Goal One for Netflix: Be Normal

By  |  Monday, October 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Netflix has announced its third-quarter results, and one stat stands out: 800,000 customers left the service its user base shrunk by 800,000 customers overall. Netflix says the defectors were mostly folks disgruntled over its abrupt price hike back in July, not ones rattled by its short-lived plan to split off DVD rentals into a stand-alone service called Qwikster.

At some point, all the unhappy Netflix campers will leave, and I still think that the company is going to a good place with its streaming service. At the moment, though, it needs to repair its reputation. It needs to prove that it cares about its customers and isn’t going to spring any more bizarre surprises on them. It needs to show that it has an adequate degree of self-awareness. It just needs to be normal for a while.

 
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11 Comments For This Post

  1. William Lefler Says:

    I'm one of the 800,000. Streaming needs to have more current content or I will not return.

  2. David Says:

    I think your first sentence is somewhat misleading. Netflix's overall subscriber base shrunk by 800,000, but they added 4.7m new subscribers in the last quarter. I think that means that 5.5 million customers left the service.

  3. Harry McCracken Says:

    Right you are, thanks–I’ve fixed to clarify.

  4. Mae Lorraine Jacobs Says:

    I think Netflix is going to bounce back. Hopefully, when they do, they'll stop coming up with outrageous decisions, and they'll learn to be more open to their customers. There's a huge chance those who left would have remained if they were very clear or upfront about their decision.

  5. John @Ipod Shuffle Says:

    I don't get it, it is very confusing. Netflix's overall subscriber base shrunk by 800,000, but they added 4.7m new subscribers in the last quarter…….

  6. David Says:

    I canceled my service with them last week. They have a very poor selection on their streaming and increased their prices by ~50% in the last couple of months. I cannot count the number of time I want to watch a movie and checked Netfilx streaming, then on my Apple Tv and then just had to resort to downloading it from Pirate Bay. Not only do I get it for free and don’t have to pay some subscription service that I rarely use but the selection is much better whether it be really old movies, new releases, or whole seasons of TV shows. If the content is not there then people will go somewhere else. Also, clearly in the last month they have shown that they as a company have no idea what they are doing,w here they are going, or what their customers want.

  7. Sir Fatty Says:

    I left the service, and like others have stated, it was because of selection. The price structure change just forced the hand. I think you are wrong Harry, just the “unhappy campers” leaving is not going to fix it. they need a retooling.

  8. Renchub Says:

    They added 4.7M over the past year. If the addition of new subscribers is spread evenly throughout the year, they add 1.2M per quarter (4.7/4), meaning their gross loss is more like 2M for the quarter. Of course, there have been many shake-ups at Netflix the past month, it is possible new subscriptions were down the past quarter (making it closer to the 800K number), or up, because being talked about means people might be checking it out, and signing up, putting it over 2M.

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  10. jasonhawk Says:

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