: . . . the letter from Netflix was nice, but had a feeling of "too little, too late" in light of the huge exodus of customers they've experience in the last few weeks.
Nice? Interesting. One of my Facebook friends linked to a story about this and wrote:
Netflix chief apologizes... and, by way of apology, announces changes that consumers will only hate even more. What he's basically apologizing for, then, is not having made people sign up for two separate services and pay two separate bills earlier. Wow.
I also like how he writes, "There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!)." The exclamation point, apparently, anticipating the consumer's relief at still not being offered a make-good discount on the combined services.
And David Poland
sums up its bullet points thusly:
• We should have explained more clearly why we were making changes that some of you felt were the equivalent of a friend assaulting you.
• Oh… we were right to “assault you,” as you would put it. We should have warned your better about it coming.
• Since you’re already upset and leaving us in big numbers, we might as well tell you now… not that it matters… because the first punch wasn’t really a punch… but just in case this softens the blow… we LOVE the DVD business, but it’s unsustainable, so we’re spinning it off, giving it a new name, and separating the two parts of the company so they will no longer be fully integrated for maximum ease of use.
* But, hey, pal, we’re not charging you more for our choice to separate the companies. Aren’t you lucky?
• The envelope will still be red. Isn’t that GREAT?!?!
This is just so tone deaf… which is not the norm for Hastings. It’s like they are still trying to be your pal, Sheriff Andy, even though Andy and Barney just went and opened a strip club in Mayberry and turned out Thelma Lou and set up Aunt Bea as the madame of the whore house. “Aw, shucks, that’s good sex… and Opie has your credit card on file!”
Wouldn’t an honest explanation make more sense for Netflix? Do they assume their members are stupid just because Wall Street and media have been so easily suckered? . . .
I see this as a much bigger mistake, in terms of perception, than the first change to pricing. Maybe Wall Street will like it and feel Netflix is being proactive about getting the DVD drain off of their books. But I don’t really see why Wall Street would be bullish on The New Netflix. It’s a new business and they are already getting into content cost problems that are not minor. They are lowering their game to Hulu’s, getting smaller, not bigger. DVD was the one real differentiator, other than being first in the marketplace. Now it’s not only diminished… it’s all but spun off completely… all but gone.
I’m not surprised by the move, on a business level, at all. This is about the survival of Netflix… about avoiding being the next Blockbuster. But in the game of perception, I am kinda shocked. After years of explaining Netflix spin and being told that Netflix’s public position is reality, the one thing I don’t expect from the company – which I still use and like – is self-inflicted wounds, one after the other.
None of this matters to me much, of course, because Netflix never offered DVDs in Canada in the first place. But I must say I am mildly bugged by how frequently movies and shows that my family and I came to know and love via Netflix Canada (which is only one year old) have already evaporated into thin air.
People keep saying that streaming is "the future", but I really, really hope not.
Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 19 September 2011 - 01:37 PM.