. and streaming Netflix and the major T.V. networks recent show via browser. I don't waste time scanning through the cable guide anymore to watch more T.V. than I should have anyway, and we don't have to deal with DVR issues.

Re:I didn't leave (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843398)

I didn't leave, either. Though I never subscribed to the disc option -- I'm streaming only. I was going to add the one-disc-at-a-time option for $2, but decided against it after the price increase. They still have lots of good movies out there, and I notice more and more coming every week. Maybe not tons of fresh-out-of-the-theater stuff, but a lot of the cult classics like Strange Brew and Spaceballs are there. Plus, they just added Star Trek: Deep Space Nine this month, so I'll be keeping my subscription at least long enough to watch all that (which, interestingly, is the only Star Trek series I have not really watched much of -- I know, I probably need to turn in my Geek Card for that).

Re:I didn't leave (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843622)

I've always been streaming-only and have yet to run out of things to watch. Just when I think I'm about to reach the end of my queue, they add more titles and I have a reason to stay for a few more months. If they can keep expanding their library, I will probably stick around for the long haul. I'll even tolerate a price hike. I think $15 is just about my limit, though. If they go above that I will probably drop the streaming service. As it is, Netflix streaming is a much better deal than cable or satellite. I can watch what I want, when I want, commercial-free, for $9 a month. That's an unbeatable value (unless you'd rather pirate, of course.)

Re:I didn't leave (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843994)

I'm happy with the streaming service, too. It's way too convenient to complain about for $8/month.

Need more content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843310)

Seriously, Netflix still has an extremely small library of content in Canada. I'd love to get Netflix but they're still missing movies and TV series that are over a decade old, never mind getting the brand-new stuff.

Add to that the fact that all major Canadian ISPs are putting insane monthly caps on their users, some going as low as 30GB, and it's not looking good for Netflix.

Disruptive Innovation? (5, Insightful)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843318)

Didn’t we have an article here yesterday on disruptive innovation? To ignore quarterly profits and ignore your current customer base and boldly strike out with the best products?

I am mention this not because I liked the Quikster idea – I hated it. But to point out that being innovative is hard. Any big radical plan will stir up the pot.

As to management – All I can say is that they had the good sense to boldly put forward a plan – and then quickly kill it.

Re:Disruptive Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843550)

Sure, ignore quarterly profits or even customer anger if you think you have a viable idea that will move your business in new profitable directions. But screwing with your users without any plan for how it will benefit the company? Bad idea.

Re:Disruptive Innovation? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843886)

Exactly, I had the money to pay the increase, a lot of people don't, but I ultimately jumped ship because it was pretty clear that the increase was a money grab. This was the 2nd price increase this year and there was absolutely no indication that I would be getting more for my money at any point. At this stage, it looks like subscribers will get even less for their money when the Stars contract ends in February.

Plus, I'm getting kind of tired subsidizing companies that are expanding into foreign markets.

Re:Disruptive Innovation? (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844042)

I'd assume that they DID have a plan. Whether it was a good plan or not is another question. And they're not telling what the real plan was so all we can do is speculate. Like others I believe they were hoping that a streaming-only Netflix would be in a stronger bargaining position with the studios, and also have much lower expenses.

Re:Disruptive Innovation? (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843618)

If you have a big radical plan, though, you have to be able to back it up with more than just hopes an dreams. Jobs was able to do this at Apple because he had a concrete vision of what the end product would be and a deep understanding of the technology. Netflix didn't!! There was no thought out plan, no preparation, no understanding that they would have to take a hit for this to work.

The idea of breaking off streaming is a good one. The problem was in the execution. They needed to have deals in place with all of the major studios to be able to stream new releases at or before they are released to the rental market. They just didn't have this piece in place. Today, the only way to get new movies from Netflix is via Rentals and the majority of their customers are interested in Movies, not TV shows. Thus the mass exodus to Blockbuster.

I'm not sure why Netflix management couldn't understand that the signing of major studio deals for streaming woud be a pre-requisite before implementing this strategy. Perhaps they were under the impression that the majority of their users would stick with the streaming service simply because they have "more" movies. People don't want more movies, they want "new" movies.

If the Netflix board is looking for management advice, give me a call... I'm certain that I can make better decisions than your current team...

Re:Disruptive Innovation? (2)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844124)

My family watches almost nothing but TV on Netflix streaming and we're fine with that. Several other slashdotters have pointed out all they great things they find on Netflix streaming. I think $8 a month for what you get is a great deal. I can Redbox the rare new release I just have to see now.

Instead of lots of anecdotes either way, is there any data to prove that Netflix streaming needs new releases to be a viable business?

Re:Disruptive Innovation? (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844252)

I'm not sure why Netflix management couldn't understand that the signing of major studio deals for streaming woud be a pre-requisite before implementing this strategy.

I wonder if by showing they had less possible subscribers to the streaming service, they could push for lower licensing costs in upcoming negotiations?

Re:Disruptive Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843638)

Was killing the plan really a good idea? Now Netflix is back to a state they don't like, *with* a reduced customer base as if they had switched. This is a lose-lose situation. Not killing the plan would have been win-lose.

Re:Disruptive Innovation? (3)

craklyn (1533019) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843760)

The innovation is fine. The problem is that Netflix' leadership has been unable to communicate with its customers in an intelligent way. They need to tuck us into bed, and tell a bed time story which ends "and then you bought our new product and lived happily ever after." This is what Apple does when they innovate.

Instead, you can look at the Quickster announcement. [netflix.com] First paragraph: "I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation." Second paragraph: Talks about how they treated their customers like idiots by saying that they were lowering prices when the prices increased. Paragraph ten: Announce Qwikster.

Why even combine these two messages into a single product announcement?

Fuck you, netflix. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843322)

(see subject)

Re:Fuck you, netflix. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843400)

LOL.. so much butthurt.

On purpose? (4, Interesting)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843328)

Almost seems like some one purposely destroying a company, though for what reason I couldn't say.
Just epic incompetence?

Re:On purpose? (2)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843610)

Almost seems like some one purposely destroying a company, though for what reason I couldn't say. Just epic incompetence?

see Nokia

It's.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843350)

"its" not "it's."

Well done, Board! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843356)

Granted Netflix' stock was probably overvalued (not getting into this argument here), you really have to wonder why their leadership made the decisions they made.

Was it due to contract lockin with movie studios to seperate disc rentals from streaming? Doubtful since they recanted on qwikster. If they were just intended to phase out disk rentals over time, and this was their start of that, clearly someone didn't do their customer market analysis. Or have a sense of how the Internet ~hate machine really works.

Real question I'd like to know is whether any Board members are being ousted. And, if any of them are getting nice fat bonus' for their wonderful work driving a companies worth (not debating that either) to a quarter of what the market pushed it to.

Re:Well done, Board! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843894)

Honestly, it was probably hubris. And it's going to take them years to fix the damage that this series of hamfisted mistakes has done to their reputation.

It made me think (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843360)

The chaos made me think about the service, and how little value I was getting from it. I would go months without using it, and then maybe watch a couple old Doctor Who eps.

The thing is, a few months ago, Amazon Prime (which I already had) put out the same Doctor Who eps on their service, also free.

So why was I paying for it? It was cheap and convenient...

So they raised the price AND took away options. Of course I cancelled. Had they stayed quiet, I'd probably still be shelling out $8/month for nothing.

Monday's stock market news... today! (0)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843376)

Seriously, you are reporting on stock market events from two days ago. Surely there was a story posted way earlier about these events?

Ok, besides the untimeliness of this posting, I am thinking that 800,000 subscribers are just the number that left entirely. I bet there are a HUGE number that like myself simply switched from both streaming and BluRay/DVD to just one or the other. I bet that has to hurt a bit too... and they won't report those numbers. I bet they would have to if they split the company though. Keeping it all under the Netflix name allows them to obfuscate their numbers a bit...

just a middleman now (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843416)

with dvd by mail they had infrastructure that takes years to build

with streaming they are just a middleman. they outsource all their IT and other operations to Amazon and Level 3. Netflix is just a bunch of developers and business people to negotiate content deals. there are other streaming players out there and you just have to figure out the right pricing model and content. anyone with some VC funding can start a content streaming company since all you have to do is license it and the studios want as many middlemen as possible to avoid another apple that will dictate terms to them

netflix was smart to put their software on every game console and most blu ray players, but almost everyone can do it going forward as flash prices drop

Where is the Netflix *price list* ??? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843420)

I would join Netflix, but they don't say how much it will cost! Yes, they say the price of "streaming" and the price of "1 DVD at a time". But where are all the other prices? Like for 2 or 3 or 4 DVDs at a time? They don't post those anywhere on their site. Why are they so secretive? I'm not going to sign up unless they say ALL of the prices up front! Would it really kill them to have a link to a "price list"???

Re:Where is the Netflix *price list* ??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843604)

They do have a list of their prices for other plans, it on their pricing page.

Re:Where is the Netflix *price list* ??? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844146)

They do have a list of their prices for other plans, it on their pricing page.

Can you post a link to their pricing page? I can't find it.

ON their how it works page, they have two FAQs that give some pricing, but not pricing for multiple DVD's at a time:

http://www.netflix.com/HowItWorks [netflix.com]

How much does it cost?

        For only $7.99 a month, you get unlimited movies & TV episodes instantly over the Internet to your TV or computer. There are no commercials, and you can pause, rewind, fast forward or rewatch as often as you like. It's really that easy!

Can I get DVDs by mail from Netflix?

        Yes. During sign up, you can add unlimited DVDs (1 DVD out-at-a-time plan) for only $7.99 more a month. With DVDs by mail, you'll get an even broader selection of movies & TV episodes. You can exchange each DVD as often as you want with no due dates or late fees — ever! You can add access to Blu-ray discs to your account at any time for an additional $2 a month.

Re:Where is the Netflix *price list* ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37844218)

You know AC, you could totally put him in his place by posting a link. If only there was one.

what am I missing? why is this so bad for netflix (5, Informative)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843430)

the LA times says http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/10/consumer-confidential-netflix-shares-plunge-subscribers-food-prices-grocery-bill-meat-grain-halloween-masks-recall-target-fro.html [latimes.com] they lost 800,000 ending with 23.8 MILLION subscribers.
so they went from 24.2 to 23.2 million subscribers... and the rate change -huffington post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/12/netflix-price-subscription-plan_n_895779.html [huffingtonpost.com] was from 9.99 to 15.98?

so before, they had 24.2 million at ten bucks a month, now they have 23.2 million at 15.98?

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (2)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843482)

You're missing the fact that many consumers (including everyone I know using Netflix) dropped the DVD service once it became a completely separate plan. So no, Netflix is not getting $15.98 from a large portion of their customer base.

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843570)

What is lost in all of this is that they still have more subscribers than they did at the end of Q1. Also lost is that the whining and crying over the "increase" was because something they were giving away for free suddenly was no longer going to be free. Just another sympton of our entitlement society. What the ultimate mix of streaming/dvd only/both ends up being nobody really knows as it is simply too soon to tell. Will some who are dvd only switch to streaming only? As that service gets better I'm sure some will. Will streamer only switch back to dvds or do both? I think there is a case that a not inconsequential number will do so as streaming still suffers from lack of offerings and items being pulled on what appears to be a random basis. As to profits for the next year... Amazon ran in the red for how long? Netflix has made money and will do so again in the future. If they did not take the steps they are doing today now they would be in a bind later instead of remaining the market leader.

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843988)

They weren't giving anything away, it was something that the customers were paying for. Corporations don't just give things away.

I realize that there's a lot of trolls out there that seem to be incapable of accepting that the customers got screwed here. You need the DVD plan if you want access to the entire library, the streaming library is far from complete and even within a particular TV series it's often times going to require a DVD to watch from start to finish.

Consequently, even those of us that wouldn't have minded streaming only have to wonder why we're being asked to pay as much for streaming as for DVDs when we're not getting anywhere near as good of a selection.

Also, the numbers to watch aren't just the subscribers, they're going to be losing money for the next couple quarters according to the forecast, and this will only serve to strengthen competition which is also going to do nothing positive for Netflix's bottom line.

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (1)

kill -9 $$ (131324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843952)

Exactly what I've been telling everybody I know who's talked about this with me. The folks they lost are customers completely gone, but there seem to be A LOT of people who have effectively downgraded, myself included. And they're not sharing those numbers. So not only did you lose customers and have your revenue go to zero, another portion (how big is anybody's guess) are paying less on both accounts (my father in law never used streaming so now he's actually saving a couple bucks a month).

The funny thing is, how do you get those customers back? You'd probably have to throw a promo their way to try and lure them back (cause I know a lot of really pissed ex-Netflixters) further slashing your profits.

And I think they're very arrogant. They're perceived response when people started complaining seemed to be "pfft, we know some of you will go but we'll be fine". I'm not so sure y'all will.

I think Netflix should very publicly throw Hastings out on his ear, run a likely expensive "we f'd up and we're sorry" campaign and raise the prices slightly for combo-service (I don't doubt they needed to increase) and offer customers who left and/or downgraded in the last 3 months some significant incentive (one month maybe three of free or reduced cost service, free upgrade to 2 or 3 disc at a time service) to come back. In fact, offer it to all Netflix customers cause they should be thanking they're loyal fans for not leaving them. I doubt they'll do any of that cause their current leadership seems pretty clueless.

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (0)

logjon (1411219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843494)

I'm still only at 7.99. I dropped the DVD option since I never used it anyway, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone on that one.

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (1)

dbet (1607261) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843552)

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people did the opposite. After all the streaming plan doesn't include almost all new releases.

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (1)

kill -9 $$ (131324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844054)

I opted to go the streaming route and I'm exactly in this spot right now (wishing I did the disc thing instead). I sorta was hoping we'd see something change in the months since the announcement with the addition of more content on streaming, etc, but its just not there yet. And unfortunately, I never watched enough discs to justify any of their DVD plans (redbox is much more cost effective for me) so over the last couple weeks I've been giving serious consideration to parting ways with Netflix altogether and looking other alternatives for streaming and movies (including, just doing without).

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (1)

BusterB (10791) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843512)

Likely a lot of subscribers downgraded their combined plan and chose streaming or discs only. Say, roughly half of the remaining 23.2 million became 7.99 streaming or disc-only subscribers, that's a ~10% loss in revenue by itself.

Thanks, but (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843702)

I get that perhaps a lot of people dropped half the service for a 20% (10/8) price cut.

so if a combo at 10$, they had to both stream to me, and mail me discs.

so if they lost 20% of revenue, but ended up only providing half the service?
Damn... I'd still think they'd be net ahead after factoring in cost savings.
either postage savings or bandwidth/hardware requirements.....

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843580)

in a few months netflix went from being very profitable, growing earnings and literally printing money to losing money

but i guess on slashdot it's now an excuse to buy the stock

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843934)

Um, no. Nothing you said has any truth to it. The only major thing that has changed at NFLX is its stock price. It's back to where it was about March 2010, before the market had an orgasm all over it.

The only concern I have for NFLX is whether or not it can grow. The Quikster idea was a good idea on paper. They need streaming content and the DVD division is making that difficult. The problem is they don't see themselves through their customer's eyes. It's like they have this 'master plan' that they've had from the beginning and don't know how to function if they must deviate from that plan.

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844216)

in a few months netflix went from being very profitable, growing earnings and literally printing money to losing money

but i guess on slashdot it's now an excuse to buy the stock

In a few months, Netflix increased their profit and revenue over last year:

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) reported third quarter 2011 diluted earnings of $1.16 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 96 cents per share and increasing 65.7% from the prior-year quarter. Earnings surpassed management’s guidance range of 72 cents to $1.07.

Total revenue of $821.8 million not only increased 48.6% from the year-ago quarter, but also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $813.0 million. The total revenue was in the higher end of management’s guidance range of $799.5 million to $828.5 million.

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843634)

Because they're still losing subscribers, and even within their remaining subscribers there are many shifting to cheaper plans, so you can't count 100% of those remaining as doing so at the higher combined rate.

Most importantly plans for corporate development are usually made with projections of previous patterns of growth in mind. When the trend goes from positive to 'the most negative ever experienced' it might exceed the tolerance of contingency plans with regard to cashflow. Businesses don't necessary fail because they don't have customers, they fail when their revenue stream doesn't pay their overhead. If Netflix is spending as though they have more people paying higher rates than they actually have, it's a death spiral. They can't cut their overhead without pissing off more people who will leave and further weaken revenue.

Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843980)

Markets look forward. Netflix was gaining customers and are now losing customers. The new trend is down.

I'd also be curious to see the average monthly revenue per customer pre/post pricing change. It seems that many moved to the cheaper streaming only plan when the change was announced. This means Netflix lost customers and are making less on each customer they have left. Not a good thing.

Just stay in buisness FFS (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843436)

I still really like the service, and the last thing I want to do is go back to blockbuster.

Please Netflix, for the love of god, don't fix what isn't broken and don't drive yourselves out of business.

IT'S != ITS (-1)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843484)

DONE TALKING..

Re:IT'S != ITS (-1, Offtopic)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844020)

Your a jackass. I take it you don't have anything better to do with your life than to grammar troll slashdot. If you're so offended by typos and a lack of editing, you probably shouldn't be reading summaries here.

Editor! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843490)

Hey /. "editor" - are you really so stupid or lazy that you have "it's" on the front page when you meant "its"? "It's" is the contraction of "it is". You should have learned that in 2nd grade.

I LOL'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843534)

The shenanigans you paying customers put up with...

Once Upon a Time (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843558)

In a world so very different from today there was this thing called broadcasting. Access to the content was free, as in turn on TV and watch. These "TV stations" used advertising revenue to build multi-million dollar businesses. In todays world a companies claim they can not stay in the black if they do not charge customers for access to the content AND make money on advertising revenue. It really makes one wonder how those old school broadcasting companies managed to stay afloat.

Re:Once Upon a Time (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843684)

Well, there were like three of them instead of hundreds (not counting local UHF stations that broadcasted bottom-dollar content for bottom-dollar ad revenue and tax- and pledge-supported public television). The production budgets for network-leading shows were also significantly lower (although contemporary "reality television" is outrageously cheap to make).

Re:Once Upon a Time (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844144)

I'd be willing to bet that the total cost of making a seasons worth of "reality tv" is cheaper than the original cost of making an episode of I Love Lucy. Still. It isn't just that yesteryear TV shows were expensive to make. Factor in the cost of running the entire broadcasting station into the cost of making and developing new shows. Your looking at millions of dollars in expenses per year. Either advertising costs have dropped to the floor or the owner's paycheck is a little steep.

Re:Once Upon a Time (1)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844034)

My TV still only receives broadcast networks. I get a long just fine with the 5 english speaking network channels I can watch (there are more if I switch the box to digital only, but then the screen dimensions are all messed up). That's NBC, Fox, ABC and CBS and WB. Free. I don't have to spend hundred+ dollars a year to get the same stuff you see on Hulu's front page. And I have zero stress levels about my media consumption, which I cannot say for just about everyone else here who insists on media on their computing device. I don't have to worry about which cable/adapter goes into which input/output and whether my laptop/smart phone has this or that enabled, or what expensive software "ecosystem" I need, or how do I hook up the speakers across the room? or I don't have to worry about which streaming service I use or which data package or 3G coverage I'm getting.... It's nice.

Yet profits nearly doubled (1)

hammarlund (568027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843590)

Yes, they lost 800,000 subscribers, but the company revenue increased from $38 million to nearly $63 million. From a shareholder perspective, that's pretty good. However, they can't continue to lose subscribers at this rate.

Netflix gives me a sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843594)

I dropped the DVD queue when they went for the money grab. The Qwikster thing just left me scratching my head. But I'm not about to drop the streaming unless they try to hike it again.

discs (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843598)

But discs are dead! I see it proclaimed on every geek site!

What? Only 3% of my queue is available on streaming? Oh. Guess I'll stick with discs for a while.

Memo to executives: (3)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843672)

If you screw your customers over to get an extra buck out of a service that they most certainly can live without, they will.

If you offer a service they want, for a reasonable price, they will use that service. See: the first couple years of your streaming service, and it's massive growth.

This isn't exactly nuclear physics.

Advertising Revenue (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843678)

What Netflix SHOULD have done was made deals with advertisers for commercials which would appear both before and after all streams. C'mon, Netflix! All DVD and Blu-Ray discs have 'em. Disney's won't let you skip past 'em. If they had done this properly, they would have had a revenue stream that could offset rising costs for some time. Everything from trailers for current TV shows and movies to Cialis and Mountain Dew. OK, nobody likes these, but they're a way of life. You PAY for all DVD and Blu-Ray discs you buy and you STILL are forced to sit through at least one advertisement, usually many more. This includes most Netflix discs and COULD have included all Netflix streams. Why didn't they give that a try?

A win for capitalism! (2)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843694)

If Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix because he didn't like late fees, then a 60% increase in service fees would have irked him then too. The CEO just cut ties with reality making these decisions. There is a flip side to capitalism, if your greed is more than demand you fail. This is a win for consumer capitalism and another example of an out of touch CEO. A big thumbs up for Reed Hastings's ability to screw himself.

Re:A win for capitalism! (1)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844090)

I think that it is naive at best to consider Reed Hastings for doing this for 'greed' alone. Now that Netflix had established themselves as a leader in online video distribution and more than just a niche geek thing, he knew he wasn't going to get the cheap deals again from the studios like he might have before. Again, take for example the Dreamworks deal that happened recently. People are complaining about Netflix having good current streaming content (myself included), so they did what they thought would provide more value to the customer and went with this deal. However Dreamworks want 25 million per picture available on Netflix. And you know that other studios are going to want a sweetheart deal like that. This would inevitably mean the good deal that was Netflix was going to have to raise prices to be able to afford content.

Now I, like everyone else, can grumble about the price increase, but I feel that their hands were tied and can accept it. Netflix is trying to improve their product, but they knew that it was going to cost them more. Like any business, one way or another, these costs are passed onto the customer.

:A win for capitalism! A loss for education! (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844140)

Not sure how you figure a 60% increase. By my math 9 bucks for both services before changing to 16 bucks now is over a 77% increase.

obvious fix (4, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843714)

They should raise prices to make up for the lost customers.

Re:obvious fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37844102)

My fear is that they're looking for quick profits as much as possible to appease shareholders, and they're going to become like eBay: so rapacious as to become useless to most of their original demographic. Netflix has been a big middle finger to cable companies, and a legit way for young/poor people to watch TV and movies they like, but looking at my bill having gone from $17/month to $24/month in less than a year -- until I dropped DVDs entirely for the $8/month -- I suspect I'm going to find myself priced out of their streaming service in less than two years.

Reed Hastings has killed his company (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843716)

1) Netflix does not own any content.

2) Netflix is one contract away from some other company ( I'd bet on Apple )
        delivering content in a way that most consumers are more willing to spend
        their money to access. You don't spit in the face of your customers in a public
        way and get loyalty afterward, not when the jungle drums have been replaced
        by the web and internet forums.

Netflix is toast.

Don't believe me ? Just wait and see.

Respect (3, Interesting)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843746)

I respect the fact that they go back on ideas that are bad.

I remember when they were going to take away the ability to manage multiple queues. I used that all the time when I had room mates, and then with my fiancé back when I was getting 3 at a time. They got a lot of feedback and kept the multiple queues.

I am probably going to discontinue my service anyway because of the lack of a Linux desktop client. It has been way too long. I shouldn't have to pay Microsoft or Apple just to watch Netflix.

Re:Respect (1)

locutus53 (578585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844084)

I don't pay Microsoft or Apple when I watch Netflix streaming on my Panasonic blu-ray player, my Nintendo Wii, or my Roku. Have you considered picking up one of those instead of using a PC?

Re:Respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37844264)

The Android client works fine for me; no MS or Apple cash there.

Of course. (1)

linuxgeek64 (1246964) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843762)

What did they expect?

Crappy Redesign (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843832)

No one seems to remember that the user backlash really started with the horrible watch instantly page redesign (replace text with large movie posters, require mouse-over to see what anything is, slow autoscroll on mouseover rather than a push-button advancement, can't read the posters while autoscolling, no more sortable view, etc) and arrogant corporate response. Look back at the blog - there were 5000 extremely negative responses before comments got turned off and the only response was something to the effect that the new page design was really better and the customers didn't know what was good for them. For me, that was the first indication that the people in charge at Netflix 1. didn't know what they were doing (at least when it came to GUI usability) and 2. had a completely tin ear for customer complaints & service. It really primed the pump for subsequent rage following future bone-headed moves.

Hey netflix! (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843924)

How's that arrogance of entitlement working out for your netflix? Was the level of customer loss worth almost doubling your prices while showing public disdain for your customers? You've traded some profitability and a high stock price for no profit and a shattered stock price.

Entitlement bad for business, bad for customers and bad for profits.

The proper headline: Netflix loses 2% of subs! (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 2 years ago | (#37843962)

Expands overseas! Raises revenue per subscriber!

For unknown reasons, stock tanks!

Re:The proper headline: Netflix loses 2% of subs! (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844040)

4%, but the point still stands. Don't you know that everyone is to "savvy" to fall for pump-n-dump now. To make money, the shills are forced to nag-n-bag.

For me... (1)

RLU486983 (1792220) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844100)

it had nothing to do with the Qwikster debacle at all. It had to do with having to deal with the whole 1 movie out of a series made available for streaming and only being able to view the rest of the movies thru renting the DVDs. A lot of the times it happened to be that the first movie was only available via DVD, the second could be streamed and the next was again only available via DVD and so on. The whole behind-the-scenes scheming of the movie industry and their greedy paws in the mix was the final nail in this coffin. And they wonder why some people prefer to pirate instead of using legitimate outlets... isn't greed wonderful?! Completely asinine that I can rent movies all the day long in DVD format but streaming is a crap shoot. Tired of the headache so I got rid of my headache and went back to the old fashioned movie viewing experience; renting DVDs again.

DVDs as a defensive moat (3, Insightful)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37844110)

I think Netflix completely ignored the value of DVDs-by-mail in serving as a strategic defense against the media companies. If the media companies decide not to license content for streaming, Netflix is screwed.

On the other hand, should companies refuse to sell DVDs to them, Netflix could purchase them through alternate channels. Redbox rentals was in a similar situation where studios refused to sell to them (correctly identifying them as a threat to DVD sales) -- they circumvented the studio embargo by getting their DVDs from Walmart instead. It's not an ideal situation (Using Walmart was logistically cumbersome, and required waiting until the retail release date), but it allowed them to continue deliver service regardless of what studios said.

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