In a press statement today, current Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, announced that Netflix Inc. would abandon its controversial plan to separate it’s DVD disk rentals (which would’ve been entitled “Qwikster”) and instant view operations. However, it was made clear that the price increase will remain intact, which sees some subscription options increase as much as 60% from their initial value. A couple of weeks ago, I had written an article with an ending note of “Too Little, Too Late”. Sadly, my analysis seems to still remain true.
I am currently a Netflix member and thoroughly enjoy their services. Originally, I was using their 1 DVD and Instant View subscription, all for $7.99 per month. Now I only pay for Instant View for, wait for it… $7.99. If I were to go back to my original plan, I would pay $14.99. There is little doubt that they made a smart move with canceling this separation: after all, the CEO Reed Hastings captured the sentiment perfectly by stating, “Consumers value the simplicity Netflix has always offered and we respect that. There is a difference between moving quickly, which Netflix has done very well for years, and moving too fast, which is what we did in this case.”
Yet it’s not just that they are moving too fast: rather, they are moving too fast in the exact wrong direction. With Blu-Ray movies and High Definition DVD’s becoming the norm, trying to separate the two would’ve simply created the extinction of one of its primary services. Furthermore, more and more people are simply relying on the Instant View option because of the convenience: it is for this exact reason that they were able to absolutely decimate Blockbuster.
Not to sound redundant from my previous article, but I continue to assert strongly that their future relies on expanding further into social media and networking. They have done successful with offering the app on iPad and iPhone, to name a few, yet they still have not done the obvious move of trying to connect the millions of users together. By simply offering a “Like” or “+1” on each of their movies, and allowing other users to see it, they could create a far more harmonious and fluid interaction between users and the cultural identities that are movies and television shows.
Create ways to leave back feed back, and not just the comment boards that few people even realize exist, but have it connected to Facebook/Google + as well. It is surprising to find myself writing this: after all, it really did not take long for Hulu to grasp this premise. Still, until Netflix realizes the follies of its ways, I may as well be the common sense in the world of over-complexities.