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Latest Netflix Earnings Report Mixed

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the hive-of-profit-and-drm dept.

Businesses 303

nmpost writes with one interpretation of Netflix's Q2 results (PDF). From the article: "The beginning of the end may be at hand for Netflix. On Tuesday, the movie rental company posted its second quarter results, and they were not promising. While the company returned to profitability following a first quarter loss, Netflix had a 91% drop in net income. The company's troubles began when it attempted to split its DVD-by-mail and streaming services, effectively doubling the price it was charging customers. External forces are now beginning to weigh on the company, and its doom appears to be within sight. The biggest challenges facing Netflix over the coming months are going to be competition and licensing fees. Three huge companies are competing against Netflix in the streaming arena, which has already surpassed its DVD-by-mail business. Amazon, Apple, and Google all offer streaming content as well. As movie and television studios began to demand higher licensing fees, Netflix will not be able to pay, while these tech giants will. Netflix will eventually be priced out of the market." Engadget, on the other hand, shines some positive light on the report: "The results are in from its Q2 2012 earnings report, and it's claiming 27.56 million streaming subscribers worldwide, up from 26 million last quarter. In the US alone that includes 23.94 million customers, after it reported 23.4 million in Q1, while DVD customers dropped by 850k to 9.24 million." So it appears that Netflix is either gaining new streaming customers, or converting those expensive DVD customers into more lucrative streaming-only customers.

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303 comments

No more DVD rentals? (3, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765321)

If Netflix dies I guess that's the end of DVD-by-mail. I know at least one person who won't be happy. He rents the DVD and then he & his wife watch the movie or TV show together.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765407)

This and streaming are the only ways I watch TV shows. If dvd by mail were to end I would just use streaming. It would be a loss but nothing for me to worry over.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765803)

Hard to stream at 50k. (dialup). Plus even if my colleague had highspeed internet, he still has to go out and buy new equipment so he & his wife can see the movie on the TV.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765831)

A roku costs $50, even at minimum wage that is less than a days worth of earnings.

The dialup is indeed an issue, but for any use of the internet not just streaming video.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766273)

I use dialup when traveling. The web works just fine especially with image compression turned on. It's only the streaming video that does not work.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40766283)

At minimum wage, that worker has for more important things to be concerned with than buying some Roku box - such as eating, housing and electricity. So, while you view $50 to be a pittance, even (incorrectly) for minimum wage workers, I can assure you those same minimum wage workers disagree with your viewpoint.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40766159)

lol, stalked by a registered user?

NONE of us like you. please leave this site and go brag about having fucking dialup somewhere else, moron.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (1)

ethanms (319039) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765951)

Netflix streaming, You Tube and my personal DVD collection are all that I watch--no cable, DVD by mail, antenna or other streaming.

Netflix makes up greater than 90% of what I watch, though You Tube is actually quite good for European (BBC) shows split up into thirds, and very old movies (collection of Chaplin movies is good).

I almost never watch my own DVDs because I'm too lazy to seek out what I want to watch and put it in the player... there's just too much commitment in that act and I feel like I must watch it ;-)

Re:No more DVD rentals? (4, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765477)

I maintain one DVD out with my Netflix streaming. Sometimes the DVD rental the only way to get certain things, which is why I laugh in the face of anyone saying "discs are dead, grandpa!" It's not a tech issue but an IP one.

All I want is a flat rate, one stop shop for streaming anything ever made. Completely possible techwise, utterly undoable from an IP standpoint. iTunes works well enough with my AppleTV, but sometimes the cost of a series is more than buying used DVDs (or even Blu-Rays) on amazon. It's variable enough that I have to check every time.

I'm lucky enough to know people with similar tastes who like to buy DVD box sets, and I can borrow/copy a lot of stuff.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765799)

you pay for stuff on itunes, but you copy your friends dvds, im confused.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766021)

Sooner or later one of the studios is going to step into the vacuum of streaming rentals and realize there is a ton of money to be made there. Think about it, the day the movie hits theaters just start a streaming rental service starting at a premium (say $50 per view). Then concoct an algorithm (this might take a few runs to get just right) that decrements the price based on the day's demand for that title (relatively low demand, price goes down). That way, each day the price goes down (theoretically) by just enough to make the rental sales go up. Get that algorithm just right and you basically milk the entire world audience out of exactly how much they are willing to part with to watch a given title. If the theaters get in on the action, they too could have pricing based on the age and popularity of the film making the cinema experience actually tolerable since later runs will drop in price instead of spending all their time at a top-tier theater at full price, then jumping to a bottom-tier theater at a lower price (if the bottom tier even exists in a market).

Re:No more DVD rentals? (2)

networkBoy (774728) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766209)

I think this will not happen from a current studio. Once one of the indy groups grows enough to get big talent and big movies then they will be the first to enter this gap. After they break ground the legacy studios will move in. We already see stuff like this in the audio side of the industry, where on-line sales are concurrent with the CD release, sometimes at a lower price and often in MP3 format.

The big companies don't like change, are afraid of it even. I think this one change you suggest would vastly turn around their fortunes and cut deeply into the piracy market. Most pirates (IMHO) are not being cheapskates, they are being convenientskates. I know this is the case for me. I buy a DVD for the kids, I rip it and put it on the media server. It is simply more convenient, not to mention I don't have to worry about scratched disks, something that still plagues their collection of Wii games (but not my gen 1 Xbox games).
-nB

Re:No more DVD rentals? (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766055)

All I want is a flat rate, one stop shop for streaming anything ever made. Completely possible techwise, utterly undoable from an IP standpoint.

Unless the BBC re-used the archive tapes.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (3, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766245)

All I want is a flat rate, one stop shop for streaming anything ever made. Completely possible techwise, utterly undoable from an IP standpoint.

There's a technical work around for that.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765735)

He rents the DVD and then he & his wife watch the movie or TV show together.

There's always Amazon's streaming service. He and his wife could just watch the Netflix stream together instead of the DVD. Physical media is dying as a way to transmit information. You have to wait 2 days for it to show up in the mail, but with a stream, it's instant and you can watch what you want when you want.

There are alternatives. Anyway it's unlikely Netflix dies. Much more likely just the DVD side of the house dies, and their streaming service carries on. The DVD side is a legacy, and will go away just like horse drawn buggies. No loss.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765869)

If Netflix dies I guess that's the end of DVD-by-mail. I know at least one person who won't be happy. He rents the DVD and then he & his wife watch the movie or TV show together.

Nonsense, either Netflix will stay open, or there is always Blockbuster dvd-by-mail which is a nearly identical service. At the top-tier of title popularity, Redbox and other kiosk style rentals are everywhere (which is why they are eating up Netflix revenue like crazy.)

Plus, if Netflix is gone maybe the vacuum will spur someone to finally crack the enigma that is "Streaming Rentals" that don't cost an arm and a leg. It's clearly an issue of licensing and not technology or logistics, so it has to happen at some point, right?

Surely, this "friend" you know has little to worry about.

Re:No more DVD rentals? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765983)

The blockbuster service is not near identical.

1. they commonly do not have any discs but make it appear as though they do
2. if you do not have an available item in the top 15 it will mail out nothing.
3. blockbuster sucks

The rest of your comment I agree with

Re:No more DVD rentals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765949)

I haven't rented a DVD in well over five years. Do not stream either. I occasionally get VOD movies from Comcast.

As for DVD's, all DVD's I buy are second hand from Amazon. I get something like 5-10 DVD's a month, and pay a fraction of the price of a new copy.

Why rent a DVD from blockbuster and/or Netflix, when you can buy that DVD for a couple of dollars second hand?

net income loss is year on year. (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765371)

q on q it's.. well, I don't know how you'd use percentages to turn a negative into a positive, but over(under) minus -100% ?

they're profitable at least now.

I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765387)

Why pay for streaming with Netflix, which doesn't work on Linux, when I can use Amazon and the other services which work everywhere.

Fuck Reed Hastings and his company.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765433)

Because Amazon has far less selection?

I would not have it, if I had not gotten a PS3 for free. If Amazon ever gets a real selection for prime streaming I will switch to that. I will not pay $1 to rent a half hour show. $0.25/hour would be about the most i would pay.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765483)

It's true Amazon's selection isn't amazing (I was just using them as an example, I get it "free" with my prime membership).

That said, I wasn't extremely impressed with Netflix streaming either, when I had it a year ago.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765547)

I get amazon streaming with prime as well. Which finally works on the PS3, that only took years. They still will not stream prime videos to my android device for free, unless I use flash.

The netflix selection is much better than it was a year ago, still not great but good enough vs what is on TV anyway.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

starless (60879) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765731)

I currently have both netflix and amazon prime. Overall, the free streaming with amazon is roughly comparable, in my experience, with netflix. A few things I've looked for have only been available on one or the other. On the other hand, the advantage of amazon is the non-free selection. If one doesn't mind paying for the additional material sometimes, it increases the range of what is available to quite a large extent. However, my fear is that if netflix dies, then the "free" material on amazon would reduce substantially, and they'd try to sell more of the one-time rentals.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765785)

If the costs were reasonable I would pay for it but they are not so I will not.

To me reasonable would be 50% of the DVD price to buy and competitive with redbox for rental. Meaning a typical TV series should not cost more than $4 to rent, since they rarely take up more than 4 DVDs.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765561)

if you're talking about cartoons then just pay $10-$20 for the season. cheaper than DVD's at $15 for a few episodes and its not like you will need them for more than a few years.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765717)

For $20 I can pay for netflix for a month.
I do not watch very many cartoons.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765729)

If Amazon ever gets a real selection for prime streaming I will switch to that.

Can you now buy prime streaming alone, or only the package deal with free shipping for "stuff" and kindle books? I have the package deal, don't know if there's a new cheaper option to just buy streaming. My kids don't care about selection, as long as there's a purple dinosaur on screen they're happy.

BTW "Real selection" comes from U****t or torrents and is viewed on the mythtv box connected to the adjacent HDMI connector with a multi-terabyte array on the other side, coincidentally that's the same place live TV comes from. Mythtv used to have a awesome internet streaming module around 0.21 or 2006 or so... um not anymore. Ditto mythtv's music player which has turned into an incomprehensible spouse and kids defying playlist monstrosity, but soma fm works fine on the roku. You could say the next version of 0.25's music player is called roku.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765807)

I believe only the package deal, which is what I have.

They screw you on the kindle books if you don't own a kindle brand device. Which is almost enough to make me cancel it. There is no reason why any android device cannot get the free books.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766047)

>>>There is no reason why any android device cannot get the free books.

Amazon wants you to buy the hardware, so they tie you to the kindle for the freebies. A bit like Apple's model where OS X only works on Macs, not any android or windows device. Ya know you COULD buy a kindle... it's only 50-60 used. (I bought the 3G version for 70 like-new.)

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766151)

That is not a technical reason. That is the same bullshit that keeps netflix from streaming every video ever recorded.

I do not want a kindle. I like having real android tablets. I dislike e-ink. It refreshes slowly, flickers badly when it does refresh, lacks lighting and in general looks like phonebook print. I know the e-ink fanbois will now flame me, but I just looked at some devices last weekend and they still look this crappy.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765479)

Yeah if they are still using Silverlight they are missing out on all the phone and tablet users as well.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765573)

Eh? My iPad has a Netflix app. Android has it, too. Hell, that's one of the big things about Netflix- it's ubiquitous. My XBox, PS3, Wii, iPad, Mac and AppleTV all have Netflix apps.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765635)

What do you mean? I watch Netflix on my Iphone when I wake up at 3am and can't get back to bed.

Who are "all the phone .. users" that are missing out? Droid droids?

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765739)

Netflix works fine on original Droid phones.
If you upgrade it to an aftermarket OS you might have to do some work to get it to work well, but not very hard.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765711)

Not true. They have an Android app [google.com] and there's one for iOS as well. It's only on the desktop that they rely on Silverlight.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765611)

Reed Hastings look at the Linux-only market and decided all 100 of you weren't worth the investment.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765675)

Because only 1% of the population uses Linux for their Personal Computer.
And Netflix works on things like the XBOX and Wii, Apple iTV, and a bunch of other stuff too.

Netflix does work on Linux, there is an Android port. Or are you talking about it running on GNU/Linux?
 

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765805)

Fuck Linux. And fuck Linux users with their victim complex.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (3, Informative)

Smivs (1197859) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765845)

The reason Netflix is Linux-unfriendly is because they have locked themselves in to a failed M$ technology (Silverlight) and are too keen to placate the Movie moguls with excessive DRM. And who cares? Not me for one. If they choose to look backwards in terms of the tech and service and ignore a whole chunk of their potential customer base they deserve to die, and don't deserve my hard earned cash.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765895)

well.. they do provide an app for linux, but it's requirements are that you run android on that linux, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netflix.mediaclient&hl=en [google.com]

so, it's a bit political and more than just silverlight, though they might have initially received some kickback to use silverlight exclusively in the first place(even if it that kickback was just discounts on sw... phb's can be phb's and don't usually understand if a kickback is an actual kickback).

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766015)

Hastings is on the MS board. Netflix chose silverlight to promote silverlight. It really is that simple.

It works on linux if MS would hand over the DRM binary, they will not ever do that.

Re:I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago (1)

ethanms (319039) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766017)

I've been hesitant to use Amazon since they screwed me with a downloadable movie--their app failed to run, as a result I lost the rental fee. It was ultimately refunded, but very aggravating to spend the time on it. The quality of their streaming appears to be inferior to me which is why I went for the download.

Their rental fees are pricey too, particularly for older stuff... $2.99 to watch an old movie? Too much given what you can get from Netflix by mail or Redbox. They need to get it down to 99c for older movies and 50c for TV episodes (with a reasonable price for season pass)

Naturally (5, Insightful)

DanTheStone (1212500) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765397)

Since nearly all the content people want to watch needs to be licensed willingly be the major studios, this should be no surprise. They'll just keep raising their rates until Netflix goes out of business. This is the inevitable failure of a permission-based service provider.

At least with DVDs they weren't existing at the whim of the studios. They could make them horribly angry and still operate legally. With streaming they have no such independence.

Naturally-diversification. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765497)

They could have done what Showtime and HBO do and create their own content.

Re:Naturally-diversification. (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765917)

They have and they are. The current show Lillyhammer is pretty good, assuming you can read. Some people seem to not be able to, thus subtitled programs are too complicated for them.

The next big thing is new episodes of Arrested Development, which I am very interested in.

Re:Naturally (1)

ewieling (90662) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765599)

It seems that if the studios keep raising their streaming licensing fees then DVDs eventually will be cheaper for Netflix to handle than streaming. I don't think this will force Netflix out of business.

Re:Naturally (5, Interesting)

The Moof (859402) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765829)

It seems that if the studios keep raising their streaming licensing fees then DVDs eventually will be cheaper for Netflix to handle than streaming.

That's a good way to make DVD piracy popular again.

Most average users I know only got into copying DVDs (via Netflix mail discs) so they had movies on hand when they wanted to watch them. Streaming took that need away for most people since they could just fire up their device (Xbox, PC, PS3, Wii, TV) and watch what they wanted. Take away that ability with streaming, people will just start copying DVDs again.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765613)

There are so many skills to master, and interesting subjects to study. The paltry entertainment value of the lowest-common-denominator quality of movies and TV programs pale in comparison to the value of being awesomer than one's peers.

Drop netflix and engratin yourself.

(yes, "engratin" is a perfectly cromulent word)

(yes, that previous comment implies a direct contradiction of everything I said before. That was on purpose.)

(No, I do not do comedy for a living).

Re:Meh (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765801)

(yes, "engratin" is a perfectly cromulent word)

Wait, are you saying we should put ourselves in a dish with cheese, cream, and breadcrumbs and bake at 350F for about an hour?

Re:Naturally (3, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765639)

That's what is so sad about the whole thing. Netflix had a handy villain in the need to eliminate streaming as a freebie, but their horrific PR made them look like they were just increasing prices for no reason (I saw a *lot* of people online who believed that). Doing that and trying to split the service at the same time only compounded things. It's definitely going to show up in business school texts as a case study.

Re:Naturally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765659)

This is the worst part about it.
They claim that copies of things are a physical good. By proxy, that means a stream is a copy of a source being sent to a consumer which is also a physical good.
Why then do they have different rules for them? Damn hypocrites.

Re:Naturally (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765721)

This is what will eventually kill Netflix. It also means in the future I'll probably watch a LOT less movies. I watch netflix every night, either movies or TV series (I have streaming and 3 DVD package, and a member since 2003). That's about 60 hours of programming a month, which would cost ~$60/month for Amazon/Google but I pay 1/3rd that, and can watch even more, amortizing the costs further.

If the studios have their way, eventually we'll all be paying $15 per streaming movie at home, and Megaplex tickets will be >$30. And people will still pay it to see Adam Sandler fart jokes. I can totally see that happening.

Re:Naturally (4, Interesting)

glassware (195317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765817)

Netflix replaced a model whose business parameters they controlled (DVD by mail) with a model whose business parameters they do not control (licensing streaming content). Eventually, Netflix will be forced to become a Cable TV provider that streams videos on demand; you'll sign up to Netflix and then pay an extra $10 per month for access to Universal movies, $5 for access to Comedy Central, and so on.

Not a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765401)

This is what happens when you isolate your company to one country.

Sure, Netflix is in Canada (and perhaps elsewhere now) but their offering is staggeringly poor outside the US. So little to watch when it came out I didn't even bother with a free trial.

Of course, this is probably the fault of copyright, but either way, you're doomed to a 5% marketshare if you only properly support the US.

Re:Not a surprise (1)

pavon (30274) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765555)

Actually expansion to other countries is the biggest factor causing them to operate in the red (their screw-up in the US just added to that).

In September 2010, we began international operations by offering our streaming service in Canada. In
September 2011, we expanded our streaming service to Latin America and the Caribbean. In January 2012, we
launched our streaming service in the UK and Ireland. We anticipate significant contribution losses in the
International streaming segment in 2012.

You reap what you sow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765417)

first they charged more, then they split services and then they wanted me to accept a new TOS. That was it for me.
Plus their service in other countries sucks for the locals.

Overblown (2)

brianleb321 (1331523) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765425)

"The beginning of the end may be at hand for Netflix. [...] its doom appears to be within sight." Are you kidding? The company with 28+ million subscribers is not going to fold any time soon. In fact, it's not going anywhere ever. Worst case scenario, they get bought by someone else who can do it for cheaper.

Re:Overblown (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765537)

WTF is there to buy? a few content licenses that expire in a few years?

Re:Overblown (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765651)

Like most technology companies, the value is customer loyalty/information, branding, and the platform.

Re:Overblown (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766147)

amazon has a platform, netflix uses it to run their corporate IT

what does netflix have? PS3/blu ray/x-box/roku now have the amazon and netflix app. child's play to use one instead of the other

Europe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765467)

>> Amazon, Apple, and Google all offer streaming content as well.

Now how about offering these services in Europe as well so I don't have to pirate anymore. Why won't they take my money?

Credit where due... (5, Insightful)

jxander (2605655) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765487)

NetFlix may not survive, but even if they die out I couldn't be happier for their contribution to the world.

You may not like their policies, business decisions or CEO, but NetFlix was a pioneer in their field. They were the first company to provide cheap, easy, unlimited streaming compatible with dozens of devices. That genie is out of the bottle now, and while there's a long battle ahead over licensing fees, royalties, etc ... there has been a permanent shift in the way we watch movies.

NetFlix has also established a very nice base price-point. If Amazon, Apple, Google or any other competitor want to charge more than $8-10 a month, they'd better provide some added value.

Re:Credit where due... (4, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765841)

NetFlix should consider multiple pricing points. First off they need a nearly complete collection of movies and TV shows. After that, they could have multiple plans based on how recent a movies/TV shows come out. For example, $15 a month will get you access to all movies/TV episodes that are 3 years or older; $30 will get you everything 2 years and older; $50 will get you everything 1 year and older; and $100 dollars will get you everything from the day of release. If you want access to a movie/TV episode that is newer than your tier allows, you can either upgrade tiers or pay per view. NetFlix should guarantee at least two simultaneous streams.

Re:Credit where due... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40766071)

Good idea, but the flaw is that there is some old but very high-value content. That is, don't expect to see Seinfeld on Netflix for streaming. Ever.

But they do seem to have ST:TOS in high def.

streaming is just a commodity (0)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765489)

streaming is all hype but in the end you're just a billing company. with DVD's there is the infrastructure cost that drives small startups away and most people won't switch unless there is a reason to.

with streaming you're just another middle man. you don't own anything. i dumped netflix and went to amazon. same content, in fact amazon seems a little better

netflix streaming was crap and they refused to change to a tiered pricing model. not only was netflix's selection crap but they constantly lost content every day. and no way to rent a single movie unlike amazon

just like henry ford so many years ago refused to change and lost market share to GM.

in summary this is what happens when you outsource everything like netflix did. you have nothing to call your own and to have a competitive advantage with. its the scam of the low monthly payment. yes its cheaper, but in the long run you lose. netflix was just a bunch of devs in an office. the content was outsourced to level 3. the corporate data center was on amazon's cloud. not too hard to replicate this model, just sign some content deals.

Re:streaming is just a commodity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765633)

They haven't completely outsourced. They have begun making original content, and I'm most concerned about what will happen to Arrested Development, which they are bringing back themselves for a 4th season. I truly hope that they may actually take over the likes of HBO and Showtime, which are deeply entwined with the cable companies. Effectively, Netflix could become an independent premium channel that you get to subscribe to ala carte. Something we've all been waiting for for some time, well all of us except the cable companies, no doubt.

Pfft (1)

FBeans (2201802) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765491)

Perhaps one of the competitors will actually provide a service that is DRM free, or at least value for money like Spotify. Until users get uncontrolled access to the media they want to purchase, their will only be one company that will remain solid and stable: p2p sharing. Die or survive, I don't think I could care less for netflix.

Be careful what you wish for (5, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765513)

A note to the MPAA. You better be careful what you wish for.

My family loves and adores Netflix. It is an creative and innovative method of consuming entertainment.

If the MPAA succeeds in their obscene desire to destroy Netflix at any cost, I WILL NEVER EVER respect their "IP" rights. I will steal any content I want.

I am sick to death of the entertainment industry on bing hellbent on not letting me enjoy the entertainment they are selling in the way I choose to.

They should view Netflix as a godsend that enables them to have a future. Instead they view it as the enemy.

If they destroy Netflix, I will have no ethical problem stealing what the movie and TV industry creates. Their obscene greed and arrogance doesn't give them any moral standing to lecture the customers who they depend on for their existence.

GIVE US WHAT WE WANT! Oh and what we want is to not wait months after DVDs are released to stream movies, and we don't want to pay $5 to rent a streaming video, and we don't think ridiculous DRM schemes (hello ultraviolet) are reasonable.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (3, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765959)

They owe you nothing. If you convince yourself that you don't have to pay for entertainment, then you will be surprised when their lawyers come-a-knocking.

I'm not saying it's right, but they don't give a fsck about you or what you think. You REALLY want to stick it to them? Read a book.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (2)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766049)

I wonder by how much was music piracy reduced by the introduction of legitimate digital distribution methods?

Considering the insane amount of music iTunes sold in their first year alone it has got to be rather substantial.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (1)

ethanms (319039) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766169)

If the MPAA succeeds in their obscene desire to destroy Netflix at any cost, I WILL NEVER EVER respect their "IP" rights. I will steal any content I want.

They will not be satisfied with "flat rate" pricing for given periods of time, and frankly that will only lead to the Viacom-DirecTV styled battles we've just recently seen anyway--with Netflix or the studio content provider superimposing text over your stream airing out their contract laundry, etc.

I think the ultimate model will unfortunately be cell-phone-esque with a bucket of hours for a fixed price, various contract tiers and overage charges... You are allowed to watch then it's up to the streaming company to settle costs with the studios.

google/amazon vs.netflix question (3, Insightful)

Sebastopol (189276) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765557)

If I want to watch Breaking Bad I can pay google $8 per season or $2 per episode, or I can pay Amazon $22 per season (!!!).

Or I can pay Netflix flat rate of $20 and watch all four seasons, then watch Dexter, Weeds, Black Adder, for no extra cost.

How is Google/Amazon's model even remotely a threat to Netflix?

Clearly I'm missing something.

Re:google/amazon vs.netflix question (2)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765601)

that's just one show. netflix selection is crap in general and they lose shows daily.

amazon is $80 a year and includes free shipping and book borrowing. and i can rent a movie that's not on prime direct from the x-box or ps3 app.

Re:google/amazon vs.netflix question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765849)

With Comcast raising its speed to 100Mb at no additional cost all up the east coast grabbing the entire season of tv show x in HD via any number of P2P sites in less than half an hour. THIS is the threat to all of them.

Re:google/amazon vs.netflix question (3, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765931)

NetFlix is pricing at a price that consumers like. Google/Amazon is pricing at a price that publishers like. If publishers refuse to sell licenses to Netflix, Google and Amazon win. I think publishers need to realize that their content is not nearly as valuable as it used to be.

Netflix has a good thing going... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765569)

but if the movie studios kill Netflix due to these ridiculous licensing fees, I just may be done with that form of content. A majority of the content I stream on the internet now days is user created content anyway, so if the movie/music industry wants to continue to be the "whores" they are, then the only way to send them a message is to just stop subscribing to their content, no matter which company it's through. Regarding the DVD rentals, Netflix hurt themselves there.

wife acceptance factor (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765571)

wife acceptance factor?

OK I got the roku box. So, honey, I can sign up for amazon prime or netflix. If I sign up for amazon prime I'll never pay for postage again and it'll all be 2 day instead of next week or so, but netflix offers nothin extra. You can guess how that discussion turned out.

The crazy thing is amazon prime is basically free for me because I buy so much stuff from them that I profit WRT to annual fee vs no more postage. I assume this free postage stuff will go away if I buy too many 40 pound bags of kitty litter from the other side of the country. I have to look into that. I'll need road salt in a couple more months and I was thinking ten 80 pound bags of crystal solar salt might work.

The world won't miss Netflix (and alikes) (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765577)

Let's hope the whole proprietary streaming industry collapses. Not just Netflix, but Amazon's and Apple's too. If you need a weirdo client to play the videos, then you have taken a technological step backward from OTA TV or analog cable TV. I am not going to pay for their weird luddite religion.

The current state of the art is offered by pirates: here's the file and it Just Works, with whatever software you want to use, on any box that you want to play it on, to be played at any time of day that you want.

Solutions which generate revenue for the industry, need to become at least as good as that. Nothing less, will ever get a cent from me. Until then, piracy will both serve consumer needs, and also (two birds with one stone!) deny revenue/reward to the industry which is doing everything it can to retard (and even regress) progress. Starve them until they offer what we want.

The world won't miss Netflix. We already have something much better, more convenient, more reliable, more interoperative, which also come with that good feeling that the technophobes in Hollywood aren't getting your money. The best part of it all, is that when they match all the technical aspects (the convenience, the reliability, the interoperability) then the good feeling will flip at the same moment, and money will start falling into their laps. It's all so easily solvable; just say yes to customers, like every other industry learns to do. Hollywood, you're not a special exception to this ancient principle.

Re:The world won't miss Netflix (and alikes) (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765975)

The current state of the art is offered by pirates: here's the file and it Just Works, with whatever software you want to use, on any box that you want to play it on, to be played at any time of day that you want.

Why would that surprise you?

Free market economies only work when something is scarce - for example, there's no market for breathable air, nor is there a market for seawater on a coast. Sequences of bits aren't naturally scarce, because computers are really good at copying sequences of bits for very very low cost. So in order to make something that is not scarce scarce, there's a giant legal and technological mechanism put in place. That technology and law must by necessity cripple the normal abilities of computers to prevent them from doing what they normally can do.

Re:The world won't miss Netflix (and alikes) (2)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766077)

i want to watch TV on a gasp,,,,,,,TV. not on a laptop. i have no time to transcode or whatever. i'm not going to pay most money for faster internet. i'm not going to buy hard drives or NAS or whatever. i'm not willing to pay more money for electricity to keep my stuff on 24x7.

unless you live in mommy's basement and have no bills the cost of "free" is more than legit

when i cancel cable i'm going to pay $40 a month for 5mbps internet. no reason for anything faster. in fact i'm going to downgrade from my current 10 or 15

Re:The world won't miss Netflix (and alikes) (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766157)

"We already have something much better, more convenient, more reliable, more interoperative, which also come with that good feeling that the technophobes in Hollywood aren't getting your money."

And this thing is...?

Focus on streaming recent TV shows IMO. (1)

Krojack (575051) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765625)

I've tried HULU and for the most part their offering of recent TV shows is pretty bland. If Netflix focused on streaming TV shows the day after it aired then I would be more interested. Get steaming of other TV shows other then the 4 main networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX). More from History Channel, Discovery, SciFi, FX, TNT and so on.

Re:Focus on streaming recent TV shows IMO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765999)

They HAD this type of thing with Starz. You could watch the latest episode of Spartacus the day it aired (before it aired). But that got destroyed when Starz pulled their content.

They could have done things right (4, Insightful)

teaserX (252970) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765765)

Netflix had an opportunity to transform their business and their clientele but chose instead to overreact. They should have slowly phased out DVD-by-mail by paring down the available DVD catalog in favor of streaming offerings without charging their customers higher fees. I personally would not have been offended by having to stream a show or a movie because it was no longer offered as a DVD. I might have been disappointed that Blu-Ray was no longer an option for certain things but doubt I would have quit as a subscriber over that. They took exactly the wrong action: cut down my options and ask me to pay double. Instant ragequit.

Re:They could have done things right (1, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766187)

The DVD rental is the only part of Netflix that's worth using. Maybe if you're from TV-land (cable, satellite), and you're used to having what you watch dictated to you, then you'd find Netflix streaming adequate. I tried it for a while, but to say the selection was bad wouldn't be fair to the word "bad". It's fucking terrible.

Apple/Google/Amazon options? (1)

Formorian (1111751) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765767)

Ok I know that sometimes I miss things but which of those 3 offer a flat rate of $8/month to stream all content avail. Isn't amazon per show/season, same with apple. Not sure what google is offering outside youtube.

I'm generally curious. The wife and I get all our content from either netflix or sickbeard+sab+astraweb. And I only use the latter when Netflix doesn't carry it, cause I try to support legal options for streaming. Also is my roku/bluray going to support these other options? (I know roku does have amazon)

    (Oh I do use the latter to DL the 720p versions of the DVD's I already own cause I'm not rebuying at same price (charge me $2-$4 I probably would) for the better quality (don't have a 1080p TV my 50"/32" have been fine past 5 years and plan to get many more))

They have that red button on my Blu-ray remote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765847)

Having just gone through the process of buying an internet-enabled Blu-ray player, the thing that sticks out is that Netflix gets a dedicated red button on the remote. I'm not sure what that cost them but what a great starting point for getting people hooked. Kind of like Microsoft bundling IE with Windows. People tend towards the path of least resistance. So I presume Netflix will do well as long as the red button works.

Personally however, I didn't find anything of theirs I wanted to rent. Instead I rent on demand from other services. I don't get to push that nice red button ... most disheartening.

Porn and vid games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765873)

They still have options the "tech giants" won't touch.

NetFlix, and Bittorent for everything else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40765911)

Equals no discs, ever.

I'm not proud of the pirating aspect, but there doesn't seem to be a one-stop, stream-everything-ever-made service, which is what I want. So, because such a service doesn't exist, I know I'm not taking business away from anyone.

Re:NetFlix, and Bittorent for everything else... (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766229)

Bittorrent is a crappy substitute for Netflix's DVD service. I mean, I guess it's fine, as long as you want to risk your legal ass to watch crappy versions of teen movies with Hindi subtitles. I wish my standards were as low as yours!

NorthMobilePost.com? (1)

phx_zs (1772496) | about a year and a half ago | (#40765927)

The Engadget article isn't really negative at all, while TFA is completely slanted and makes it seem like Netflix is about to fall any day. And maybe I've been living under a rock, but I've never heard of "NorthMobilePost.com". Just seems like flame bait or competitor propaganda to me. Netflix is still the king of the hill and their subscriber base is growing.

Dammit, I *like* NetFlix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40766281)

I know I'm only a lowly UK subscriber, and I don't use any fancy VPN stuff to get access to the full NetFlix library, but I really like their service as it is. We don't get the DVD rental service from them over in the UK, and here's the thing - we don't want it! All we want from NetFlix over here is more content. The UK library gets additional content every so often, but there's never many films/shows added at a time.

I specifically chose NetFlix over Amazon's LoveFilm offering because NetFlix offered better picture/sound quality and more of the content I actually wanted to watch.

I love NetFlix because it works on all my devices (PC, PS3, Android, iOS) and because the user interface is so easy to use, the Wifely Person can use it without asking for help. It's simple, it's cheap, it's legal, and it should not die.

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