Thursday, September 22, 2011

Goodbye Netflix

I've been a Netflix customer since November 2005, but just in case you're wondering what I think about the recent changes in Netflix pricing and services, I'm a Netflix customer no longer.

When the separate pricing for DVDs by mail and streaming were announced back in July I decided to drop streaming, since I can get pretty much the same catalog from Amazon for free as a Prime member, and dropped my DVD service back to one at a time, so that I could still order the occasional obscure movie on DVD. I hoped that a some time in the near future Netflix would negotiate some new deals with the studios and lure me back to their streaming service with a better price-value proposition.

That was until the worst apology ever from Reed Hastings their CEO, in which he dropped the bombshell that the DVD and streaming businesses would henceforth be run completely separately; different branding, separate websites and no unified queue or recommendations.

So today I hit the "Cancel My Subscription" button on the Netflix website. I admire Netflix's desire to move aggressively into streaming and to cannabalise their own DVD rental business before someone else does, something that far too few businesses confronted by technological change are willing to do, but that doesn't mean they ought to alienate and lose all their existing customers in the meantime.

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