Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Netflix Expects To Be Unprofitable In 2012

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the running-red-branding-exercise dept.

The Almighty Buck 323

PolygamousRanchKid writes with an article in CNN Money about Netflix's prospects in 2012. From the article: "Netflix warned in its last earnings report that it expects to be unprofitable 'for a few quarters' starting at the beginning of 2012. The primary culprit is Netflix's pricey plan to expand its streaming video service into the United Kingdom and Ireland, but a wave of subscribers jumping ship hasn't helped. The filing also revealed that Netflix is in the process of raising $400 million from investors to help bulk up its cash stash. While that will give Netflix more money to invest in content, secondary offerings are sometimes considered ominous signs."

cancel ×

323 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (-1, Flamebait)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148542)


Upon reading the headline, I was hoping it was because people were getting off their couches and becoming more active. Alas, that is not the case; Netflix is expanding their sedentary lifestyle to the UK and Ireland.

Folks, it's a measly $8/month for unlimited TV and movies. How enticing is that? You know what's even cheaper? GETTING OFF YOUR BUTTS AND MOVING! Instead of asking the family "What do you want to watch tonight?" ask "Where should we walk to tonight?"

Netflix should be taxed like tobacco and liquor: it's a destructive, disease causing force causing people to fall to pieces. Have a brutally painful subluxation from a 10 hour movie marathon? Sure, that can be fixed before it causes a life-threatening illness. It'll cost you more than the $8 you spend on Netflix. Minimum of $30/visit for probably 2-4 visits a week for at least a couple of weeks.

It's like an alcoholic or smoker having to pay for a liver or lung transplant. Just Say No to all the modern "entertainment delivery systems" that are designed to make you complacent, fat, and unhealthy. The system DOES NOT want you healthy! It wants you as a consumer of medical poisons until death. It wouldn't be suprising to discover that the BigPharma players are investors in things like liquor, tobacco and Netflix: those things deliver life-long pill-popping & insulin-shooting customers by the millions. The proper alternatives of eating well, being active, and receiving targetted chiropractic adjustments don't make them their billions in pain-delivered profits.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148690)

Hi grub, nice to see you haven't given up the shtick.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148706)

Oops, removing my mod. It was OK until he started talking about subluxions.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (3, Insightful)

cjcela (1539859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148732)

While I agree people in the US should in general exercise more, I do not think you can regulate people's lives with a tax increase. People getting to exercise requires a change of attitude, values, and likely education, not more taxes. Ask yourself how many smokers stopped smoking because of the tobacco tax, or how many heavy drinkers stopped drinking because of alcohol tax - it just does not work like that. Netflix is positive in which it gives you the choice of what to watch, and you do not have to endure commercials, which arguably have a worse effect on people than the movies themselves.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149058)

Actual it has been shown pretty well that you can change peoples lives with a tax increase.
I'm not sure where the idea that you can't got started, or why people ignore all the times it has worked.

"Ask yourself how many smokers stopped smoking because of the tobacco tax"
It was something like 12%, over a decade. But that's icing. The real number are the amount of people who did't take it up.

Drinking as well.

Of course, that's just one aspect. The tax for tobacco goes to pay for education and medical treatment.

I'm not advocating the tax the OP talks about. Just pointing out the raising taxes reduced smokers and liqueur drinkers. Increase in fuel prices, tax or otherwise, decrease peoples driving.

I would argue for a tax on prepared food to help pay for medical treatment, dietary education, and general education. 10% or so.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (0)

wygit (696674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149168)

In California, the tax on tobacco was promoted by ad agencies because the money, hundreds of millions of dollars, GOES to ad agencies, for stupid billboard and TV ads that are worthless.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38149062)

While I am sure one motivation for sin taxes is to regulate behavior, from a societal perspective taxing unwanted behavior will increase revenue to supplement detrimental social effects of the unwanted behavior. Sure, most smokers probably won't quit smoking by raising tobacco taxes, but the increased revenue could (should) be used to prop up health care for future lung cancer cases, both from first hand and second hand exposure.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149110)

Tobacco consumption in Ontario went down when increased taxes lead to high per-pack costs. The Feds cut their portion, resulting in cheaper smokes, and increased consumption. Stricter laws about not smoking indoors also brought about decreased consumption. Most smokers cut down, but they didn't quit.

Netflix is great for active people (4, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148752)

I know that Bob is a regular troll here, but I'm a sucker and will respond anyway.

As an active individual I have no desire to adjust my life around a television schedule, nor pay $50+ a month for a cable service that I rarely use. Cutting that expense to $8 a month makes much more sense for a casual TV/movie consumer. It allows me to not worry about getting "behind" in a series as I can watch it at my own pace, and leave the house at any time without concern about what I am missing. It allows me to have down time when I need it (and as you should very well know, having relaxing time is very important for physical and mental health).

Re:Netflix is great for active people (0)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148920)

Just do what I do...

Watch Netflix during you 2-3 hour daily commuter drive. Seriously, watching old Star Trek re-runs is a lot easier than texting while driving.

You should try it sometime!

Re:Netflix is great for active people (3, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149034)

That's actually illegal http://www.mnsportcompacts.net/forum/showthread.php?51865-Is-it-Illegal-to-watch-a-video-while-driving [mnsportcompacts.net]

if it's built in you'd have to illegally mod it to not pay attention to the car start / stop, there's an extra wire that does this in car dvd players.

Have I ever known anybody to get a ticket for this? No... still best not to give a reason.

Re:Netflix is great for active people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38149118)

Not everybody who commutes is behind the steering wheel.

Re:Netflix is great for active people (2)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148968)

Aye.

I exercise a lot and average watching less than an hour of Telly a day... probably quite a bit less than an hour.

The only reason I do watch television ever is to spend time with the wife and kids- otherwise we're all off in different directions.

Experts recommend you take some time to relax and don't spend all the time on the go. $8 a month is a good price for the casual TV watcher who doesn't need/want to be watching all the time.

You can subscribe to netflix and be a healthy individual who is not a couch potato.

Disclaimer: not currently a netflix owner- waiting for current cable subscription to run out first so I'm not paying for two services when I hardly watch one.

Re:Netflix is great for active people (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148994)

The only people in 2011 who live around a television schedule are elementary school kids who haven't figured out how to use their parents dvr yet.

Netflix is great don't get me wrong, but TV has a lot more like... sports, news -- pretty lame, and movies that aren't on netflix or in my case movies on tv that are ONLY on dvd on netflix, which I don't pay the extra $8 for.

P.S. google dvr

Re:Netflix is great for active people (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149130)

You pay almost as much per month for a DVR as you do for a Netflix service (unless you build your own) - DVRs actually seem a bad price to me.

Sports and News is all available for free (in most cases) online- at least any game I've wanted to watch I've been able to locate a free stream for.

Re:Netflix is great for active people (-1, Flamebait)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149436)

A DVR is a device you pay ONE TIME FOR. A Tivo has a monthly charge. If the cable company chooses to jew you, that's between you and them, but a dvr has nothing to do with them, it has to do with intercepting and recording the signal.

Don't want to pay?

DIY

http://makezine.com/extras/4.html [makezine.com]

https://www.google.com/search?q=computer+into+dvr [google.com]

Re:Netflix is great for active people (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149166)

Netflix is not going to replace an 'overpriced cable service'.

You're just kidding yourself if you think it can.

An antenna and a Tivo would probably be more effective.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (5, Insightful)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148782)

Buddy, I watch netflix for the 2 hours I have to watch a movie between errands, work, and sleep.
It's not a lot to ask, and I'll be damned if I'll have someone with your attitude treating it like I'm doing something wrong.
Fuck you.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (4, Informative)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148806)

Folks, it's a measly $8/month for unlimited TV and movies.
How enticing is that? You know what's even cheaper? GETTING OFF YOUR BUTTS
AND MOVING! Instead of asking the family "What do you want to watch
tonight?" ask "Where should we walk to tonight?"

You know, when I get home from work in the winter, it's dark, and usually cold. I do like to get the kids out when I can, but pushing it against the dark and cold leads to sick kids as often as not. And, so, then, we can hop in the auto and pop round to, well, where? The shopping mall? A restaurant? Just the petrol cost will dwarf $8/month.

Golden Girls quote: "What did we do before we sat around like dolts staring at the Television?" "Oh, I remember when I was a kid, we sat around like dolts staring at the Radio."

Get a hobby, build a workshop, wash your dishes by hand and mop the floor - yeah, these are all good alternatives, but for the hours between 6 and 10pm, there's not a lot of decent outdoor activity available in the winter.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (3, Informative)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149052)

I don't think there's any reason to believe that being out in miserable weather will make you sick -- not if you're maintaining proper body temperature, at least. That's some wives' tale that has lived way past its expiry date. I know not everyone can live in a place where there's a walkable neighborhood, but perhaps you have a public park somewhere?

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (2)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149370)

Being out in the cold does have some affect on your immune system. Not generally enough to affect a normally healthy person, but I'd guess the combination of the new school years introducing lots of new virus carrying people to everyone, coupled with the fact that people tend to visit relatives etc over the holiday period means that you're exposed to more risk at the point when you're most likely to catch something. There's also the fact that the colder weather and shorter days psychologically make you feel more ill if you do catch something. A cold you write off as nothing during the summer my have you feeling very sorry for yourself during the winter, and over time it's the winter illnesses that stick in the mind. You're right that there's absolutely no reason to believe just going for a brisk walk in a cold park will give you a cold or flue, though.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149120)

"against the dark and cold leads to sick kids as often as not"
no. In fact, they are less likely to get sick.

Yeah it's a pain, I get it. I have 2 kids and live in Oregon, so it's dark at 5, rainy and often cold. However, the cold doesn't make people sick.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (5, Insightful)

Atticka (175794) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149256)

Actually, its healthy for your kids to be exposed to cold, germs, etc...

Get them outside, go skating at the rink, go tobogganing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, sign up for a winter survival course just for fun, build a snowman....

Lots of stuff to do!

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (2)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148948)

GETTING OFF YOUR BUTTS AND MOVING!

Says the chiropractic troll while sitting in front of his PC writing furiously to get the first post at Slashdot!

Note to Dr. Bob -- your posts lose most of their enduring qualities when they contain material that may indeed be factual or relevant. Please skip all of that and get straight to subluxions.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149014)

Im going to be charitable and assume you are not a troll.

Netflix should be taxed like tobacco and liquor: it's a destructive, disease causing force causing people to fall to pieces.

Part of freedom means the freedom to make your own mistakes and run your own life. I could probably look at your life, were it all visible to me, and see several areas where you could do much much better, but that is in no way a good reason for me to have executive control of your life-- that would in fact be one of the worse crimes, slavery.

So go ahead and encourage people to live better, to exercise more. Tell them the dangers of a sedentary life. But encouraging the government to step in and start regulating how people live is always dangerous business, and makes me deeply uneasy. Its really not their place to determine what lifestyles are "better" and "worse", but to determine what laws need to be in place in order to hold society together. And as long as people need to hold a job to support their lifestyle, I do not see "being sedentary" as a big risk to society.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38149112)

Im going to be charitable and assume you are not a troll.

You should be less charitable sometimes. Dr. Bob is a known troll whose rants devolve into his famed "War On Subluxations". You can safely ignore any posts by him.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149146)

> Folks, it's a measly $8/month for unlimited TV and movies. How enticing is that?

It depends on what the movies are.

If I am only interested in the cheapest available option and am willing to tolerate other people's limited choices, then I can just put up a big antenna.

Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38149264)

And you're posting this on Slashdot. News for Neckbeards, stuff that doesn't matter to anyone important.

More content (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148592)

They need more content...I watched nearly all the good movies over one winter off work.

Re:More content (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148652)

They need more content...I watched nearly all the good movies over one winter off work.

You should really consider spending more effort defining your career. Seriously.

Re:More content (4, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148718)

Maybe he's a bricklayer. My cousin is one. He works like hell 3 seasons a year, then takes the winter off.

Re:More content (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148790)

It's relatively common in the construction field to do that. Which is just as well because there's typically a lot less work in the winter anways. If they work enough they can even draw unemployment during the winter.

Re:More content (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148882)

As he said...
Any career that has a known large gap of unemployment isn't too lucrative unless your making bank (per hour, not more hours able to be worked) during those worktimes.

Re:More content (3, Insightful)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149406)

As he said...
Any career that has a known large gap of unemployment isn't too lucrative unless your making bank (per hour, not more hours able to be worked) during those worktimes.

Not great but a livable wage.....

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/All_K-12_Teachers/Salary [payscale.com]

Re:More content (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148756)

Fuck you and people that think like you.

Re:More content (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148722)

They need more content...I watched nearly all the good movies over one winter off work.

The "watch it now" content started at about 10% of the catalog, and it was a fair cross section (of the 500 movies in our queue, 50 showed up in "watch it now")

The difference between disc by mail and watch it now is that you can only get maybe a half-dozen discs by mail per week (3 at a time, assuming you're not "watching" them the minute they arrive and running across town to get them back in the mail before the 6pm last pickup). With watch it now, you can binge on 6 movies a day, or more if you want.

Mostly I like the watch it now for TV series, and I gladly traded down to 2 discs at a time + watch it now from 3 at a time, even though watch it now is limited, it's got more content than I can handle (whole series like Star Trek: TNG, 24, Hawaii Five-O, etc. etc. hundreds and hundreds of episodes.)

Re:More content (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148824)

Theoretically you can watch more with streaming, but in practice I don't think that's a common enough problem. What it means is that I could watch a couple episodes out of several different series during the week. The main limiting factors for most people are time and the speed of mail. People probably do watch more streaming than discs, but then again they might not, I know before I canceled that I watched several times as many discs as streams. And since leaving I haven't missed streaming at all.

I have no idea whether or not I'm normal, but my gut tells me that I'm closer to normal than the people that are watching tons of content every single week.

Re:More content (2)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148726)

In their Canadian implementation, everything I have tried looking for(pretty much anything you would see on Rogers/Bell) has not been on there. I have not enabled my free trial yet because of this.

If they put actual content on, I would gladly give them my money.

At least... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148598)

Qwikster will be profitable. Oh, wait...

Re:At least... (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148764)

Qwikster will be profitable. Oh, wait...

Qwikster could have been profitable. But it's saturated, which would have made it an income stock, not a growth stock. And nobody wants to be an income stock, because it's not sexy. In the long term the Disc by mail will be doomed by changes in 1st class mail. A stamp is going to 45 cents next year. Saturday delivery is doomed. And eventually the USPS will go to alternate day delivery to nearly half the number of carriers and trucks it needs. Redbox will be the way of the future, for the media of the past.

Re:At least... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148814)

Saturday delivery is doomed. And eventually the USPS will go to alternate day delivery to nearly half the number of carriers and trucks it needs.

This is hilarious. You're just making things up out of whole cloth. What mental disease possesses you?

Re:At least... (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148978)

You're just making things up out of whole cloth. What mental disease possesses you?

An unnatural fixation on charts and graphs. The one I'm looking at right now is a chart of first class mail volume. If you don't believe me, I have some NFLX to sell you...

Re:At least... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38149038)

I thought they changed their name back to Amway?

Overvalued for 10 years (5, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148624)

Anytime I ran any kind of "rational valuation" calculation on NFLX based on subscribers, income, potential for growth, etc. the market seemed to be out-pricing my ideas by a factor of 3 to 7... NFLX has been a very expensive stock for a very long time, I'm surprised it took this long for the bubble to deflate.

Still a good business model, when they aren't spouting off idiotic ideas about breaking it.

Re:Overvalued for 10 years (2)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148768)

Market imbalances is how money is made in stocks. An overpriced stock that pays no dividend has "short me" written all over it. I am never surprised when a stock falls in line with performance metrics, but I am often surprised at how long it takes before that happens.

NFLX has been a screaming short for a long time. The service split and price increase was so incredibly harebrained, it's almost as if management wanted to fail.

Re:Overvalued for 10 years (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38149310)

Imagine the tax cuts they're going to get though!
 
As I sat at submit, I sadly realized I may get modded insightful rather than funny. :(

What is Netflix? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148626)

Is it a place where I can watch the latest Hollywood movies for free? Like Megaupload or Videobb?

Re:What is Netflix? (2)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148842)

No, Netflix is a place you can watch it TODAY without waiting for the queue.
For the price of a double whopper combo at burger king, essentially.

Re:What is Netflix? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38149008)

you can watch it TODAY

if today is 28 days after the DVD comes out

Netflix pissed off all the whiny brats (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148630)

Who got upset over their subscriptions going up a tiny amount. If those people wanted to protest something really gouging, it'd be the gas prices. Or the costs of medicine. Or fuck, go out and yell at the government or the banks.

Re:Netflix pissed off all the whiny brats (2)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148818)

Or fuck, go out and yell at the government or the banks.

Actually, they're doing that. With sit ins, and tents, and pepper spray, and all the fixins...

Re:Netflix pissed off all the whiny brats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148822)

Who got upset over their subscriptions going up a tiny amount. If those people wanted to protest something really gouging, it'd be the gas prices. Or the costs of medicine. Or fuck, go out and yell at the government or the banks.

I think it's more that Netflix was valued by investors based on the number of subscribers, but not on the willingness of those subscribers to pay for content. Netflix was a good deal for subscribers, but the stock price didn't reflect that. Investors thought that Netflix would grow into a money-making machine, and when that didn't happen, they split. The reality is that the business model Netflix is using is deflating--the profits are declining since there is so much competition in content delivery. They can only keep their subscribers by continuing a business model that doesn't return what their investors ultimately want. That is a recipe for collapse.

Re:Netflix pissed off all the whiny brats (2)

hejman08 (2461596) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148870)

On what plane of existence is 60% a tiny amount? I was actually a faithful customer since its inception, but raising prices that much out of nowhere when neither service is THAT worth it is probably why most subscribers left.

Re:Netflix pissed off all the whiny brats (2)

JWW (79176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149004)

On the plane of existence where if the studios get their way Netflix dies and they implement their own streaming services for $50 / month, or for $3 per movie streamed.

The studios are incorrect by nearly an order of magnitude with respect to what streaming services should cost. Netflix has set the price level, the studios better start offering them content at rates that let them keep their prices lower than twice the amount they are charging now (yes I will pay twice as much for Netflix, but not 10x).

Apple set music prices at 99 cents a song when the music industry wanted more (sure they got their 30 cents, but the music industry thought some songs should be 2-4 bucks!). The movie industry is wrong too. What the content idiots have consistently failed to do is set fair prices for the way people want to get their content.

It is far easier and more desirable for me to stream a movie over Netflix than it is to torrent it!!

Let me state that a different way. Movie studios, the good news is your privacy problems are solved, the bad news is you content isn't worth what you think it is.

If the studios succeed in killing Netflix. I will stop watching the big studio movies. Forever.

Conversely, as Netflix brings in its own original shows, I will be watching.....

Re:Netflix pissed off all the whiny brats (2)

DigitalGoetz (2510424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149154)

If you pay a mere pittance for a service, and it goes from that to a paltry sum... it's still cheap. Sure my netflix went from 8 to still under 20, the only basic cable package in my area went from 20 per month in 2001 to it's current 140 per month.
Netflix may not work for some, but it cant match the greed exhibited by your average local-monopoly cable providers.

Re:Netflix pissed off all the whiny brats (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149180)

Becasue it was a few dollars. Raising penny candy from a penny to a nickle was a 500% increase!!! OTOH, is was 4 cents more.

So 60% s a large percentage, it wasn't a large amount of money.

The issue is they didn't dad anything, AND there is not inflationary justification for the increase.

Re:Netflix pissed off all the whiny brats (0)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149442)

On what plane of existence is 60% a tiny amount?

It's freaking 8 dollars!!!!

Re:Netflix pissed off all the whiny brats (1)

fotoflojoe (982885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149042)

Or maybe it was the hubris of Reed Hastings and company that drove customers away.

Re:Netflix pissed off all the whiny brats (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149424)

No, I'm pretty sure it was the higher subscription cost.

Netflix still in a good position (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148638)

They lost a lot of subscribers due to their split-service gap, and they look to be having content issues...

However, they still seem in a good position to me. The service is fundamentally good, they still have a lot of ratings from users to help determine what content makes sense for them to buy, and (most importantly) they have a LOT of paths into the home - just about any device you can name supports Netflix.

They are in a rocky spot now but I just can't see who can replace them easily, or even reach the position they currently hold within a year or two.

Re:Netflix still in a good position (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148854)

They are in a rocky spot now but I just can't see who can replace them easily, or even reach the position they currently hold within a year or two.

You seem to forget Netflix' existance is allowed solely at the discretion of the MPAA. They're becoming unprofitable right now because the MPAA decided to charge more. They're like the OPEC of the content world. They don't care who lives and who dies, as long as they can keep writing their own paychecks.

Re:Netflix still in a good position (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149016)

You seem to forget Netflix' existance is allowed solely at the discretion of the MPAA. They're becoming unprofitable right now because the MPAA decided to charge more.

That is just a pricing issue though. Netflix have taken those lumps already. As stated, the fundamentals of what they offer (device reach, still lots of content) mean they will survive, and probably thrive since there is no other company in the position they are in, nor will there be for some time due to the very difficulties you mention.

Re:Netflix still in a good position (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149232)

This is why people should not be so quick to get rid of physical media. Physical media is personal property and comes with first sale rights and a large group of diverse sellers. You can buy just what you need, pay the market price for it, and find a 3rd party willing to sell it to you.

You don't have to put up with any of this "it's their content, they should be able to exclude you" kind of nonsense.

Re:Netflix still in a good position (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149364)

You don't have to put up with any of this "it's their content, they should be able to exclude you" kind of nonsense.

Except it's probably infested with DRM. This is one reason why I still buy more DVDs than Blu-Rays, since DVD DRM is pretty much dead.

Re:Netflix still in a good position (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148866)

> just about any device you can name supports Netflix

Linux PC!

Re:Netflix still in a good position (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148900)

I had Netflix for a few years and defected when they decided to raise the price by 60% without any additional service. It really pissed me off when the CEO talked about it being the price of an extra coffee or two for most users. I'd rather have those extra coffees to myself rather than give it to Netflix CEO. Since then they came out with an even dumber idea of splitting to QuickStar!

Since then they have lost Stars, Sony? so if I were to go back, its for less service than I had before with the increased price! I have tried streaming, and the quality is not there. Its fine to watch on iPad or computer, but when you want to watch on a big screen TV, the quality just sucks. Even worse, the selections on Netflix are very limited and old movies that nobody really wants to watch.

I've switched over to BlockBusters and enjoy the much newer selection of movies on BlueRay. I can also get exchanges in-store, so this works out much better for me. I dont think streaming is going to help out much in the near future, as the current quality is low and ISP's will start capping or charging more for bandwidth sooner or later.

Re:Netflix still in a good position (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149066)

I have tried streaming, and the quality is not there. Its fine to watch on iPad or computer, but when you want to watch on a big screen TV, the quality just sucks

I watch it on a projector with a 5 foot diagonal. The quality is OK, especially the HD content.

Even worse, the selections on Netflix are very limited and old movies that nobody really wants to watch.

If all you are in it for is the movies, it's not enough by itself.

But what you and many other people seem to be ignoring is the vast amount of TV content - including very good TV content from other sources, like the BBC. Also there is a TON of kids programming, meaning Netflix is well positioned to capture the market of anyone with children... would you say that is a small market?

Netflix does not have a full range of movies right now, no. But If Netflix can keep expanding at some point top-tier movies not being on Netflix becomes a studio problem more than a Netflix problem.

I've switched over to BlockBusters and enjoy the much newer selection of movies on BlueRay.

I still like BluRay discs for some movies myself. But you seem to forget Netflix has this offering already... it would be possibly convenient to be able to return discs to a Blockbuster store if so many of them were not closed.

Re:Netflix still in a good position (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149272)

> Also there is a TON of kids programming

Which might be limited to 2 seasons out of 10, or similar such nonsense.

Then stuff "expires" and you can't watch it anymore.

Netflix streaming is like a single independent local broadcaster that might have a lot of diverse things but might have nothing that you actually want to watch.

Re:Netflix still in a good position (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149250)

If they had kept Starz, they would have had a MUCH larger increase in price...

Obligatory Oatmeal reference (3, Funny)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148644)

They had it coming. Oatmeal Netflix parody:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/netflix [theoatmeal.com]

Re:Obligatory Oatmeal reference (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148988)

To be more fair, and what a lot of people seem to forget is this. Their original price was for mail only, then they added streaming for free. Later they decided that wasn't viable and split the two, charging two different rates for the two separate products. To use the hamburger analogy from the comic you linked to. It's like the hamburger restaurant selling hamburgers for $X. They they start giving away free milkshakes with the hamburgers for $X. Then, they find out the price of milkshakes skyrockets because the milk cartel didn't like people getting free milkshakes, so they split the services, and now they go back to selling hamburgers at $X-Y, and have a different place to sell milkshakes at $X-Z. Sure you end up paying more if you want both, but what you forget is that the milkshake was thrown in for free at some point, and that you got a lot of free milkshakes out of it. Also, in this analogy, you should be angry at the Milk Cartel who raised their rates, not the people selling burgers and milkshakes, because they don't have ultimate control over all the pricing.

I'm sympathetic, but stop with the bonehead moves (5, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148674)

I understood when they had to raise prices. The studios have gotten crazy greedy on the whole streaming thing and their costs have gone through the roof. Netflix streaming is still BY FAR the best deal around. You can watch the entire runs of shows like Battlestar Galactica (original AND new, even 1980), The X-Files, Twin Peaks, Firefly, Family Guy, etc (many of them in HD, no less). Nothing else even comes close to the selection or quality of Netflix's streaming library.

But I'm a lot LESS sympathetic with some of their bonehead moves--like trying to separate their by-mail/streaming divisions with annoying separate websites and queues (a move destined to serve little purpose other than pissing off loyal customers like me) and paying $40 million for a bunch of shitty Dreamworks streaming rights (a move that's only going to encourage the greed of the other studios in the future).

Boneheaded Movies (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148832)

If I could sort Netflix streamers by ratings (or by anything other than Netflix's lame categories), it wouldn't bother me that 99% of the streamers are crap. And if I could weight other people's ratings by raters who rate similarly to how I rate, then I might better find crap that I'd like anyway.

Re:Boneheaded Movies (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149228)

And if I could weight other people's ratings by raters who rate similarly to how I rate, then I might better find crap that I'd like anyway.

Doesn't it theoretically do that already? I know it gives star rating estimations for stuff that we haven't watched yet based on past ratings. I thought that was done via the ratings of people similar to us, but i admit that i haven't really looked into it much.

Re:I'm sympathetic, but stop with the bonehead mov (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149162)

You can watch the entire runs of shows like Battlestar Galactica (original AND new, even 1980)

If Netflix are relying on Battlestar Galactica 1980 as a way to draw in customers, that explains why they're doing so badly :).

Re:I'm sympathetic, but stop with the bonehead mov (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149236)

Don't talk about greedy this or greedy that. Netflix is not a not-for-profit, they are greedy too. A lot of social scientists agree that men are mostly egotistical and driven by greed.

Re:I'm sympathetic, but stop with the bonehead mov (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149362)

This was done, because the studios were trying to devour the DVD business income in their negotiations for streaming content.

Hey you made $400 million, We want $200 million. But streaming only accounted for $40 million. So how do you keep the studios from digging into the pockets of the DVD side to gouge for streaming.

You split the company. Then the profits are held separately.

They just botched the explanation of why.

Good luck Netflix (5, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148684)

They face very stiff competition from other companies with much deeper pockets, so they are going to have it tough for a while. I like Netflix (their latest snafu with splitting the DVD rental / streaming plans didn't affect me - I'm streaming only), and as a technophile, I'm pleased that they have gone to great lengths to support such a diverse range of hardware. A lot of companies wouldn't have bothered with Wii, XBox, Android, etc. Netflix's decision to split off their DVD rental was simply waaaaay too early. That is an inevitability of course - anyone with the least bit of foresight can see that demand for physical media is going to drop off a great deal in the near future. However, Netflix must provide a mechanism to bolster the streaming support since the movies offered online are so hit and miss, and the only choice is DVD for now.

Take Lord of the Rings for example. Did you know that you can watch The Two Towers online, but not the first or third movies? Now what in the world is that about??? As long as that sort of garbage is going on, customers need a single unified interface and billing to get movies in whichever format is available.

Re:Good luck Netflix (1)

webheaded (997188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149010)

Damn this computer. I accidentally modded this redundant instead of insightful. Posting to undo.

While I'm at it, I really have to agree here. I feel bad for Netflix because I know it isn't entirely their fault. The studios are really screwing them over and quite frankly it's almost criminal what they're doing at this point. God forbid they give reasonable pricing and just let us have what we want. No, they need to make 10x as much money while the number of people willing to pay for these ridiculously limited services dwindles (selection sucks because of their shitty contract deals). The greed of Hollywood rears its ugly head once again. Your Lord of the Rings example perfectly illustrates what a steaming pile of shit the negotiation and contract thing is. I honestly can't decide if they actually want more money from Netflix or if they're just trying to kill them off.

Tivo Redux (3, Interesting)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148688)

Here we go again. Netflix (streaming) is going to follow the same path as Tivo. Innovate at the beginning, then get to a point where you have trouble growing your audience. Then bigger companies, such as the cable companies, come in with a comparable product, and eat your lunch, because they already have a relationship with the customer, and deeper pockets than you which will help them bid up content license prices. This makes the streaming side of NFLX negative growth in the middle term, as they have the same problem in other countries, despite their efforts to expand.

The disk mailing side of the company is already saturated from a customer base side. Increasing postal rates and the eventual end to saturday delivery will make the service less viable. Eventually the postal service will go to every-other-day delivery of first-class mail, in order to reduce the number of carriers and mail trucks by 30 to 40 percent. The disk mailing side of NFLX is therefore a revenue stock now (with that revenue being eatten by the streaming side), and negative growth in the future. Sell...

Not this time (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148928)

Then bigger companies, such as the cable companies, come in with a comparable product, and eat your lunch, because they already have a relationship with the customer

But what kind of relationship is that? It's not a good one.

TiVo was wiped out because all they could fundamentally do is offer a slight improvement to the cable box, once the cable companies started also including a DVR that was it. They couldn't offer additional content, just extra convenience.

Netflix is more than that, they offer a vast array of content that each cable company in turn would have to seek rights for to use the same way. The cable companies can't get a leg up on Netflix in terms of pricing or content because content providers have no motivation to treat them differently or charge them less.

Also Netflix offers a service that I can easily watch on an iPad/iPhone or Roku box or AppleTV or computer, and cable companies are only just starting to think about that stuff. But they will be hampered by the desire to have people watch content on THIER network, not just an arbitrary one. Netflix is the only cable-like company not bound to old-school physical network thinking.

Re:Not this time (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149206)

I tried TiVo once, and had to return the equipment for a refund. The firmware was crappy, and the user experience was abysmal. This was their 2nd generation system, no less.

As much as I'd like to see competition out there, I think the only company with the understanding of how to satisfy a customer is Apple and their iTunes service. I seriously think that they are the only ones who understand how to offer smooth experience for users of their technology, in spite of whatever snafus they have committed in their history. All of the DVRs that my friends have are irritating in their UI response lag. Seriously, it's 2011 and you can't make a fucking GUI that takes less than 150ms to react to a keypress on the remote? Fucking seriously? I shudder to think what sort of lame engineers guide the teams that make DVR software. It's like they never heard of a state machine and pushing events between state machines. It's not hard. Don't block the UI when waiting for network or mass storage. Sheesh.

Re:Not this time (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149286)

Since my Cable Companies DVR IS a TiVo, I wouldn't call them 'wiped out' TIVO is fine, the consumers are screwed. I mean, seriously needing a specific type of recorder to record channels? WTF. I SHOULD be able to by any DVR, plug it in and it work.

But no, I need to have a special DVR for direct TV the costs 200 dollars. That's why I don't ahve one

Re:Tivo Redux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38149026)

> Eventually the postal service will go to every-other-day delivery of first-class mail

Not this nonsense again. Holding-back half of the mail for a day just means that the USPS would need more warehousing, and more operatives to stack and de-stack that mail, and less efficient routes for the delivery vehicles because they have to drive past off-day locations to reach on-day locations.

The same number of vehicles would be required because the same volume of mail would be delivered each day.

It would not benefit them in any way and would probably add cost. The current mail delivery system is predicated on not backing-up vast quantities of mail anywhere in the system.

Re:Tivo Redux (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149356)

Holding-back half of the mail for a day just means that the USPS would need more warehousing, and more operatives to stack and de-stack that mail

True, there is a cost of holding mail. But the current resources would be sufficient when mail volume drops in half. The USPS is not continuous delivery. They hold your mail now for up to 1 day. Eventually, they'll hold it for up to two days. They also hold mail now on Sundays, which doesn't seem to be causing them too much trouble. They actively want to eliminate saturdays.

less efficient routes for the delivery vehicles because they have to drive past off-day locations to reach on-day locations.

Only if you don't understand operations management. You wouldn't do something stupid like even/odd addresses, side of the street, etc. You'd segment by entire neighborhoods around your hub (post office) to minimize non-delivery distance. Take a look at the way that the sanitation department runs garbage trucks. Like the post office, they all start out from one hub, and use the same trucks to cover multiple routes. The number of trucks, number of employees, and number of routes is based upon the volume of garbage generated, and how long you're willing to let it sit.

The same number of vehicles would be required because the same volume of mail would be delivered each day.

That's the rub. It won't be the same volume of mail every day. It's dropping every year. We may see a bump some year in the future, but don't read it as a recovery of the post office; it will be a return to economic normal, as the past few years have deteriorated faster than expected due to a slow economy.

It would not benefit them in any way and would probably add cost. The current mail delivery system is predicated on not backing-up vast quantities of mail anywhere in the system.

The quantities will not be vast in the future... Mail volume is dropping every year. When it gets to half of what it is now, expect to see alternate day delivery.

cable is over priced!!! Re:Tivo Redux (1)

Bryan-10021 (223345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149082)

Netflix streaming is $7.99 for an entire *month* compared to the cable companies who charge $5.99 *per* movie or $12.99 and up for movie channels such as Showtime or Cinemax. So explain again how cable companies are competition to Netflix??

Netflix has had a perfect storm of problems including a buyback of shares when the price was in the $200's. Just like Amazon if you put money into the long-term profitability of the business it's going to hurt the bottom line *short term*. Wall St only cares about the short term hence Netflix trading in the low $70's while Amazon with a recent high of $246.71 is trading in the high $180's.

Every BluRay player, PS/3, Xbox, Wii, Roku, Netflix-enabled HDTV, iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Color/tablet sold is a potential customer. The recent trend has been to ditch cable and go with Netflix and Hulu-plus to save money.

Netflix GoogleTV API? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148708)

I want to ride the wave of Netflix serving content at a loss for my own profit. Is there an example (preferably Eclipse) Google TV project demonstrating an app that accesses the Netflix catalog and streaming content?

Two OK Ideas (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148754)

That turned to crap by pursuing both at once.

Netflix had ALWAYS planned to ditch their DVD service in favor of streaming; the original idea was to be done by 2007.
But the general infrastructure did not progress as fast as had been forecasted.
So divesting themselves of their DVD side was the logical progression. Except that their entire plan was ill-formulated and just altogether sloppy. Poorly timed, too, considering their loss of Starz and such.

Raising fees to accomodate the general paradigm shift - where the majority of their consumers and money were now mostly only streaming - was also smart. It was, on the whole, much more profitable and growth-sustaining even with a very, very modest assumption of potential customer losses.

But doing both of these very large "PR-disasters in the making" within such close proximity of each other?
Jesus, that's a special level of incompetence right there.

Too bad, cable needs competition (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148770)

I think they have a couple problems. First their library isn't great. It's $8 a month for all the b movies you can watch. They'd be better off raising the prices and consistently having new movies in stock. Indeed, I hope they are going unprofitable to get more content.

I think their second problem is that if you have cable, your On Demand is probably as good as Netflix and if you get a premium channel, it comes with an On Demand that blows Netflix out of the water.

I wish Netflix was going to give the cable companies a run for their money. I think it would be great if the service provider wasn't so tied to the content providers, but I guess Netflix isn't in a position to take them on at this time.

Re:Too bad, cable needs competition (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149238)

Calling bullshit on this one.

Netflix has tons of first-class television programming (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead) and is going to produce new episodes of Arrested Development on its own dime. Lots of incredible documentaries from National Geographic et al, as well as a huge selection of movies (both good and bad).

I have looked at the offerings available on cable on-demand systems and they do not begin to approach the level of programming available on Netflix. You get a few recent episodes of television shows and a smattering of movies, many of which you have to rent on a pay-per-view basis.

Re:Too bad, cable needs competition (1)

DigitalGoetz (2510424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149300)

I think the problem also arises that many of the newer content that Netflix may want, is in some manner owned (either via corporate connections or already outbid streaming licenses) by the cable companies. They, in turn, want to kill off Netflix and feed their own streaming services. All in all, I do like netflix and it's pricing scheme (even the new cost increase is affordable) but I simply can't see them outlasting the deep-pocketed Cable companies.

Either they'll dwindle in numbers of subscribers or simply be bought outright, we'll be paying 50+ for the same service Netflix provides right now in a few years time.

Netflix Did It Wrong (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148808)

Netflix clearly wants to get out of the DVD business and into the more profitable streaming-only business. Netflix could have just raised its streaming+DVD prices a little for a little while, say +$2 for 6 months. Then started charging a little more for DVD deliveries, while offering a rebate to streaming-only customers. After a few months of that structure, they'd have a distinct streaming-only customer group. Then they could have raised prices on streaming or DVD independently. Voila! Two distinct, differently priced products, each profitable, with DVD delivery able to be wound down while making the streaming-only product look better.

Instead they did it in a way that told their customers that they had to take whatever Netflix shoved at them. "Where ya gonna go?" Well, many went, and the brand is damaged even for those who stayed.

It's not too late for Netflix to do the underlying biz transformation right. But the marketing and corporate execs who backed the debacle should take a big hit. The marketing people should probably go, unless the corp execs want to give them a second chance on something like what I described. But probably they should go. There's never any reason to keep a marketer unless they're really a star (which is extremely rare) - there are plenty of non-stars who can take a crack at the next marketing bungle.

My guess ... (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149308)

My guess is that they signed some deal with the content providers that they'd pay them for streaming their movies based on the number of Netflix customers ...

So, you unload the DVD customers to a separate company, and suddenly, they don't have to pay for the people who never would've been able to stream in the first place.

Of course, if this were the case, they should've said something ... telling the customers that it was a move to screw over the distributors might've given them some goodwill rather than just piss people off.

A large part (4, Interesting)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148888)

A large part of their problems, ironically, can be blamed on iTunes. Or rather, what iTunes did.

Apple came into the market and swept a massive position of power and influence right out from under the music (or rather, content) industry's feet. Apple gained a novel and unrivaled position to dictate the terms of negotiation.
They're still stinging from that.

As a byproduct, they were far more 'prepared' for Netflix. Well, not prepared, as the industry is ancient, slow, bloated and generally can't see "the next big thing" until it's already slapped them across the face and taken their daughter out to dinner.
They were more Apprehensive, really.
They may not have known if Netflix would be a success (by-mail services could never be a threat, and when the streaming came about, similar "on demand" services were rather mediocre) but they knew well enough to keep the reigns on a potentially unwieldy beast.

So Netflix' (possibly unexpected to the Industry) fast growth and explosion in the public mindshare did not end up giving them anywhere near the same control and leverage for negotiations with content owners and producers. Netflix did not secure a completely dominant position, and were unable to supplant the general DVD purchase/rental and theater-going parts of the industry, or at least nowhere near as successfully as iTunes snowballed over CDs.

As such, they're entirely at the whim of industry conglomerates that view them now as something of an enemy, or an annoyance that is profitable enough not to deserve a swat yet.

If the industry wasn't so generally inept, there would have been an MPA-aligned style service already out and Netflix would be deprived of most of its content almost immediately.

Re:A large part (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149260)

The problem with the content industry is that they have always sucked with their digital delivery. This is, unfortunately, a generalization that has no exceptions, and has equally applied from the time the first network set up a website till now. Jobs had repeatedly bashed them about it, and they still haven't learned their lesson.

More money for less (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148960)

I have no problem with them raising their prices if they kept up with a good selection of movies but they don't. I have looked for movie after movie to only find it is either not available at all or DVD only. Their selection at best is sad. Most the movies are from the 90s and 80s with very few newer movies. I am not going to keep paying more and more for the same quality of service or less. You want to raise my price fine, give me a better selection. I'm done with them. They can keep their inflated prices and crappy selections.

Biz Plan Help for Netflix (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149044)

The Netflix streaming library is poor. There is not much there worth watching, unless you are in the mood for an old movie, and then it is still a coin toss if you can find what you want. Expansion to the UK and Ireland will not bring profitability. Expanding content will.

I pay for the Nexflix streaming, but only because I have a 4 year old and the selection of content for that age range is decent and worth the price.

If you want profitability, look at tiered streaming pricing. Add a couple of bucks a month for a plan that has access to new content. Drop a couple of bucks a month for a tier that is only kid's programming. Create a low price tier with access only to the old stuff. Keeping your "one size fits none" model will continue your death spiral. It is pretty obvious that the "take it or leave it" approach you took has far too many choosing the "leave it" option.

They have a lot of options to become profitable. (4, Insightful)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149288)

Netflix has yet to offer video games or adult movies. Both those avenues will bring in tons of cash.

Reed Hastings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38149290)

The reason for the NetFlix nosedive.

Damn! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149412)

I wish I could say I am going to lose money the next several years, please give me 400 million to tie me over!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?