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Netflix To Lose 1 Million Subscribers 349

Posted by samzenpus
from the abandon-ship dept.
tekgoblin writes "In light of the recent price increase at Netflix, it made quite a few subscribers mad. Netflix expects to lose around 1 million total subscribers in the short term after the price changes (which split off separate subscription plans for streaming video and DVD rentals). On top of the price increase, Netflix will lose their contract with Starz in February, which will cost them around 1,000 total streaming titles from their collection."
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Netflix To Lose 1 Million Subscribers

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  • by IICV (652597) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @09:24PM (#37416322)

    Well really, what the heck did they expect? The e-mail they sent out about splitting up the streaming and dvd mailing services was ridiculously patronizing.

    I mean, I would have been a lot more okay with things if they'd just been straightforward and said "look, the people we get our content from are raising the prices on us, we need to charge you more to cover it". That's fine, that I can understand.

    Instead, those assholes decided to pitch it as some sort of super awesome deal, where instead of being forced to pay for streaming and dvd mailing together, you're now paying for them separately! It's great! So much better than the old deal! And you, the consumer, are such an idiot that you're not even going to notice that the price of your plan increased significantly, doubling in some cases! (if you're like me and you were on the 1 dvd + streaming plan).

    Do they not have any sort of market demographics at all? Do they have no idea the kinds of people that subscribe to their service? We're more likely to be early adopters, for goodness' sakes; we're not going to appreciate being talked down to like we're children who can't do math.

    And look, I do appreciate Netflix - as convenient as Redbox is, it doesn't quite have the selection. It's just, reading that goddamn e-mail about the new plans left such a bad taste in my mouth I couldn't stand giving them money any more.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I thought they did pitch a super awesome deal.

      I had been paying $16 a month for a couple DVDs and streaming, but I never really streamed much content. I would if I was bored and had nothing else to do but overall the streaming selection was too thin. After the announcement I moved to DVD only and now pay $12. I like having the option of de-coupling the streaming, especially in light of the impending price increase for streaming (via the studios).

      • by cpotoso (606303)
        Exactly the same here. Even though I have a 12 Mbps connection, streaming from nflx always sucked, the resolution was poor and there were no subtitles. So... the decoupling is a great deal for me.
        • by timeOday (582209)
          But I wonder netflix may be trying to phase out their DVD service. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like an increasing percentage of movies are just sitting in my "Saved" pile - no DVD and no streaming. And "unlimited" DVDs, which in practice means two per week tops, per slot, will only get slower [cnn.com] as the US Postal Service goes downhill, closing distribution points and perhaps saturday service.
      • by Githaron (2462596)
        I did the reverse. I dropped the DVD plan. I never got around to mailing the things out and I don't want to have to guess what I will be in the mood for a few days ahead of time. I just wish they do a selection overhaul. They are running our of stuff that I am interested in watching. I would actually be willing to pay between $30 and $50 dollars a month but they would have to start releasing everything within a few months of it coming to DVD and never get rid of the content that they add. I would also want
    • by Atmchicago (555403) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @09:46PM (#37416452) Homepage
      If they lose customers, but get more money per customer, it can work to Netflix's advantage big time. Their costs are mostly on bandwidth, and if they lose 1 million customers, that's 1 million fewer people to feed data to. That amounts to major cost cutting, so even if revenues drop a little but are offset by lower costs then they win.
      • by hedwards (940851)

        Yes, but that's 1 million people that are probably moving to competitors and 1 million people that are likely spreading ill will about Netflix as well. A million people even if it is only 4% of the customers is still a lot of people and certainly greatly increases the likelihood that potential new customers are going to come into contact with an dissatisfied customer.

        • by EdIII (1114411) on Friday September 16, 2011 @03:11AM (#37417732)

          Netflix does not have competitors.

          All the cable company and sat company offerings are super expensive. In so many cases you are literally paying over a $100 per month for a package and plan that allows you the privilege of spending even more ridiculous amounts renting movies for 24-48 hours.

          The aforementioned bullshit takes the crown, but then there are their competitors which provide you with the illusion of ownership with DRM'd systems. Blockbuster is a competitor physically and now with streaming as well. However, their pricing plans are hysterical. Same offer to "own" a DVD for $15-$30. Streaming "Rentals" are in many cases more costly than it ever was to rent them physically.

          Amazon is basically Block Buster's Bullshit Online(tm). Renting a TV Show for $2? Really? Same thing with the movie rentals. Unlimited Amazon Prime has nothing really good for selection. Netflix beats them hands down in that department. If you want commercial free current TV show episodes, sure you're fine. I kind of find it hard to be a competitor though if you are spending over $100 per month on show rentals because you are really into several weekly show. Prime is just being pronounced with the "bs" silent.

          Redbox is convenient, but it is like the radio. Only the best (paid) get played and you have limited options. They also make their money on you forgetting to return it, which is why they are priced well at a $1. Seriously, if you are lazy, overworked and tired you would probably think, "Fuck it. It's a $1. I spend more at Del Taco everyday". They are coming out with streaming, but Netflix is pretty fast. Not to mention queued. It's hard to call Redbox a real competitor right now. Closest too it, certainly.

          The rest are a bunch of websites like Hulu who deliver advertising laden worthless crap that often force you to install so much DRM infrastructure in your computer, calling it "your" computer is like a farcical play where you are the king of the idiots, but don't know it.

          Nevertheless, Netlfix is going to die. Precisely, because it has no competitors at this point.

          All the market share that Netflix has destroyed, and revenue grabbed, in the cable and sat networks, which affected the content producers as well, and the advertisers which are none to happy right now, did not earn Netflix any friends. When you can't tell a cable TV network from a content provider you are really fucked on Netflix's flip side which is eating the fuck out the bandwidth everywhere for free, and those are pretty much the exact words from the executives. Seriously, ISPs just love it when they are overselling by 50-100x and you cause them to actually have to start delivering on promises. It's like a run on the banks and they don't have the cash on hand. They have been messing with ISP and backbone provider profits for quite some time.

          Big Content is not happy. They could not forsee Netflix becoming what it is, and they were in their experimental phase with licensing for streaming. They have realized they have to do so period. Much like movie companies realized they have to distribute R5 releases to Russia almost right after the movie hits theaters to compete with the pirates. So they became more cooperative figuring they were going to at least make some money, rather than no money. Plus, who knows how this will work out.

          Nobody on the content side wants Netflix to continue on the streaming. DVD is a different story entirely, as most people can only rent a certain amount of DVDs each month which allows for a regular profit. Unlimited streaming is the opposite, as Netflix will never pay what they can get from Blockbuster, Amazon, or Hulu. Cable and Sat markets are the super premium bonuses.

          Price goes up? Who gives a shit. Not by much. Still the best bang for your buck short of out and out piracy. Nobody talks about their TV and Movie selection right now. Pretty extensive and unlimited.

          When Netflix stops having s

          • eating the fuck out the bandwidth everywhere for free, and those are pretty much the exact words from the executives.

            Free bandwidth? Netflix is paying for hosting and bandwidth. The customers are paying their ISP for bandwidth. It is being paid for on both sides.

      • by Kenja (541830)
        I used almost no bandwidth. I got one dvd at a time and very rarely watched streaming video on my phone. The new price plan was much more expensive for the same service and streaming to 'devices' was an added charge. No thanks. Account closed.
        • The new plan is less, if you don't get the streaming option... how are you spending more? Seriously, a lot of people signed up before there even was a streaming option, so it's not like going DVD only is a horrible thing... or going streaming only, as I am.
      • by pavon (30274) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @10:33PM (#37416718)

        Netflix did better than I thought they would. They only lost 4% of their subscribers over this, and it looks like their revenue is going to go up. Pretending that everyone was on the cheapest plan, they used to have 25 million subscribers paying $10 a month for $250 million/month. Now they have 21.8 million paying for streaming and another 14.2 million paying for DVD, each at $8 a month for a total of $288 million/month. Since the price of the larger plans didn't change as much as the cheapest one, I think it is safe to say that they will be making more money when this is done than they did before.

        Suppose they had given a $2 discount for people on both plans, like I thought they should. They would have increased revenue further by doing that if everyone stayed, and 2.6 million more people decided to go with both plans, or alternately if the same number left but 4 million decided to have both plans. Of course, that doesn't consider increased costs of both plans.

        • This is a great point. They can actually make more money off of the fewer customers. What they should actually be worried about is the perception of the loss and the apparent stock decrease it is causing.

          Still, I think they could have managed this a lot better. I'm one of the people who canceled.

      • But that only makes sense if they can preferentially drive off the customers that lose them money. Otherwise, they could raise their prices a bizillonety percent, and have a business with fantastic margins and zero revenue

        It is quite likely that many of those being driven off by higher streaming prices were the money-losing group, but I'm sure they lost more than they'd like. And clearly Wall Street is pretty concerned for what this portends.

      • If they lose customers, but get more money per customer, it can work to Netflix's advantage big time. Their costs are mostly on bandwidth, and if they lose 1 million customers, that's 1 million fewer people to feed data to. That amounts to major cost cutting, so even if revenues drop a little but are offset by lower costs then they win.

        That's a pretty big if - and it oversimplifies the situation. Really the math works out to something like this:

        (Total revenues lost - Cost of mailing physical discs - Bandwidth costs - Content costs) from the vanished subscribers < Increased revenues from hike + Profit margin gained by subscribers driven to streaming only plan - Profit margin lost by subscribers driven to mail-only plans

        And then if, like me, someone were tempted to mail in their final discs by taping the mailer to a phone book but

      • by MikeURL (890801)

        But I think what may have happened is they shook loose people like me who don't use their service much anymore but didn't cancel it because it was cheap. It was, for me, just nice to have available on the rare occasion I wanted to get a streaming movie or DVD.

        I kinda doubt they shook loose the heavy users with this price increase. Those people are still getting a hell of a good deal.

        Of course this kinda argues for a tiered service that factors in how much you stream. I would have been all for that as i o

    • This comment hits the mark right on the head.

      It was bad enough before how much content was actually available to stream versus by mail, especially compared to (not really competing, I guess alternative is more apropos) services e.g. XBL. Now that service is losing even more titles due to licensing issues with Starz. What terrible timing to try and spin a price increase as something consumers actually want, when the service you're charging more for is actually LOSING VALUE. This makes no sense on the fac

      • by dwillden (521345)
        I choose to stick with the streaming only plan, but if they lose Starz that will take most new releases. What other options are out there though? Guess maybe I'll have to go back to cable or dish. My hope was that after the change when into effect they would announce improvements to the streaming library not the loss of their best source of newer releases.
    • Well it was an awesome deal for me since I never used their streaming anyhow, so I didn't like having to subsidize it through my subscription, and my DVD-only sub decreased in price.

    • by matunos (1587263)

      According to the blurb, they expected to lose 1 million subscribers.

    • I mean, I would have been a lot more okay with things if they'd just been straightforward and said "look, the people we get our content from are raising the prices on us, we need to charge you more to cover it". That's fine, that I can understand.

      Yeah if you were in Netflix's position what would you do? Potentially piss off the people who set the prices for the content your customers want access too or shit on part of your customer base? It puzzled me too for a bit, then I realized there was probably some business contracts where they could not name the studios as being a cause, I mean there are only about 6 major content distributors and they all march very closely together.

      In fact all the stories that reported the price increase only speculate

    • This reminds me of the Sprint commercials I keep on seeing recently these days.

      First a disclaimer, I am a customer of Sprint and I like Sprint for the most part, but their commercial just pisses me off.

      Sprint claims that they're the only one that "do not lie about their monthly rate", but in the same commercial they claim that their rate is "only $79.99 with no extra fees" which is a load of crap. They have an unexplained $10 data premium fee (that they're now applying to every new phone, not just the new s

  • Linux client (Score:3, Interesting)

    by utkonos (2104836) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @09:29PM (#37416346)
    Perhaps if they had a client for linux, there would be some amount of offset due to incoming subscribers. If there were a player, I would be fine with paying their new price for service on linux. The only computers I have run either linux or FreeBSD, so there are no options for netflix for me at the moment.
    • Re:Linux client (Score:5, Insightful)

      by grommit (97148) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @09:39PM (#37416416)
      Haha, no they wouldn't. A good portion of Linux users would bitch about how the client isn't completely open source. Netflix may get a couple thousand extra subscribers if they made a linux client but nowhere near enough to cover the 1 million they are estimated to lose due to the price increase.
    • by dballanc (100332)

      That is true for me as well. I gave the trial an attempt once and canceled when I found out it wouldn't work on linux. Then a friend reminded me the ps3 was an option... and I subscribed for a month only to fire up the ps3 and find out they'd been hacked and I couldn't install netflix so I cancelled again. It's just not worth a third time, especially after the recent changes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

      The only computers I have run either linux or FreeBSD, so there are no options for netflix for me at the moment.

      I take it you don't own a television then, right? Because a Roku [amazon.com] is dirt cheap and simple to operate (and linux based ftw). Plus with all the private channels it's really handy.

      If the Linux-owning crowd is small, the linux-owning crowd that doesn't have a TV has to be even smaller. That's not to say it's invalid, just that here might be more Amiga users still around.

      • Tell me more about the private channels?

        • Tell me more about the private channels?

          There are probably more 'private' channels than ones available in the store. They're content that Roku doesn't want to advertise for some reason or other.

          This list looks fairly well-maintained, if blinding in its layout:

          http://www.catastrophegirl.com/rokuchannellist.htm [catastrophegirl.com]

          On my satellite package I get Fox and CNNHN. On Roku, I pick up Democracy Now, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, CNN International, BBC World, etc. It makes for a bit of a different level of awareness.

          Even t

    • by wsxyz (543068)
      I'm pretty sure that it there were a Linux client, Netflix would pick up at least 27 or 28 new subscriptions. Maybe up to 30, but that's being pretty optimistic.
      Of course, that's assuming there is both a Gnome client and a KDE client, as well as maybe an Emacs Lisp client to grab that last 1 or 2 subscribers.

      If they really want to make inroads into the Linux userbase, they ought to figure out how to get Richard Stallman to write a manifesto calling for a Free Software Netflix client. If they could do th
    • But I also run Linux, and I wouldn't become a Netflix subscriber. I'd bet they've done a cost-benefit analysis of porting their player to Linux, and decided it wasn't worth it.
  • Starz makes up a big portion of the GOOD options on netflix. I'm probably dropping my service for the blockbuster equivalent if I can get more choice.

    The price increase would be fine if I got more in streaming... instead I just get more useless strange crap made in backyards.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I did that for similar reasons. Granted the likelihood of Starz being dropped wasn't yet known, but I've found Blockbuster to be a good buy. Although, possibly not if you don't have a Bluray player and don't play video games. So far I've saved enough borrowing Assassin's Creed Brotherhood to more than make up for the cost of service.

    • Remember that Starz is really just a middleman, not a content creator, and that the content they have can be purchased directly from the owners, very likely for cheaper than what Starz wanted to charge Netflix for the upcoming year. Starz' content is definitely good, but there are already rumors that Netflix is inking deals with several of the content owners that provide content to Starz. The actual impact on the Netflix catalog could be negligible still, despite how it sounds now.

    • by Anarchduke (1551707) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @10:21PM (#37416646)
      You could just do what millions already know. To get true HD quality with total portability. AND

      an unmatched selection of titles ....

      Including the newest titles anywhere...

      use BITTORRENT !!!
    • Starz makes up a big portion of the GOOD options on netflix.

      No they don't. None of their stuff was HD. It all had long-ass, annoying "STARZ IS AWESOMESAUCE!!!1!" intro/outro animations, and I never saw anything on its list I wanted to watch...

    • by timeOday (582209)
      I haven't noticed Blockbuster being a menu option in my Sony TV. I wonder if they will add it?
  • I dropped the streaming service. The selection is so bad, it's really not worth even $8 a month to me. I'd gladly pay significantly more if the selection was significantly better. I hope they can get their licensing issues worked out!
  • by teambpsi (307527) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @09:38PM (#37416404) Homepage

    I tried changing my bank account info and when I called to ask them to reverse a pending charge on the wrong/old account I was told that I would have to close/cancel my service with them, and then restart service at a new higher rate!

    So I cancelled. Completely.

    Now I have to play the "contest the charge on the credit card game" even though I cancelled on the 9th the charge still showed up on the 11th.

    You'd think they would be doing anything to just maintain their current customers, but evidently not.

    Say hello to RedBox !

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Now I have to play the "contest the charge on the credit card game" even though I cancelled on the 9th the charge still showed up on the 11th.

      You are aware it can take up to three days for a credit card charge to be finalized and show up on your account, right? I have no explanation as to the first part about them saying you'd have to cancel your account to reverse a charge, but if you saw a charge show up two days after you canceled chances are it had already gone out when you called them.

  • I am more concerned about Netflix loosing streaming titles than the price hike. Out of about 50 titles in my instant queue only 5 or 6 are available for streaming and the number is in fact decreasing. If Netflix looses more streaming titles then I will probably switch to DVD-only plan or go to DirecTV/Blockbuster.

  • by HumanEmulator (1062440) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @09:44PM (#37416442)
    It's tough to be the middleman... Netflix stands between the consumers and the content providers, but streaming video is rapidly becoming a commodity, so no doubt the content providers will get greedy and decide they want to own the whole thing end to end. I'm sure they'll ignore the amazing feat Netflix has accomplished (namely getting people to pay for streaming content online) and attempt to set up their own sites with onerous terms (pay-per-view with 24 hours to start) and high monthly rates, then be all surprised when no one signs up and start claiming piracy is destroying their business.
    • by dbet (1607261)
      Streaming is new (for Netflix) and they were successful when they were DVD-only, so who knows.
  • If they expect to lose this many customers, they must also expect to gain enough of a profit margin from the price hike that they can afford to lose this many customers. It's not like they're standing under a bridge and expecting it to fall on them - they are electively changing the prices. This is assuming that a rabid monkey hasn't taken over the management of Netflix, which is not an unreasonable hypothesis given their bizarre adherence to their horrendous new interface despite an overwhelming sentimen

  • by organum (210431) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @09:59PM (#37416526)

    I've tried repeatedly to restart my subscription, since the DVD-only option is very appealing. But they don't even offer it. (No lie.) I don't see streaming as a viable option for many years, so it's back to the public library for me.

    • by hmckee (10407)

      I think you need to call them to get the DVD only option.

      • by organum (210431)

        They didn't seem to need me to call when I signed up in the first place. An offered option shouldn't be hidden or require negotiating a maze of circuitous channels. What a bunch of knuckleheads!

  • So they increased their prices by 60% and didn't lose even 10% of their subscribers? They win. Maybe they should raise the rates again.
  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @10:12PM (#37416590)

    Netflix is not saying that they will be losing 1M of their existing customers. Rather, they're altering their guidance for the next quarter by 1M subscribers, which is an important distinction, since it more or less halves the impact from what most people here seem to be thinking. Previously, they had been expecting a decent growth of 400K in the upcoming quarter, but now they are projecting a net loss of 600K in the quarter, hence the 1M number. Yes, it's bad, but it's not as bad as losing 1M of your current customers in addition to however many potential customers you'd lose as well.

    The article and most of the other blogs are glossing over this detail, but numbers are always important.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-netflix-20110916,0,5009354.story [latimes.com]

  • by Rinisari (521266) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @10:20PM (#37416638) Homepage Journal

    Let's assume 25M subscribers at the standard DVD + Streaming plan, which I believe was $11/mo. We can chop off a few zeros and still get the same effect, so let's do that and keep our math simple.

    25 * 11 = 275

    I think the cheapest is now $16 for both, so let's figure out what they'd be making if everyone who stayed kept the same plan at the higher rate.

    24 * 16 = 384

    Let's derive a quick formula.

    (24 - x) * 16 + x * 8, where x is the number of people who choose DVD /or/ streaming.

    24 * 16 = 384 = (24 - 0) * 16 + 0 * 8

    Now, let's solve for 275, to assume they'd be making the same amount.

    275 = (24 - x) * 16 + x * 8

    I put this into my handy equation solver because I'm too lazy to work it out in my head and can't find paper/pen...

    x = 109/8, or 13.625.

    Netflix could go down to 10.375M users of the DVD+streaming, and have 13.625M users of one or the other and still make the same amount of money.

    Methinks Netflix did their math beforehand. They're going to be making bank, and savvy shareholders are buying now on this dip on bad news. Happens every time. Netflix is here to stay, for as long as the content owners will allow it to exist.

  • I find it quite interesting in the netflix prediction:
    Prior to model change:
    Streaming only: 10,0m customers
    Streaming+DVD: 12.0m customers
    DVD Only: 3.0m customers

    Post-implementation of the new pricing model, Netflix expects the customer base break-out to be:
    Streaming only: 9.8m customers
    Streaming+DVD: 12.0m customers
    DVD only: 2.2m customers

    So let me get this straight - the price for streaming+dvd is at least doubling - and Netflix is not expecting that customer count to go down at all. Instead, th
    • This is not "before price change" vs "after price change".. This is "earlier projections for after price change" vs "new reality based projections for after price change" An important distinction because we do not know the break down of numbers before the price change announcement. Also for everyone running the math assuming everyone was on the $11 option, there were a very large number of early subscribers who were on netflixes $20 3 DVD (or 2 DVD with Blu Ray) plans who decided DVD's were just not wort
  • by mykos (1627575) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @10:32PM (#37416708)
    I switched to their competitor who has more content and better prices!
    • Which competitor are you referring to? Amazon doesn't have all the streaming options, though an Amazon Prime account is less per year than Netflix. Blockbuster's only decent streaming options are at $2.99+, the only free rentals really don't appeal to me at all. I'm switching to streaming only on netflix, but may well drop them if they lose Starz, and don't get some replacement options in relatively quickly.
  • by katarn (110199) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @10:43PM (#37416766)
    Don't be too hard on Netflix; It seems they are caught between a rock and a hard place. The studios let them get by on table scraps before because they didn't see them as a serious revenue source, and saw them as just an opportunity to pick up minor bits of revenue which they wouldn't otherwise collect. Now Netflix has everyone's attention, and the studios are going to want the full slice of the pie. Analysts predict that Netflix licensing is going to increase from $180M to 1.98B [cnn.com] in the next few years. With that looming over Netflix, they must be desperate to find a strategy to cope. If the studios get their way and Netflix goes down or concedes to their desired licensing, then we all lose and we end up paying $60 to $120 per month like we pay for cable instead of $8 / month. Personally I just have the Netflix streaming service and no DVD. I don't care about the DVDs, but I wish they streamed more videos. It would be nice to have Netflix under Linux though, so I wouldn't have other options than my console.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      I disagree, everything you said makes me think we should be hard on Netflix, and cancel in droves, to send the message to the IP holders that the market will not bear the price they hoped. They are going to keep raising rates until they find the ceiling, so the sooner that happens, the better.

      Also, $60/mo for cable for $8/mo for netflix is misleading, since you have to buy the Internet connection (from the cable company, in my case) to have netflix in the first place. Netflix streaming is more comparabl

  • by SecurityGuy (217807) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @11:25PM (#37416930)

    So according to TFA, Netflix had 12 million people paying $10/month for streaming+DVD. Those 12 million people will now pay $16/month. That's an extra $72m/month.

    10 million (like me) are streaming only at $8/month. They're losing 200,000 of those, or $1.6 million/month.

    3 million get the DVD only plan. They're losing 800,000 of those. I don't know what the average DVD only customer pays, but let's be generous and say it's $20/month. This'll cost Netflix $16m/month. They're still $55 million/month in the black.

    So you're all saying Netflix has done something really stupid because they're...making more money?

    Netflix has pissed people off simply because people don't want to pay more, not because the service isn't worth it. I get TONS of value for my $8/month. I may get around to adding the DVD bit for those shows I can't stream because another $8/month is peanuts. I spend more than that for one movie ticket. I spent more than that on lunch today. But somehow I'm supposed to be all outraged that a service I actually like wants me to pay that much to watch movies all month long. I just don't see it. Sorry.

  • #DearNetflix (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Vegeta99 (219501) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nnyljr}> on Friday September 16, 2011 @12:00AM (#37417064)

    You certainly made the "short list" of features that led to me giving up my Linux install and my wonderfully uber-compatible XBMC installation. In fact, you were the most important factor leading to the change. The fact that XBMC and MythTV work together as well as the Bundys when it comes to broadcast televison, well, now that I think of it, that's the only other reason. Rest assured, you were the reason for the switch.

    Now, Microsoft made $50 on the transition; I'm a student. And Windows Media Center is pretty damn good, once sufficiently beaten into submission. I have it now as compatible with videos as XBMC, with metadata collection and display almost as good. However, you guys were nice enough to build an add-in to WMC, cool. $8 a month is pretty awesome for HD movies to just be THERE. Schweet.

    However, that just ain't the case. Even though I'm a lucky bastard and can pull down about 3MB/s (and yes, I mean a little over two 1.44MB floppy disks, or maybe 0.0001 Libraries of Congress), "HD Video" just won't play. I don't use quotes for effect, I use them because that's what you call it, I can't get your player to cough up any information about what the hell resolution, frame rate, color profile, or codec. It skips and sputters, surely because Silverlight 4 isn't hardware-accelerated - but Silverlight 5 just isn't there either.

    Now, I can: 1. Minimize WMC. 2. Start Firefox. 3. Go to your website. 4. Log in (WMC is logged in separately). 5. Go to My Account. 6. Click Video Steaming Settings (or whatever the hell it is) 7. Change the rate to 1GB/hr. and 8. Click Next. This gives me a 404 error, but it's been changed. 9. Return to WMC, completely stop the movie, and restart. Then we have video. I can't change that shit in the WMC client. That's cool, but it's not HD. Can I get a discount?

    Now, I'd be cool with the fact that my HTPC (which is otherwise quite capable of 1080p, thankyouverymuch) isn't getting HD content, because I could at least have that thing playing and use another device, like my iPhone. Now, I was paying for the ability to stream HD to one device, and I wasn't getting that. I can't give you numbers for sure because your client is so locked down. However, I'm pretty sure that the SD-only stream my HTPC receives plus the mobile video on my iPhone still isn't the resolution I was paying for, but that's now blocked.

    Can I have my money (and time) back?

    (P.S. Dear Slashdot: You owe me karma back from the Google+ post. How the HELL did that end up there?)

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy.tpno-co@org> on Friday September 16, 2011 @12:01AM (#37417072) Homepage

    Are getting screwed. I like the option of getting a DVD for a show that wasn't available via streaming. But when the price changes came, I decided I used streaming more than the real video service, so I opted for the streaming only at 8 bucks a month. Now they are losing stars, which means I am not essentially paying the same for a greatly reduced service.

    I have seen the value acquired for the dollar spent on netflix rapidly diminish over the past several months. I'll probably end up canceling entirely and go back to waiting for a service to come along that does streaming right.

    ( note: I'm not entirely blaming netflix here, they're the middle man and have to play games with the content holders, who we all know are bastards. Doesn't change the end result however. )

  • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Friday September 16, 2011 @01:01AM (#37417284) Journal

    My wife (who is homebound due to a workers comp issue) watches Netflix streaming. A lot.

    She complains continuously that they do not have the latest releases available to stream, but then she finds herself a new (to her) TV series and watches that.

    And when I say "watches," I mean "vigorously consumes". She starts from episode 1, and goes until she reaches the end.

    She uses up to about 450 gigabytes per month of bandwidth doing this, by my measurement.

    So, as saddened as I am that Netflix's new pricing scheme has finally come to shove, I am moreover disheartened that I have allowed such a travesty to fester to such an extent that it affects all of us.

    I would like to take this opportunity to apologize. I am unreservedly sorry for my wife's behavior and any impact that it may have upon you and your family.

    -adolf, #21054

  • If I do, it will be for the streaming only service. If there is something only offered by them on DVD, then I'll just download the bitch elsewhere.

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