New Netflix is Out to Destroy Old Netflix

By  |  Friday, February 3, 2012 at 7:48 am

Over at Read Write Web, Dan Frommer says that Netflix is OK with Hollywood taking actions that hurt Netflix’s DVD rental business–it wants DVD renting to go away, too:

The future of Netflix is 100% based on its ability to grow into the best streaming video entertainment service. Renting discs is very profitable for Netflix, but it’s the past. That’s why it went as far as to try separating its DVD business last year as “Qwikster,” and that’s why it’s letting studios make DVD rentals less attractive with windows and queue restrictions.

With last year’s Qwikster fiasco, we saw that Netflix is so anxious to exit DVD rentals that it hurts its judgment. It’s never healthy for a company to be in a business it dislikes. I wonder if Netflix has considered just ditching rentals–sooner, not later–rather than hoping that consumers are the ones who do the ditching?

 
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  1. Fred Says:

    The problem is that Netflix persists in the naive belief that it can increase its streaming library by hamstringing disc rental. They think if they make the studios happy, they'll play ball on streaming. But it hasn't worked to date, and it's not ever going to work. WB doesn't want the pennies they get from a Netflix stream – they want the dollars they get from an Ultraviolet digital purchase. Netflix could kill the DVD business entirely, and they'd still just have a bunch of crappy old movies and old TV shows that the studios are willing to stream because they know they've tapped out the market for sales.

  2. swildstrom Says:

    Ditching DVDs would be all well and good if the availability of streaming content were more than a small fraction of the physical DVD library. Most of the stuff I want is only available in physical media. I cannot fathom why the studios are so reluctant to make their backlists available for streaming, but they are.

  3. Jamie Says:

    This view that DVD rentals are in the past is incredibly naive given the very small percentage of new release movies available on streaming. Hell, there are movies that have been out for 10 years or more that still aren’t available for streaming. It took forever for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).” Best of luck trying to find a James Dean or Steve McQueen movie on streaming.

    To add insult to injury, titles in the streaming library are often quietly removed or “expired.” I can’t count the number of times (literally, I have no idea how often this happens because of the way it is done) that movies I’ve added to my streaming queue to watch later have simply been removed as if they were never there to begin with.

    I’m totally cool with Netflix getting rid of physical DVDs *if and only if* it can provide the same selection of content in streaming format.

  4. Rhonda Says:

    I dropped Netflix when they doubled the price by separating out DVDs and streaming into two products. Since then I've been able to get all the DVDs I want from the library or RedBox. I've considered subscribing to Netflix DVDs again, but they won't even let you sign up just for DVDs anymore. You have to get their limited and to me, useless streaming service to get DVDs now.

  5. jltnol Says:

    Streaming! Ugh!

    I know what its going to take for those in charge to realize that no streaming service can even come close to the visual and sound quality that comes on a Blu-Ray disk. While I understand the economics and the convince of streaming, until the USA has the infrastructure to download 30-40 gigs of data in the 90 minutes of real time it takes to watch a movie, for me at least, streaming is a no go.

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