Like many other Netflix customers, I received a pseudo-apology letter yesterday from Reed Hastings Netflix’s CEO. The letter also stated the fact that Netflix would be split up into two companies. In my opinion, the reasoning outlined in the letter was convoluted at best. How does making your customers manage two separate accounts benefit them? That’s my biggest question and for the life of me I cannot come up with an answer.
My thoughts are that within the next 6 months the prices of both Qwikster and Netflix will go up again, significantly citing increased licensing costs, increased costs of running two separate business entities, blah, blah, blah.
Netflix has always been a great value even when they raised their base price for 1 DVD at a time and unlimited streaming by 60% just this month, I still thought it was a good deal. Sure, I balked a little as anyone would but I had no intension of closing my account.
When I first started my account in 2008 streaming wasn’t a big deal. Getting unlimited DVDs by mail as you returned them with no late fees was pretty awesome. What little streaming selection there was at the time was limited to just watching on your computer. Since I’d never been a fan of sitting at my computer to watch video, I barely used it.
Life got busy and I put my account on hold for a year. When I finally jumped back into Netflix around late 2010ish, streaming was becoming pretty popular and the selection was quite a bit better so I ponied up for a Roku box which is pretty awesome in itself. Great, I can watch pretty much anything I want anytime I want.
When the Apple TV 2 came out, I ponied up for one so I’d have a box in the living room that the family could enjoy.
Netflix succeeded in making streaming my # 1 choice. The DVDs became secondary to streaming. They’re great to watch newer movies that aren’t yet available on streaming but DVDs sit on my entertainment center for 2-3 weeks before I finally got around to watching one.
Like many other customers I’ve held out hope that the streaming selection would soon rival DVDs. With all the press of Netflix adding this content and that content it seemed like it just might happen. It never has.
To be fair, the crappy streaming selection isn’t Netflix’s fault. If Netflix had it’s way, everything would be available on streaming and the DVD business would be secondary. The studios don’t want to cannibalize their pay per view rentals and DVD/Blu Ray sales. I get that.
Since my old Roku box is on permanent loan to a neighbor who has fallen on hard times and cannot afford cable, a second Roku box has been added to my collection, the newest model is pretty snazzy with Angry Birds. I just couldn’t pass it up.
Now it’s an in for dollar in for a pound thing with me. Between Roku boxes and my Apple TV, I’m in $300 in boxes to stream Netflix sure they’re able to stream other things but I would never have bought them if it weren’t for Netflix.
For now, canceling the DVD portion is out of the question unless a RedBox pops up locally. The real question is how long until Netflix prices themselves out of my monthly budget? How long until I say screw it and cut my losses with the boxes?