Ok, has Netflix just lost its mind?

"Ok, has Netflix just lost its mind?

Netflix is rebranding its 12-year-old movies-by-mail service as Qwikster and adding video games to its catalog, Reed Hastings, the company's CEO, announced Sunday night. The Web-streaming portion will continue to be called Netflix, he wrote on the company's blog.

After the separation, people who subscribe to both services will have to log into two separate websites, and, to manage their movie queues and account information...  (via cnn)

I was one of the few who didn't freak out about the new pricing structure Netflix introduced. As a person who works online, I understand the need to make money on those endeavors, but now seeing that they are spinning off part of their service I am not sure I understand it at all anymore.

Why split off the DVD part of their service? 

The only thing I can think right now is that Netflix has decided it is their mission to kill physical media. 

This feels so premature. After the studios pulled out or instituted stalling tactics on streaming rentals my Netflix streaming dropped.  After all If their streaming offering was better, I could see how this is a good move, but right now... ugh.  To compensate I had plans to keep both.  Renting DVD's for those few things I wanted to see right away and that was not available for streaming.  For the rest I would just wait for it to show up on streaming or never bother watching. 

I was fine paying a little more to have both physical DVD rental and streaming rental in one convient place.  The convience of managing my ratings and que was one of the biggest draws to Netflix.  Like most we live a busy life with our time divided and enough inconviences that no one wants to pay for another one.  On top of that the extra step is one I know I will forget to take...

Then that name: Qwikster.

Really? That sounds like something Randal from Clerks thought up one morning after recovering from a heavy night of binge drinking and salsa shark attacks. Time to cancel the DVDs?

Video game rentals sweeten the deal, but I haven't turned my 360 on in about 6 months.  In addition to that I tried a seperate Video game rental service but the inconvience added an extra step that I did forget to take.

And then their subscribers drop and stock drops.  Not a suprise here.  They claim they made the split and price changes for 4 reasons:

(1) to create a dedicated DVD rental division that takes pride in great execution and maximizes the opportunity for disc rental over the coming decade;
(2) to enable us to improve our global streaming service even more rapidly, because it is not meshed with a domestic DVD business;
(3) to enable us, with the growth in revenue, to license more streaming content and thereby improve our streaming service even more;
(4) to remain very price aggressive, with $7.99 per month for unlimited streaming of a huge library of TV shows and movies, and $7.99 per month for unlimited DVD rentals, 1 out at-a-time.  (via  Online Video News

  1. Didn't they already have a great rental division that had pride?
  2. A big improvement to streaming would be providing a service in which I could manage both my streaming videos and my rental videos.  By the way wouldn't the extra cost help to pay for them to make streaming improvements?
  3. Wouldn't it be easier to streamline costs when both divisions are under one roof verses two seperate companies?
  4. Sadly they forgot about and now are loosing the convience and service of one que one rating place.


Netflix to make Original Programming

affiliate linkThe folk at Netflix decided that is a good idea for them to make their own content by signing House of Cards to an amazing 2 season deal (check out Deadline for more).

I'm not sure this is a good idea.  YouTube and Hulu have done the same type of thing lately, and it all just makes me sigh.

Content platforms should be Platforms, not producers.  There is an inherent conflict of interest when your business is about both, making content and distributing it.  They will naturally push their original content more than the content of others...

I would love to see them take the idea of being a platform to the next stage instead.  Provide tools for independent producers to submit their content easily, and curate that content, to keep the quality of your offering up to your standards.

Am I making to much out of this?  Let me know what you think.

The Wisdom Behind the Rental Delay

Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are some of the char... Image via Wikipedia

By now most are familiar with the deal struck between Warner Bros. and Netflix to put a 28 day delay on new releases.  We have a great community discussion ongoing at Project: Shadow that has looked at the deal, the hopes and it’s real effect.

The Deal

Warner Bros. is making Netflix renters wait 28 days to get new releases through Netflix.

Warner Bros. hopes this delay will give them a chance to sell more DVD's to consumers, believing they will not be able to wait to see the studio's latest release.

Netflix got more movies and TV shows for their streaming program.

First Reaction

(by Eric)

Consumer Habits

It shocks me that Warner Bros. failed to be aware of consumer habits.  The average consumer does not track a movie's DVD release date nor do they really care about it with the exception for a few really big titles. If they are going to buy it's because they saw it on a shelf or was reminded in some other manner. Renters have the same habit.

A delay won’t make people buy movies

If someone is so excited to watch a movie they will do so in the theater. That is why there is so much pressure and hype around theater releases.  A delay in renting only serves to anger the fans at best.  John The Rogue Demon Hunter put it best with “Didnt I already decide to avoid the film in the theatre? If I just have to see your movie, I would go to the multiplex.”

By the time of the DVD release the pressure to see the movie immediately is spent.  The only value in getting it right away is if the movie was of such quality to have a lot of rewatchability.


John The Rogue Demon Hunter asks “Why would anyone purchase a movie designed for a big opening weekend?  The consumer buys a movie because they want to rewatch the film.”  This won’t be impacted by a delay in renting because in the cases of new releases with rewatchability most will just go out and buy it skipping the renting process.  Take the Harry Potter movies for example.

Because of this behavior a delay will not increase DVD sales couple that with consumers renting habits and most would not even notice the delay.

Netflix Wins

Netflix will get more streaming content.  This is a big win for me as a subscriber.  I love their streaming program and watch many videos and shows through it.

What does Warner get out of it?

Warner gets a lot of anger and disgust from the delay.  This whole thing was just politically stupid for Warner Bros. They upset a lot of people for no return.

"If they don't want me to see their movie, then I have to say to hell with them." - Eric

American films used to be art to me and waiting another 28 days to watch fast food movies doesn't really effect me anymore.   by John The Rogue Demon Hunter

For me the delay is yet another sign from studios that they do not respect the consumer. I'm getting to the point where I can no longer support those who have such great disrespect for their consumers.

Warner Bros. you should not only love our money but show us the fans and consumers some respect too.  If you continue on your path then we will have to cry out.

  • We are not a thief.
  • We are not their cattle.
  • We will not support you.
  • We will not buy your products.

Add your thoughts to the discussion: Warner Brothers and Netflix deal on Project: Shadow

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Discovery's Video Channel on MySpace

MythBusters Image via Wikipedia

Discovery Communications added MySpace as another distribution outlet for it's video content.  Don’t get your hopes up, Discovery is not budging from it’s position of not sharing any full shows online in an ad-supported fashion.  They are only adding clips.

Clips are nice for sharing and promoting of content.  I like that they are adding this so that people who already have paid for access to Discovery content can share their favorite moments with others.  They can also interest new viewers but only from those who have paid for access.

Are the clips enough for someone to be willing to say hey I like the clips so much let me pay to have cable installed and pay for monthly service based on that clip.  Highly unlikely.

For me it’s a waste.  I, like many, are decabled and too busy to bother with teasing that doesn't have a chance of becoming any thing else.  Sure there is the off chance that a clip will be really entertaining in and of itself but then that is it, I already have the clip.

I like that I can watch episodes of Mythbusters through my Netflix subscription but I already had a chance to get into the show.  Wouldn’t it be wiser for Discovery to work on building audience through add supported streaming online and build their back end DVD sales profits to offset the loss in front end subscription sales.

(via NewTeeVee)

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The Wizard of Oz Free Streaming Online

The Wizard of Oz, filmed in 3-strip Technicolor Image via Wikipedia

Netflix is hosting an online screening of The Wizard of Oz for free on October 3rd in celebration of  its 70th anniversary.  The free screening will begin at 9am eastern time on the 3rd and run until 9am eastern time on Sunday the 4th.

This free screening is for anyone just go to

Netflix members will be able to watch The Wizard of Oz streaming through any of the normal methods including all of the Netflix ready devices.

This is just awesome.  I love The Wizard of Oz and have been wanting to watch it again.  So now all I have to do is wait a few more weeks and then watch it on my Netflix.

Now for the shameless Netflix plug.  They really provide a great service and are worth getting.  I've used Netflix for many years now (almost a decade) and over the time they have gone from a really good service to a great one.  If you don't have their service yet and you love movies then sign up for a plan Try free for 2 weeks.  You will not only be helping out yourself and your movie rental experience but you will also be helping us out at dashPunk.

(via /Film)Netflix, Inc.

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