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Netflix Loses 800,000 Subscribers After Qwikster Gaffe

raresilk Re:I didn't leave WHAAAA. . ..? (325 comments)

DarkOx, it's hard to believe your comment is based on any familiarity at all with Netflix's streaming content. I have been a subscriber to Netflix since the beginning. When they first instituted streaming, I eagerly adopted it. It was promoted as "Watch Instantly" which will always be streaming's biggest draw - no waiting for a DVD if you just suddenly have to watch some random film you just read about. Or you need to watch part of it to do some research, etc. And indeed, Netflix USED TO offer a large variety of streaming content. Contrary to your assertion, though, Netflix streaming has never been focused on the top-hit of the year, "Hollywood-A-list" movies. It was always the backlists and Criterion stuff that streaming was great for.

But now, that's mostly gone, because Netflix let most of its streaming licensing agreements expire about a year ago. Google the news and see for yourself. It was widely criticized in the financial press and was cause for criticism that Netflix's stock and prospects were wildly overvalued. Almost nothing is available on Netflix streaming now. It has nothing to do with "my recommendations algorithm" not getting fed. If I put a film title into Netflix's search engine, and it comes up as "DVD only," my recommendations didn't do that. Netflix did. The Criterions - gone. All of the indy houses - gone. Anime - virtually all gone.

The real dick move, and idiot move, was for Netflix NOT to raise its prices sooner. Having choked off by 50% or more the variety of content that subscribers could stream, to in rapid succession (1) make a price rise that was double for many people, and (2) indicate they'd lose their DVDs in the near future if they didn't subscribe to a separate service, made people who already felt very screwed over by the dramatic drop in streaming content even more screwed. If Netflix's CEOs had thought the slightest bit ahead, they would have instituted a series of modest price rises for DVD levels in the years leading up to the rollover date for their licensing agreements with Sony, etc. Then, they could have afforded to keep operating a streaming service that reasonably corresponded in breadth with their DVD service. Moreover, during that time period, Hulu, etc. had not emerged as serious alternatives. But once they'd lost most of the content that made streaming valuable, it felt like a complete buttfuck to get slapped with more-money-for-less-service. No, I didn't quit them entirely, but I dropped down to the lowest level and picked up Hulu Plus. Which still doesn't have a lot of the older, art-house and foreign stuff I want, so I'm stuck waiting for DVDs on those.

more than 2 years ago
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Anti-Muni Broadband Bills Country Wide

raresilk Re:No (655 comments)

You completely missed the point, so badly that I wonder if you did it on purpose just to troll. Of course broadband wireless is not a "natural monopoly." (I think that's the concept you were aiming at.) Der - neither are "operating systems" but monopolies can still be created and maintained through anti-competitive conduct. The state laws that prevent municipalities from competing with Verizon, et al, are intended to CREATE and PROTECT monopolies, where none would naturally exist. Take the typical case of Podunkville, if Verizon is the only provider operating in or near the area, and there are too few Podunk-ites or they are too spread out for Verizon or (note well) ANYONE ELSE to care about setting up broadband wireless to sell to them. When the municipality steps in to create the service on its own, it is competing with Verizon, not setting up a monopoly. You could still get Verizon broadband if Verizon ever cared to offer it in Podunkville, and you could still get some private operator's wireless feed if any private operator thought the Podunk-ites would be profitable enough to set up a tower for them. But if neither of those things happen through free competition, the municipality is effectively competing with the big telco and the private wifi providers, and winning the competition in Podunkville because its competitors decline to serve Podunkville.

OTOH, when the state steps in with a law preventing municipalities from operating broadband, that effectively CREATES a monopoly that did not previously exist and hands it to the big telco. The private wi-fi co can't afford to come in without the municipal assistance, and so Podunk is broadbandless by force of law. And now, the big telco can hold Podunkville hostage, since they have no other broadband option -- this is exactly why they support these laws of course -- and force the municipality, taxpayers, etc. to fork over whatever obscene non-competitive ransom they demand to bring broadband to their area. Every nasty aspect of monopoly abuse is lurking here, and that's what these state laws pandering to Verizon, et al are designed to produce - the footbal-stadiumization of wireless broadband, where economically starved areas will mortgage their children so that an already-rich corporation can make huge profits, in return for promising them a few jobs.

more than 9 years ago

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