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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old September 20 2011, 10:26 PM   #316
TemporalFlux
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

J. Allen wrote: View Post
It also depends upon what equipment you use. There is a small but important difference if you use devices. I use a Roku box for my Netflix streaming, which has a different API than the PC, which has a different API than the XBOX 360 and so on.
I did forget to mention this. I've tried XBox 360; PS3 and even Wii. I also briefly had a Roku HD until I sold the thing after I saw how crappy Netflix looked.

If you're having trouble on all of your devices, then it's likely your provider isn't giving you enough throughput to keep a stable, higher end connection. That would likely be with the CO.
So pretty much screwed then, and nobody is going to fix that. Even my local cable company is crap; it's a local monopoly, so they don't dump money into upgrading anything. The HD package currently consists of about 30 channels. We get HBO HD, Showtime HD and TMC HD; but no MAX HD or STARZ HD (even though you can pay for the standard def versions).

It is true, though, that streaming is the future...
Then the future looks pretty damn bleak from where I'm sitting.
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Old September 20 2011, 10:27 PM   #317
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

TemporalFlux wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
It also depends upon what equipment you use. There is a small but important difference if you use devices. I use a Roku box for my Netflix streaming, which has a different API than the PC, which has a different API than the XBOX 360 and so on.
I did forget to mention this. I've tried XBox 360; PS3 and even Wii. I also briefly had a Roku HD until I sold the thing after I saw how crappy Netflix looked.

If you're having trouble on all of your devices, then it's likely your provider isn't giving you enough throughput to keep a stable, higher end connection. That would likely be with the CO.
So pretty much screwed then, and nobody is going to fix that. Even my local cable company is crap; it's a local monopoly, so they don't dump money into upgrading anything. The HD package currently consists of about 30 channels. We get HBO HD, Showtime HD and TMC HD; but no MAX HD or STARZ HD (even though you can pay for the standard def versions).

It is true, though, that streaming is the future...
Then the future looks pretty damn bleak from where I'm sitting.
Sure you can fix it. You tell them you think it's bottlenecking and that they need to look into it, and also at the distance you are from the CO.
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Old September 20 2011, 10:33 PM   #318
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

gh4chiefs wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
I understand the physical costs of the DVD service are high compared to streaming, but one has to wonder if in the end, the ROI is really going to be that much better for the streaming business.
Streaming is digital information and all digital information businesses are headed the same place: zero value.

The music biz has already gotten there. DVD sales are dropping to zero because of piracy. But squawking about piracy is pointless because it's not really the pirates' fault. They are a symptom, not a cause.

The music labels are trying to turn things around by expanding the definition of their business. They defined their business as 'selling plastic disks with music on them,' but there's no law that says that must be their business. That business went bust, so they're trying to redefine their business to encompass a musician or groups' total career: touring, licensing, endorsements, merchandise.

Similarly, there is no law that says Netflix, or Starz, or hulu, or anyone else needs to define their business as 'selling streaming TV/movie content.' Netflix could define their business like YouTube does - a place that's valuable because you can get everything there, with sorting, PR and community value provided for free by the customers. You give away the streaming content free and charge for something else.

For example, Netflix or someone with that business model is in prime position to partner with the struggling theater business by organizing their customers into a community with an interest, say, in sci fi space adventures, Tyler Perry comedies, Jason Bourne movies or what have you. When a movie that suits their tastes hits the theater, they could organize groups in each city through Netflix's community to sell out the theater.

This would follow the music-industry model, where music is given away free and serves as loss-leader for the concert appearances where the money is actually made. It would transform the theater business which is currently depending on 3D to help it survive (a strategy that has met with very mixed results) and turn it from an experience where you have to tolerate a bunch of strangers who are idiots, yakking on cell phones, which is why people don't want to go to movies anymore, and make it more like a convention, filled with like-minded people, many of whom you'll already know from the Netflix community. Instead of just selling popcorn, the theaters could sell a range of merchandise related to the interests of that particular group.

Netflix gets a % of the box office for putting butts in seats, and a % of the merchandise (which it can also sell via ads on its website). So Netflix now has a viable business that is based on something more durable than digital content, and the theaters can transform their dying business from an unpleasant experience to an ongoing party.

The infrastructure for the party is already there, let's use it before it all gets torn down. (Ironically, I can think of a great real-world example, on Van Ness Ave in San Francisco there's a concert venue that has lines around the block all the time. Right across the street, there's a movie theater that went out of business and is being torn down!)

Netflix is an invaluable potential marketing source for theaters, because if they give away content free, their customer base will explode. The customers can sort themselves into interest groups, and do a lot of the marketing legwork for theaters and merchandisers.

Netflix, Starz et al are behaving like old media business, defining themselves restrictively in ways that aren't sustainable. Netflix at least is a bit more on the ball; Starz and other content producers are going to re-learn the bitter lessons of the music industry unless they manage to get out of their dinosaur mindset. I'm not betting any money that they will.

The studios will resist the idea of their content being streamed for free online, but they're fools, because that's going to happen whether they like it or not. Since free streaming content in the future is a given, they need to start thinking now how they're going to make money regardless.

And they can do that through the sheer size of the audience that can be coralled into one place online, such as Netflix, where the customers will cheerfully do a lot of the work for the corporations, sorting themselves into groups who are easier to monetize. Just give them the tools to do that!

Only because you're not thinking about it right. Think about the marketing value that you can build when millions of people are online, sorting themselves into groups and telling you what interests them, what they'll pay for, what kinds of ads will appeal to them!

Think about the value of reaching a global audience - the middle class is exploding worldwide and America's entertainment business already is geared for global appeal. Think about making money off just 5% of the Chinese pirates that you currently make no money off. Think about all the new consumers in India, Indonesia, Brazil, etc.

I'm telling ya all, look at the games business. That's leading the charge. Games are a digital content business and they're all charging straight towards FREE as a business model.

For instance, pogo.com gives away games for free but charges for premium subscriptions and even better, for avatars that let you present the image you want to the community that is built via game playing. They also sell badges that advertise your expertise in playing games, which of course is part of your identity.

Now that is smart! They're not selling games, they're selling your identity on the internet. People can get bored of games, but the more people interact with the community, with their avatar and their badges as the "front end," the more invested they will be in their avatar and in the community. They'll keep playing games in order to buy more stuff that lets them hone their community identity, change it up, and get comments from their friends.

It's the same idea as the theater-going-party notion, except kept entirely online, because there's no convenient infrastructure out there to make it real-world. Which is a disadvantage, because the real-world thing is a great money-maker and community builder, but game content costs far less to make than TV or movies, and lasts longer, so the economics still work out fine.

If you want to see the future of all digital content, you should watch the games industry. For cultural reasons I guess (software people are less resistant to change than the LA entertainment industry), games are pioneering new forms that the entertainment industry as a whole will eventually need to follow. The games biz isn't crying about having to give away their content for free. They're getting busy getting rich from free content.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; September 20 2011 at 11:02 PM.
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Old September 20 2011, 10:44 PM   #319
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
gh4chiefs wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
I understand the physical costs of the DVD service are high compared to streaming, but one has to wonder if in the end, the ROI is really going to be that much better for the streaming business.
Streaming is digital information and all digital information businesses are headed the same place: zero value.

The music biz has already gotten there. DVD sales are dropping to zero because of piracy. But squawking about piracy is pointless because it's not really the pirates' fault. They are a symptom, not a cause.

The music labels are trying to turn things around by expanding the definition of their business. They defined their business as 'selling plastic disks with music on them,' but there's no law that says that must be their business. That business went bust, so they're trying to redefine their business to encompass a musician or groups' total career: touring, licensing, endorsements, merchandise.

Similarly, there is no law that says Netflix, or Starz, or hulu, or anyone else needs to define their business as 'selling streaming TV/movie content.' Netflix could define their business like YouTube does - a place that's valuable because you can get everything there, with sorting, PR and community value provided for free by the customers. You give away the streaming content free and charge for something else.

For example, Netflix or someone with that business model is in prime position to partner with the struggling theater business by organizing their customers into a community with an interest, say, in sci fi space adventures, Tyler Perry comedies, Jason Bourne movies or what have you. When a movie that suits their tastes hits the theater, they could organize groups in each city through Netflix's community to sell out the theater.

This would follow the music-industry model, where music is given away free and serves as loss-leader for the concert appearances where the money is actually made. It would transform the theater business which is currently depending on 3D to help it survive (a strategy that has met with very mixed results) and turn it from an experience where you have to tolerate a bunch of strangers who are idiots, yakking on cell phones, which is why people don't want to go to movies anymore, and make it more like a convention, filled with like-minded people, many of whom you'll already know from the Netflix community. Instead of just selling popcorn, the theaters could sell a range of merchandise related to the interests of that particular group.

Netflix gets a % of the box office for putting butts in seats, and a % of the merchandise (which it can also sell via ads on its website). So Netflix now has a viable business that is based on something more durable than digital content, and the theaters can transform their dying business from an unpleasant experience to an ongoing party.

The infrastructure for the party is already there, let's use it before it all gets torn down. (Ironically, I can think of a great real-world example, on Van Ness Ave in San Francisco there's a concert venue that has lines around the block all the time. Right across the street, there's a movie theater that went out of business and is being torn down!)

Netflix is an invaluable potential marketing source for theaters, because if they give away content free, their customer base will explode. The customers can sort themselves into interest groups, and do a lot of the marketing legwork for theaters and merchandisers.

Netflix, Starz et al are behaving like old media business, defining themselves restrictively in ways that aren't sustainable. Netflix at least is a bit more on the ball; Starz and other content producers are going to re-learn the bitter lessons of the music industry unless they manage to get out of their dinosaur mindset. I'm not betting any money that they will.

The studios will resist the idea of their content being streamed for free online, but they're fools, because that's going to happen whether they like it or not. Since free streaming content in the future is a given, they need to start thinking now how they're going to make money regardless.

And they can do that through the sheer size of the audience that can be coralled into one place online, such as Netflix, where the customers will cheerfully do a lot of the work for the corporations, sorting themselves into groups who are easier to monetize. Just give them the tools to do that!
Also: netflix is beginning to make it's own original content.
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Old September 20 2011, 11:08 PM   #320
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

Netflix shouldn't bother to make their own content, unless they're planning to make content that allows them to bolster their real business, which is building the Facebook of TV-and-movie viewing/fandom.

For instance, if they perceive that certain interest groups are being neglected (ahemstartrekahem), they can make content that allows a new, huge interest group to form. But note that their business is not making a Star Trek TV series. It's corralling the Star Trek fans into one convenient place, where they can be sold movie tickets to JJ's next opus, merchandise, books, DVDs, and see promotions for other interest groups that appeal to Star Trek fans (who might also like Jason Bourne movies or for all I know, Tyler Perry comedies). If Netflix can convince CBS to take on the burden of making Star Trek themselves, so much the better. Netflix would only step in and make content if they see opportunities going to waste.

The value to Netflix is not the content, which they give away free, but the sheer size of the audience they can attract, and the intelligence that the audience provides about themselves, which allows for more targetting marketing. (And before anyone objects to this, I'm assuming Netflix will be a great deal more savvy about PR and position this marketing as a benefit to the customers - we're showing you what you want to see anyway - not some scary Orwellian crap. That's just a function of hiring the right people to do your PR, which is the first thing Netflix needs to look into.)
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Old October 10 2011, 01:45 PM   #321
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

I can no longer tell if I'm reading The Onion.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.co...s-on-qwikster/

Abandoning a break-up plan it announced last month, Netflix said Monday morning that it had decided to keep its DVD-by-mail and online streaming services together under one name and one Web site.

The company admitted that it had moved too fast when it tried to spin-off the old-fashioned DVD service into a new company called Qwikster.

“We underestimated the appeal of the single web site and a single service,” Steve Swasey, a Netflix spokesman, said in a telephone interview. He quickly added: “We greatly underestimated it.”
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Old October 10 2011, 02:30 PM   #322
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

^ Same story on Yahoo News.
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Old October 10 2011, 02:58 PM   #323
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

It's a good decision, I guess. I was considering adding DVDs back in after dropping them awhile back but the splitting announcement made me change my mind. And it also seems like a good thing when a company listens to the public and recognizes when they made a mistake. But it's also incredibly awkward and looks like they have no idea what they're doing anymore.

I have the streaming service and it's certainly worth the price for me. But my queue is around 300 and having to scroll through all those just to see what's expiring soon is annoying (why not have an announcement for expiring titles in the interface at least a month out?). And the selection varies so wildly. Seems like the James Bond films were just added in but now they're gone. And why didn't they include the Pierce Brosnan films?

I have the Star Trek films on DVD, but I went to watch one on Netflix the other day because they were there earlier this year. Now they aren't. But now TAS is there. Is that new or did I miss it the first time around?

A bunch of horror films expired in late September/early October. Huh? It sometimes feels like I'm choosing what I like best out of stuff someone else rented for a few months.

Like I said, I still get plenty out of it despite having to work within those confines. But there's so much they could improve. Why I need to use an outside website (instantwatcher) to better keep up with what's new and what's going away is ridiculous.
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Old October 10 2011, 03:02 PM   #324
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

Company is being run by idiots.
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Old October 10 2011, 03:03 PM   #325
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

When are these companies going to learn that it is a myth that the general public embraces change? Facebook is constantly having to be reminded of this, and Netflix just got a painful reminder of it. And it's nothing new, either - the Coca-Cola company is still ridiculed for the whole New Coke fiasco of some 25 years ago. The only change people like are those that are actual improvements to service and lowering of cost (without effecting level of service).

For them to lose face like this in such a public fashion (watch for its stock to take a dip) says to me this must have been perceived as a potentially company-killing decision. The "New Coke" of video services, maybe?

Alex
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Old October 10 2011, 03:54 PM   #326
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

Hound of UIster wrote: View Post
Company is being run by idiots.
Correction: Company is being run into the ground by idiots.

The stock has already lost half it's value. Let's see if can go down more.
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Old October 10 2011, 04:24 PM   #327
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

OsmiumJohnnycake wrote: View Post
I have the Star Trek films on DVD, but I went to watch one on Netflix the other day because they were there earlier this year. Now they aren't. But now TAS is there. Is that new or did I miss it the first time around?
TAS was added at the same time DS9 was, last week.
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Old October 10 2011, 04:28 PM   #328
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

I used to have Netflix glad I got out of it before things went downhill hopefully one of their competitors will step in and fill the void left by their stupid business decisions.
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Old October 10 2011, 04:31 PM   #329
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

What is this, the year of fuckups for Netflix?
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Old October 10 2011, 05:10 PM   #330
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Re: Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

Well, at least they're paying attention to their customers this time.
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