It seems as if I’m the only person on my reading list who hasn’t said anything about the Netflix announcement regarding downloadable movies. There are two reasons for my silence: one is that I’m busier than a three-legged cat trying to cover shit on a marble floor when the only dirt is five miles away, and the second reason is that, to me, this is old news. Oh sure, the arrival of the technology is cool, but this has been in the works in one way or another for over 7 years. I’m happy to see all that work come to fruition, and I know it will be good, but I’m way past the point of being excited about it.

See, a lot of the articles I’ve seen about this announcement make snide comments about Netflix making this move to avoid “obsolescence,” but I don’t see that as much of an issue for Netflix. For one thing, downloadable movies are only going to account for a small percentage of their revenue for quite some time. Most people are still going to prefer the tangible DVD. But the main reason I don’t think obsolescence is an issue for Netflix is that they’re smart. Some of the sharpest people I’ve ever known have worked there, and many still do. The senior management is altogether the best I’ve ever encountered. They’re not going to let themselves become obsolete. They’ve built a strong brand, and they’ll continue to figure out how to use it.

Shouldn’t I be saying something about Netflix right about now?

12 thoughts on “Shouldn’t I be saying something about Netflix right about now?

  • January 17, 2007 at 12:35 pm
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    I haven’t mentioned it yet because I don’t feel like writing a rant about how I can’t use the service on my Mac (according to their info section) and how they better not charge me the same amount of money as someone who is getting access to the instan viewing service.

    Sven, on the other hand, is delighted and is waiting not-so-patiently to be given access.

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  • January 17, 2007 at 12:37 pm
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    But it’s nice to know that you’re never too busy to come up with ridiculous similes. 🙂

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  • January 17, 2007 at 12:38 pm
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    Yeah, the Mac thing has come up repeatedly, and even though I am a Mac user my response is to shrug. It’s the first phase of their rollout, so it’s not a very surprising move. I doubt they’ll ignore the Mac population for very long.

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  • January 17, 2007 at 12:39 pm
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    You can always count on me.

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  • January 17, 2007 at 2:10 pm
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    I’ll chime in with a “me too”. I think it’s important that NetFlix keep an eye on the bleeding edge, since I’m convinced this is where the service will lead eventually. But for the vast majority of folks, there just isn’t sufficient network bandwidth to make this compelling. I think we’re years away from this approaching a sizable percentage of NetFlix revenues.

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  • January 17, 2007 at 6:49 pm
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    and the second reason is that, to me, this is old news.

    Word. Least surprising news story of the year.

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  • January 18, 2007 at 6:48 am
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    I don’t see this as a move to avoid obsolesence at all. In fact, quite the opposite. I think this has probably been part of the Netflix Master Plan for the entire duration of the company. It’s just been one of the those business models where they had to wait for the technology to catch up with their idea.

    I’ve always seen the current by-post model as a biding time/capital growth phase of the ultimate plan. Which is delivery of movies over the Internet.

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  • January 18, 2007 at 6:55 am
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    Plus, you know, there are the odd ducks like me who still have dial-up, and can’t even watch you-tube, let alone download anything larger than a Word document. And we live in small towns where there’s only one video store and it has very little actual selection if you don’t like “UNRATED UNCUT!!!” movies, so we like our Netflix as is. 🙂

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  • January 18, 2007 at 9:11 am
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    When I first read that, my reactions was, “Kate’s been living in the South a bit too long”. 🙂

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  • January 19, 2007 at 6:29 am
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    Out of curiosity, I wrote and asked customer service about the Mac issue. They say they’re working on it and explained why they did Windows first (like I could figure that out for myself!) They don’t have any kind of timeline that they’re willing to share, though.

    I also asked what would happen if they didn’t get the Mac thing working by the time everyone else had access to the service, if there would be any kind of discount offered to those of us who can’t access it and the answer was a resounding no. I have to say, if it happens that way, I’ll be pissed off. I’d be paying the same as someone who has access to 22 more hours of movie watching a month? That seems unreasonable to me.

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  • January 19, 2007 at 6:47 am
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    You brought up a really good point, and I’m glad you raised it with them. I’ll bet you cash money that they never thought of it that way (I know I didn’t think of it that way) and it’s great that they’ll have that perspective to consider now.

    If you’re passionate about it, call back a few more times and ask the same question just to make sure multiple call center reps have heard the question so they can raise the issue to their supervisor in their weekly staff meeting or whatever. It’s a great point.

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  • January 19, 2007 at 6:49 am
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    I got my mom’s boyfriend saying “I don’t have a dog in that fight” all the time now. There’s definitely something to be said for colorful speech.

    Reply

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