If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I canceld my netflix account ages ago, but mostly because Netflix Canada sucks ass. Cause of media laws, they have to seperatly licence movies in Canada from the US site, so it's not surprizing the selection sucks, but the salt in the wounds, is that it will still search based off the american site, so every time I type in a movie title, it takes me to a netflix page with all the info, and just says "not availble".
Still, for average joe, I supose he can always go rent from Block Buster again, oh wait...
The beginning of the end? Well, that's a real tough one to answer. I don't think that it's the "end" per se, mostly because Netflix will still have it's streaming library to pick from. But there are a few things at the moment that SHOULD make Netflix nervous, and should be seen as a major mistake that is going to take a LONG time to recover from.
It's not that the membership has gone "down", so much that it's been seriously hit by people BEFORE the switch. There is still no telling how many people will leave AFTER the switch, who start to think that paying that much is too much. Not to mention the number of people who are going to cut their subscription to either Streaming or Mail, instead of having to keep up with two billing records (one for streaming, 1 for mail). But, it's also that Netflix themselves have said they are NOT expecting the predicted growth of NEW members for the foreseeable future. Meaning that they are already looking at looses from last quarter (When a lot of people reduced/cancelled their membership) when the new price change was announced, number of lost customers this quarter to avoid the price hike, AS WELL AS looking at loosing more members after the price hike kicks in and not getting new ones. Sorry, but I can't see ANY COMPANY in the world who is going to sit on 3 quarters of looses as some kind of good "business model".
All of this is happening at the time when Netflix can NOT afford to look financially weak. Sadly, that's EXACTLY what they are starting to look like. Price hike aside, you are looking at a bigger than expected lost revenue... cost to operate new start-up business in South America (which is going to cause Netflix all sorts of problems when it comes to copyrights, distribution, membership prices and other factors--- not including marketing). Right now, Netflix is on the verge of a MASSIVE spending spree just as their incoming revenue is going to drop. Of course, you also take a look at the hugely negative backlash on this, and you sort of see why Netflix has had a drop of almost 50% in their stock price over the last few months.
As far as Starz and Netflix not getting to renew their partnership? Well, that might not have been too bad on the surface. Oh, except that Starz was one of Netflix's first contracts for content, not to mention that Starz was also Netflix's biggest provider for movie titles. But it's somewhat sad when you consider that Starz isn't the only provider that might disappear from Netflix. HBO is really pushing it's own "HBO to go" video streaming start-up. While HBO's service is new, and not on every provider or platform yet..... you know full well that it's just a matter of time before it finally gets things ironed out and will probably decide NOT to bother with Netflix at all. Oz, The Wire, Conspiracy, Sopanos... eventually, HBO will pull it's library of titles off of Netflix too. Not to mention, NBC has HULU, a lot of older stuff that was on PBS and BBC are starting to fade due to age or availability or copyrights. Loosing Starz by itself isn't the end-all--be-all of Netflix, but it SURELY is something to be concerned about.
Then we get into the aspect that has me really concerned that they just don't "get it" over at Netflix. They are now starting to talk about putting out Games in their Disc-department? Sorry, but does this strike anyone else as pure desperation? Netflix has been around for years and never once did video-games, so why now? Oh, and how are you going to compete against stores like Gamespot where you can pre-order stuff to purchase not just rent for awhile? Also, just for the record how does Netflix expect to compete for the "new release" business? I mean, they can't expect to have a game ready to mail to you the DAY that it comes out. No, you've gotta wait a few days (as many as 5) just to get a copy. Well, by that time you sort of went out and got the copy yourself if you wanted it that bad. And going back and getting OLDER games? Really? Aren't the really GOOD older games still in your library and the 1,000 other really shitty titles just sitting on the shelves of the local Gamestop? So, what are the people at Netflix going to do? Sit back and wait to see which games are "popular", meaning that most people already HAVE a copy and don't see a need to get them from Netflix? Or are they going to "guess" at a games popularity only to be sitting on 2million copies of the next flop? Or are they going to get XX number of game-YY, only to end up not having enough copies for the ZZ customers that want it and end up pissing people off? Sorry, but with Netflix's history of Disc availablitiy/delays-in-mail? Just don't see this new "feature" working out. Plus, what are they going to do if say Microsoft decides that they don't want any Xbox-360 games rented through Netflix, but their their own on-line system? Wow, talk about getting fucked over.
But where Netflix is REALLY fucking up is keeping their Disc-library of titles and Streaming-library of films apart. Sorry, but it's kind of really shitty to have TWO libraries of titles to pick from and not have the show/movie you REALLY want to watch be available unless you sign up for that specific plan. Especially when it comes to the older movies or shows that just aren't conveniant to watch 1-disc at a time. Look at something like Babylon 5. Total series (5 Seasons) is roughly 30 DVD's with 4 episodes each DVD. Are you willing to have that all in the Streaming option to see the show as you like, or pay for maybe 1-2 disc a week if you are lucky for a total of 30 disks? Don't think a lot of people are willing to sit through something like that being mailed 1 disc at a time.
**** Sorry about wall of text, but it's a lot of factors to look at. It's a complicated question with a very simple solution. Raise prices 10% for 6mths, get customer feedback... and then increase price again if needed. Don't just drop an instant 60% on people and not have an ounce of customer-feedback. It's going to hurt your business no matter who you are or what you offer. ***
Honestly, all the price hike has done (in my opinion) has changed Netflix from being "A goddamn steal" to being "worth exactly what I'm paying."
No. In fact, why do people like streaming? Streaming has a crap selection. Take this for example:
They advertise you get doughnuts in hell, but you dont. Thats the same with Netflix streaming. They say any movie, yet thats for DVDS. When they have Qwikster commercials, they will be telling the truth. Stay in school kids.
So, the following aren't good movies:
The Iron Giant
Star Trek (2009)
A Clockwork Orange
Dazed and Confused
The Usual Suspects
Some Like It Hot
Full Metal Jacket
Good Will Hunting
Secret of Nihm
The Naked Gun
Being John Malkovich
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
This Is Spinal Tap
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Escape from New York
The Producers (1968)
The Dark Crystal
Let the Right One In
The Fly (1986)
Dog Day Afternoon
An American Werewolf of London
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The Third Man
If you think so, you either have awful taste, haven't heard of any of these or had no idea.