Netflix shoots itself in the foot... aka no more free streaming

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by bigdaddy, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oooooh no. People don't like to be "confronted" and "corrected," even if - especially if - they're wrong! :rommie: That approach will just make people madder and cause the situation to spiral wildly out of control (especially given the gasoline-on-fire nature of social media).

    Here's how you do it. 1) figure out what you want/need to do (raise prices because of greedy Hollywood) long before you need to do it; 2) predict how people will react (Facebook rampage - that's an easy call for anyone passably familiar with the internet); 3) start building up a brand-image campaign to counteract 2) when you do 1).

    This is not a customer service issue so much as a brand maintenance issue. Netflix should have been building a brand image like this: "We're a cool Silicon Valley tech company, and we're just like you! We're not like those soulless greedy bastards in Hollywood who want to screw both of us over. We've got your back. Let's fight them together!"

    WHY didn't they do that? It would be the easiest brand building exercise ever! They would simply be tapping into already widespread resentments against Hollywood - it's always nice to have some hated entity to aim the customers' ire at, and away from you - and they wouldn't even have to lie, at least not very much (which generally is a large element of brand building).

    Oh well, too late now. They need to go into crisis management mode. The executive level at Netflix is very much asleep at the switch.

    GREAT example of successful brand building. Through that return policy, LL Bean communicates "we are a solid, old-fashioned, honest-to-a-fault, down-to-Earth New England company that has the same values that you do." That is vastly more valuable than the cost of the few items that might be returned. Who knows what the company is really like? They could all be depraved party animals who spend the off-season in Fort Lauderdale, spending the vast profits they make from the brand image they're selling: solid, boring, plaid-flannel-shirt-wearing throwbacks to a nostalgic "better time" when companies took pride in quality, which of course, practically nobody does nowadays.

    Brand image is the most valuable thing any company owns. Netflix needs to understand they are not a company that rents DVDs or streaming video. They are a company that sells a brand image to people. They are selling a brand image now that a lot of people don't want to buy. In fact, they're not in control of their brand image and as far as I've been able to determine, never have been. That's the first problem they need to solve. They can't let outside factors like balky studios and rampaging Facebookers define their brand image for them.

    PS, this is what Netflix should be doing! Some other company is doing their brand-building for them. Why are these metrics not on everyone's Neflix page? "Here's our value, here's what the fraking cable companies charge, here's how you can get even more value from the service."

    Here's the explanation for FeedFliks. Some variation on this app should have been part of Netflix all along, that gives a credible comparison between Netflix and other entertainment options: cable, DVD purchase, movie tickets. And to head off disgruntlement, the app could advise customers on how to optimize their account. That kind of transparency could go a long ways towards creating a brand image that "we're on your side." Netflix needs to give people good advice before they even know they need advice.

    But now they're being compared with - brrr! - cable companies!

    CNET article.

     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  2. Ninjacore

    Ninjacore Commander

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    N-Flix f***ed themselves the moment they redesigned the streaming site, this new price change is further evidence that they cannot run a company, I am waiting and constantly looking for the next N-Flix rival to come along, then good bye and good luck N-Flix.
     
  3. Sheep

    Sheep Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe because Hollywood has ALL the leverage here? Who's to say that they wouldn't pull EVERY movie/show from Netflix or demand even higher fees in response to something like that, leaving Netflix with almost no selection aside from indie productions? Unlike Apple, Netflix doesn't have a product to fall back on should the movie or music industry exercise their rights to be gigantic douchebags--Netflix would be dead instantly if Hollywood takes its ball and leaves.

    Think this is unlikely and that Hollywood isn't that stupid? These are the people who think that $30 on-demand movie rentals are a good idea. Not a monthly rental service, a single movie rental. Yes, they ARE that stupid.

    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118034714
     
  4. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I did consider that, but Hollywood seems like the last people around who would get up on their high moral horses in what is after all, an image-based battle. It would just be Netflix doing exactly what Hollywood does as a matter of course - image management plus extremely aggressive business practices. They should respect Netflix for being a savvy player instead of what they are now, a bunch of hapless clowns. The way they've blundered is a professional embarrassment, and their business partners are probably questioning their credibility as a corporation now.

    The Hollywood honchos would be smart enough, and grownup enough, to understand and respect the strategy behind the campaign and not take it personally - anyone with a thin skin isn't going to survive in Hollywood anyway - and after all, it's not like anyone's going to hate Hollywood so much they stop going to Transformers movies and other twaddle. An image-based battle wouldn't really hurt Hollywood's profits at all, and as long as the profits are safe, who really cares how Netflix sells itself to its customers?

    If Netflix is nervous about the reaction, they can brief their business partners in advance. Netflix is good cop, Hollywood is bad cop, the money keeps rolling in. I'm not saying that Hollywood is "really" the enemy, it's just a branding campaign to help sell the idea of charging more money that Netflix and Hollywood splits. See the difference between that and an actual feud?

    And the branding campaign wouldn't be as blatant as I've made it sound. I was describing it in a blunt manner just to get the point across. That kind of language would never see the light of day beyond Netflix's internal brand strategy white papers (even those would be less blunt and more professional sounding). There are ways to make Hollywood the enemy without being obtuse about it - some of the slicker political campaigns would serve as a good model.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  5. Immolatus

    Immolatus Captain Captain

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    U know this really sucks. I left blockbuster because it was too expensive and they constantly changed there prices, so I figured netflix is worth a shot (I used to do them years ago) now there playing the raising prices game when the rest of America is broke. The family loves to use the streaming and I like getting the DVD's but to be honest this makes me feel like dropping them. I hate when corporate America screws with the working man.
     
  6. Ninjacore

    Ninjacore Commander

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    Corporate America screwing us is the American spirit...
     
  7. Trubinator

    Trubinator Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know what everyone is so upset about. I don't care for the fee hike either, but it's still a better deal than anything else out there. And also, couldn't this just be their way of making more money so they can afford to provide more content for their customers? Perhaps there's a decent reason to justify the increase ...
     
  8. watermelony2k

    watermelony2k Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Blame the studios for hiking up their streaming licensing fees; netflix is just trying to survive..

    it's funny because at least the studios were actually getting some revenue; watch as piracy increases once again.

    to be honest i haven't even rented one of their physical dvds in about a year. i've only been using the streaming. And at 8 bucks a month for unlimited streaming, that's still a better deal than any of what amazon or comcast are offering: 2 bucks per episode? Piss on that.

    Physical media is a thing of the past.
     
  9. gh4chiefs

    gh4chiefs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That seems to be the expectation. And with those high fees, to me it seems Netflix has about 3 options:

    1) Raise their fees. And we see how that's being received.
    2) Remove content from their streaming library, effectively killing streaming, IMHO.
    3) Go to some type of limited streaming/pay per view model.

    None of these options seem very palatable to us as consumers, but if Netflix is to survive, they're going to have to implement one of these options (or some combination thereof.)

    I'm not happy about a fee increase of any kind, but at least I feel like for now anyway, it's still decent value for me for what I get.
     
  10. Checkmate

    Checkmate Commodore

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    Oh no, a couple extra bucks a month for hours and hours and hours of entertainment every month. What a world, what a world!
     
  11. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Yeah, life is just so unfair, isn't it?
     
  12. TemporalFlux

    TemporalFlux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hehe I'll be paying 5 more bucks a month to keep what I've got, and that's not bad in my opinion. I pay $15.00 a month to play DC Universe Online, and I'll only be paying $22.00 to keep Netflix as it is (which offers alot more). Seems fair to me.
     
  13. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Seems fair that prices go through the roof as hundreds of titles are dropped from streaming.
     
  14. Vance

    Vance Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Seriously, guys. I'm not too happy at the change in the account, but when you look at what you're getting for the price - if you do both - it's a pretty good deal per month still. $16 and you get unlimited streaming and DVD rentals. Damn, cry me a river on the price.

    I just watched all of X-Men Evolution through Netflix. Buying that sucker would have been at least $20. Last month I finished watching all of Cheers and caught up in Midsomer Murders (which is about $30 per DVD season).

    Yeah, it kinda sucks that it went up in price at the same time everything else is going up too, but it's really hard to argue that it's not a good deal overall.
     
  15. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Rated Awesome By 9 out of 10 Awesome Experts Moderator

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    I went to streaming only, so I'm saving money now.
     
  16. LeadHead

    LeadHead Director of Comedy Premium Member

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    Still cheaper than going to a movie theater, buying a ticket, getting a soda and a popcorn.
     
  17. Vance

    Vance Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Corporate America can't easily screw people over because the customer can simply not buy from them. Don't want to pay for Netflix's increases, then simply don't. Granted, you won't get their service, but that's how it's supposed to work, isn't it?
     
  18. DrEvil

    DrEvil Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The price increase wouldn't have been received so badly if Netflix had announced something, ANYTHING other than "hey, we're raising prices to give you the same thing you have now and if you don't like it, here's the link to cancel". Provide an explanation about streaming costs increasing for them, give out some hint that they might open more of the Netflix library to streaming, etc. There's none of that. The only news we have is that this new NBC Universal deal will let Netflix stream shows like "The Event" (all one season of that canceled mess) and "Leave it to Beaver".

    That said, I am keeping Netflix but downgrading to the 1-DVD-out plan w/o streaming. There's so little worth watching on streaming, and so unreliable in terms of how long something stays available, that the extra cost is just not worth it, even though it IS small in the grand scheme of things.
     
  19. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Capitalism at its finest. :D

    I do agree with this, though. Price changes happen, but they could have handled it better.
     
  20. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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