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Netflix and Other Home-Video Vendors [was: DVD-by-Mail]


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I feel that to a certain extent people have overreacted. I've seen more than a few people point out that Netflix is still cheaper than most of what is out there, outside of Red Box. But then, with Red Box, you have a pretty limited selection. I do agree that this new developement is crazy...splitting into two companies feels more desperate than well thought out.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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That satire would be funny if it had anything to do with the thing being satirized.

Is streaming really just an add-on to DVD rentals, the way popcorn is just an add-on to video rentals? Or, to come at this from another angle, is popcorn emerging as a replacement for video rentals, the way streaming is emerging as a replacement for DVD rentals?

And wouldn't it be the video rentals, rather than the popcorn, that got the goofy-sounding new name?

Of course, all this talk of "price increases" sounds rather funny to Netflix customers who don't live in the United States. Our prices have stayed the same, because our services have stayed the same. And what you guys seem to regard as the add-on to Netflix's core business is, in the rest of the world, not just the Core business but the Entire business. (And you guys STILL get a much wider selection of videos to stream than we do!)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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McSweeny's: Netflix would like to apologize for the inadvertent apocalypse

With a nod to our hard working lawyers, we will neither confirm nor deny certain rumors.

So it may or may not be true that the idea to create Qwikster came from a sentient Nazi algorithm found in a World War II era IBM by the founders of Netflix right as they were to wage war on the video store chains and eventually cable itself. Said evil algorithm may or may not have had a hand in creating the business model that has put Netflix in almost every household in America. It might, though equally might not, have been this very formula that suggested we split the companies and create Qwikster, which for its part it was happy to run human-free and which in turn made all the humans very happy because the evil equation was creeping them out.

Had we known that the new Qwikster discs would come with a virus that would infect the home networks of our subscribers (allegedly), or that with all your addresses Qwikster could formulate a networked consciousness not unlike the one found in some of the films in your very queue (allegedly), or that with this super-network it could break into secure military databases and put on line robotic factories, which could produce unstoppable killing machines (allegedly), we might have had second thoughts.

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That satire would be funny if it had anything to do with the thing being satirized.

Is streaming really just an add-on to DVD rentals, the way popcorn is just an add-on to video rentals? Or, to come at this from another angle, is popcorn emerging as a replacement for video rentals, the way streaming is emerging as a replacement for DVD rentals?

But it is an add on. The core market for Netflix was DVDs for it's entire career.

What I have been wondering though...how can this be good for streaming. I suspec it is only a matter of time before Netflix creates a tiered pricing format to replace unlimited streaming. I mean, I cannot see how $8.99 unlimited streaming can last if it is the bread and butter of Netflix. No, I suspect we will see a setup to get "more" if you pay more. $8.99 will get you up to 40 videos a month, $13.99 for 85 videos a months and so on.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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What I have been wondering though...how can this be good for streaming. I suspec it is only a matter of time before Netflix creates a tiered pricing format to replace unlimited streaming. I mean, I cannot see how $8.99 unlimited streaming can last if it is the bread and butter of Netflix. No, I suspect we will see a setup to get "more" if you pay more. $8.99 will get you up to 40 videos a month, $13.99 for 85 videos a months and so on.

I think you're right-on about this.

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What I have been wondering though...how can this be good for streaming. I suspec it is only a matter of time before Netflix creates a tiered pricing format to replace unlimited streaming. I mean, I cannot see how $8.99 unlimited streaming can last if it is the bread and butter of Netflix. No, I suspect we will see a setup to get "more" if you pay more. $8.99 will get you up to 40 videos a month, $13.99 for 85 videos a months and so on.

I think you're right-on about this.

I'm also wondering if they're planning on adding "premium" content for an additional price (stuff from some premium cable channels, etc.)

In other news, Netflix co-founder (and former Netflix employee) Marc Randolph asks if Netflix messed up (and answers, "no"): http://t.co/eUQ9NPh3.

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I had a thought of that myself. I could even see a split between older and newer films, along with "premium content." I also wonder if they would split between standard and HD.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Nezpop wrote:

: But it is an add on.

Was, but not is. Not is. Not now. In the world outside the U.S., streaming is the only thing Netflix has ever offered. And clearly that is where Netflix sees the future in the U.S., too.

: I suspec it is only a matter of time before Netflix creates a tiered pricing format to replace unlimited streaming.

Perhaps, but they're going to be competing with all sorts of other online streaming sites.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Perhaps, but they're going to be competing with all sorts of other online streaming sites.

True. But soon they will need to offer more than Hulu Plus, among others. Under the old system, you had an option for new movies. Now, the latest movies are not available to viewers. They have more movies than Hulu Plus, but they don't have many newer movies-especially once the deal with Starz ends. They have lots of tv seasons, but cross paths there with Hulu Plus who have next day availability of new shows for many major networks (this is not really relevant outside the U.S. tho). It seems like they went full digital without much of a pitch to stay with them.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, that was short-lived.

It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs.

This means no change: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Qwikster.

[via ComingSoon]

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I'm increasingly dissatisfied with Netflix, but I'm not sure it's all their fault. With the kids getting bigger, and my duties at our church increasing significantly over the last year, my wife and I have not had the time to really watch the films we have show up on dvd. Not to mention my queue, influenced by the good folks at Artsandfaith, does not scream Friday night movie night. It screams, 4 hour Russian epics! French silents! African tales of woe! Which inevitably sit on the tv stand for weeks until realizing we just paid $10 for Jules et Jim to gather dust, we halfheartedly attempt to watch it and then ship it out after falling asleep in the first twenty minutes. And since earlier this year, when Netflix made it impossible to manage your queue using your mobile device, I never remember to check it and ensure I've paced in some easy viewing for this life season. Grrr. So I'm thinking tis on to streaming only plan we go, and if we need something else, hello Redbox. For now.

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I'm increasingly dissatisfied with Netflix, but I'm not sure it's all their fault. With the kids getting bigger, and my duties at our church increasing significantly over the last year, my wife and I have not had the time to really watch the films we have show up on dvd. Not to mention my queue, influenced by the good folks at Artsandfaith, does not scream Friday night movie night. It screams, 4 hour Russian epics! French silents! African tales of woe! Which inevitably sit on the tv stand for weeks until realizing we just paid $10 for Jules et Jim to gather dust, we halfheartedly attempt to watch it and then ship it out after falling asleep in the first twenty minutes. And since earlier this year, when Netflix made it impossible to manage your queue using your mobile device, I never remember to check it and ensure I've paced in some easy viewing for this life season. Grrr. So I'm thinking tis on to streaming only plan we go, and if we need something else, hello Redbox. For now.

But can you get tales of African woe and French silents from Redbox?

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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I'm increasingly dissatisfied with Netflix, but I'm not sure it's all their fault. With the kids getting bigger, and my duties at our church increasing significantly over the last year, my wife and I have not had the time to really watch the films we have show up on dvd. Not to mention my queue, influenced by the good folks at Artsandfaith, does not scream Friday night movie night. It screams, 4 hour Russian epics! French silents! African tales of woe! Which inevitably sit on the tv stand for weeks until realizing we just paid $10 for Jules et Jim to gather dust, we halfheartedly attempt to watch it and then ship it out after falling asleep in the first twenty minutes. And since earlier this year, when Netflix made it impossible to manage your queue using your mobile device, I never remember to check it and ensure I've paced in some easy viewing for this life season. Grrr. So I'm thinking tis on to streaming only plan we go, and if we need something else, hello Redbox. For now.

But can you get tales of African woe and French silents from Redbox?

I sure hope not.

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The comments on Hastings's blog are interesting. Some are saying thanks or something similar, but the most are people still upset. One refrain is how people want more streaming content, and they also want the price to go back to how it was last year. This strikes me as silly to even consider. Aren't that various studios waking up to the worth of streaming content, however? To get more content, doesn't Netflix need more cash monies?

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The comments on Hastings's blog are interesting. Some are saying thanks or something similar, but the most are people still upset. One refrain is how people want more streaming content, and they also want the price to go back to how it was last year. This strikes me as silly to even consider. Aren't that various studios waking up to the worth of streaming content, however? To get more content, doesn't Netflix need more cash monies?

The customers want to get more and pay less for it even as it becomes exponentially more expensive. What's so hard to understand?

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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Jason Panella wrote:

: Aren't that various studios waking up to the worth of streaming content, however? To get more content, doesn't Netflix need more cash monies?

On that note:

- - -

Paramount To Offer Latest Transformers Movie On Own Site

In a landmark antitrust ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948 (United States vs. Paramount Pictures) motion picture studios were barred from owning the theaters that showed their movies. Since then, they have operated through distribution companies (most of which they own themselves) that are essentially middlemen between themselves and theater owners. A similar arrangement now exists online, whereby the studios have signed rights deals with leading video websites to sell or rent their films. But on Wednesday, Paramount, the defendant in the 1948 case, said that it is planning to eliminate the middleman in the case of Transformers: Dark of the Moon and directly offer the movie online via streaming on its own site. There’ll be no price reduction, however. A standard version of the film will cost $3.99; an HD version (for Windows users only), $4.99.

Studio Briefing, October 6

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 weeks later...
David Poland says Netflix streaming has never been in business with 20th Century Fox. Is that true on the American side of the border? Because here in Canada, I've been able to catch up on a number of Fox films that I've missed in recent years.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

Many of the Blockbusters in Seattle right now are having their clearance sales.

As tears soak my shirt, I'm leaning over bargain bins.

For $5 each: Blu-rays of Raging Bull, Heat, Fifth Element.

For $5, a DVD of Hot Fuzz.

For $2 or less each: DVDs of three Johnny Depp films for Anne (Corpse Bride, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd) and The Road, Star Trek (2009), Duplicity, Cars, Scott Pilgrim.

Oh, the humanity.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Many of the Blockbusters in Seattle right now are having their clearance sales.

As tears soak my shirt, I'm leaning over bargain bins.

For $5 each: Blu-rays of Raging Bull, Heat, Fifth Element.

For $5, a DVD of Hot Fuzz.

For $2 or less each: DVDs of three Johnny Depp films for Anne (Corpse Bride, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd) and The Road, Star Trek (2009), Duplicity, Cars, Scott Pilgrim.

Oh, the humanity.

If you're leaning over, wouldn't your tears fall straight into the bin?

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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