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Netflix Long Term View (netflix.com)
313 points by _pius on Feb 20, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 176 comments



This is a huge shift for Netflix.

Until recently, the motivating impression was that Netflix just plain had every movie out there (which its continuing DVD service kinda does). I subscribed because it was a cheap replacement for buying anything I wanted to see: they had everything I wanted and could want. My to-watch list was very long, and I thought it would remain.

Now, studios and competitors are making that model untenable. Netflix can't carry _everything_ because studios/distributors want an ever-larger cut of the profits, and competitors are willing to pay for exclusivity. Suddenly, I find large sections of my to-watch list disappearing off Netflix as contracts expire and don't renew (the biggest blow was when "Toys" disappeared - something old & obscure enough that I thought surely they'd manage to keep that license).

Netflix just pivoted.

They're no longer the long-promised "long tail" of movies, hosting all but the latest & biggest (yeah, I'm willing to pay extra individually for those). They just gave up on that model.

Now they're becoming a "channel" focused on hosting a curated collection, including their own productions.

That's a big shift.


It happened a long time ago, at least I became aware of this shift when an exec from Netflix was quoted saying "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us" http://www.gq.com/entertainment/movies-and-tv/201302/netflix...


Yes, but we shouldn't downplay the scale of the shift. Today it wants to be HBO, a company that pulls in around $1.3 billion quarterly in revenue[1]; before the shift, it wanted to be Comcast, which pulls in around $16.8 billion quarterly[2].

That's a massive downsizing of ambitions -- so big it's kind of surprising that a share of NFLX today is worth around 5 times what it was worth at the beginning of 2013. The hype around their original programming has successfully papered over the bigger story of their abandoning their plans to be the toll collector of online video.

[1] http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/netflix-now-pulls-in-almost-...

[2] http://www.cmcsa.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=877721


> That's a massive downsizing of ambitions -- so big it's kind of surprising that a share of NFLX today is worth around 5 times what it was worth at the beginning of 2013.

Only surprising if you think Netflix's prior ambitions had any relation to what most investors actually expected them to accomplish. Management's ambitions better aligning with what investors believe is realistically attainable should make stock price increase. It reduces the perceived likelihood that management will blow the opportunity for the best growth they can get in favor of a quixotic and doomed quest for something unrealistic.


Exactly. Netflix pivoted because it realized it couldn't kill cable. It could maybe kill a cable network (and it won't kill HBO, it might kill Starz or Showtime, but not HBO).


Netflix has already killed cable for a lot of users. Cable is an ancient UX where you rely on programmers to decide what to watch for you. That model was never good; it existed only because that's all the technology supported when cable TV was developed. That model is now outmoded.

The only reason Netflix has yet to achieve utter dominance is the copyright cabal that no longer sees why it should entertain Netflix's money-making when they can create Streaming Video Clone Site #2019 for their properties and collect all the money from subscriptions + ads themselves. Netflix eventually realized that their model was utterly fucked as long as copyright law stayed as it is (since their existence was dependent on the continued cooperation of third parties) and has been forced to rely on its own content to carry subscriptions, since everyone and their dog started making unrealistic demands and pulling their content, many to host on their own sites instead.

Consider that under current copyright law, almost the entirety of film history remains inaccessible without an explicit license grant from the rightsholder. If our terms were a little more reasonable, say anything pre-1980 was now public domain, Netflix may have had a chance to exist independent of Big Media's permission. Under current conditions, Netflix can only stream content published prior to 1924 without permission (plus a smattering of mostly-unwanted films that lapsed into public domain due to registration errors or technicalities). Consider that in 1924, sound had not yet been added to film.

Cable television as we know it is doomed. People don't like relying on programmers to decide what content they want to watch, they want to decide for themselves and get their content instantly. Netflix was one of the first services to offer this to the masses, but it can't reap the rewards because of the oppressive state of copyright law.

Once Netflix really breaks away from dependence on Big Media's copyright grants, they may become one of the biggest champions for modernizing our IP laws to reflect the realities of the digital age.


And honestly, I think Netflix is most of the way there. HBO Go is a pain to use, the tablet app won't let me output to a TV or monitor, and it is frequently slow for me. I can't remember the last time I needed to wait for Netflix to buffer, and it seems to happen constantly for HBO.

Netflix is solid on the technical side, and their original series (in my opinion) eclipse what HBO currently offers. HBO has one show that really interests me (Game of Thrones, of course) and Netflix has a handful (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Bojack Horseman, hopefully with more new interesting series on the way).

The only reason I'm even subscribed to HBO at this point is because Verizon gave me a few months for free, and I'll be ditching it once that expires.


>and their original series (in my opinion) eclipse what HBO currently offers.

I realize it's your opinion, but...really?

HBO has a massive catalog of brilliant shows[1]. Netflix isn't even on the same planet when it comes to original content (but I hope they get there, better for all of us).

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_programs_broadcast_by_H...


I agree HBO quality is somehow better even though Netflix is paying top dollar. For example, Marco Polo is more expensive than Game of Thrones but much less entertaining.


Don't say the names of those two programs in the same sentence.

Marco Polo made me fear for Netflix's future more than anything I've seen in a long time.


Note that Netflix did not commission Marco Polo. It was originally developed for Starz http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Polo_%28TV_series%29#Prod... and only later picked up by Netflix.

It is also done by the Weinstein Company. The brothers have a long history of original content that others wouldn't touch, and turned out good. For example they did Tarantino's earlier works.

I would much rather they take chances and sometimes fail, rather than only bet on sure things. The latter leads to the sequel only mediocrity that is Hollywood's current output.


Tis is my position as well. HBO has been putting out some of the best content available for TV for over a decade. Their back catalog make HBO Go's nominal cost seem like a pittance. Netflix has put together some quality original content (House of Cards is outstanding), but they're going to have to keep it up for a generation before they hold a candle to HBO.


I don't think so, because HBO's old content is already widely available. It's only kind of good for retention, and that only on HBO Go (and Amazon, now that it's there too).

The competition for new subscriptions and paying that one more month always takes place in the present/future, or at least for content you haven't watched yet which for any fan is going to be present/future.

And Netflix is kicking ass there, TBH. They have high-quality dramas, resurrected cult (and my!) favorites, the deal with Marvel, and probably half a dozen other things that got me salivating that I'm forgetting.

To be honest, I think Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are -all- schooling the old school providers in terms of interesting new content, HBO included. I love Six Feet Under, Mr. Show, and Deadwood as much as anyone, but aside from Silicon Valley and GoT, nothing else current excites me. At the very least, HBO needs to get much better at both making -and- fulfilling promises.


You're assuming fans only care about fresh content and have seen everything in the past. Thats not true.


Sure. But then you come back to the fact that the majority of their old, good content is carried on other services.


I would love to buy HBO go without having to buy it through my cable provider. I know they were talking about making it available without requiring a cable subscription and your post seems to suggest it is available that way, but I just checked and that doesn't seem to be the case. Is that right? You still have to buy HBO through cable?

I flat out refuse to pay Comcast after their sales people tried to resell me on movie packages just after I canceled them (we're talking less than a week after I canceled). I had to tell the saleswoman who called me to stop her sales pitch (after already asking her to stop 3 times) or I'd cancel Comcast altogether :-/ I refuse to order HBO through cable again and that's hurting HBO's business IMO.


Yes, of their current programming there is only one thing I find interesting. Big fan of the Sopranos and the Wire, but I can get those elsewhere since they're old.


True Detective, Girls, Veep, Silicon Valley, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, Entourage, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Sopranos, Oz, Sex and the City just to name a few of their pretty amazing content lineup.

I wouldn't be betting against HBO anytime soon.


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is the new show to watch on the comedy side now with Jon Stewart stepping out.

HBO allows some of the best in the business work together and do amazing things, Curb Your Enthusiasm could have only happened on HBO and it is probably the best comedy show ever.

HBO is the only reason left other than live sports to have TV.

Part of the reason HBO is so good is lots of the original content is produced like a movie or like a full binge season as Netflix is doing. Because both don't have to chop things up and change or only write a few episodes out to get ad revenue, better quality content is produced. The networks that aren't writing in movie style or full season binge mode will miss out on this quality aspect.


You named half a dozen shows that aren't running anymore and many of which are available from people other than HBO. Their current programming is pretty weak.


I'm interested, what did you enjoy about Bojack Horseman? I've seen it, and I was quite puzzled about who the audience for the show was.


Did you watch the whole season? I found that it improved a lot in the second half of the season and I'm hopeful that it'll get better in the future, especially with the cast they have. The first few episodes cribbed heavily from other shows, but they started doing their own thing later on and it was much better.


I found the first four or so episodes painful to watch. The writing seemed to be trying so hard to be funny, and it was impossible for the excellent voice talent to make it any good.

Does it really get that much better? I want to like this show.


Then maybe the real money would be offering a PaaS to create "a Netflix" that any content creator could set up?


Yeah, we've seen this coming. What's different is they've announced the move in detail at the link. "Becoming HBO" is no longer just a soundbite quip, it's an established corporate policy.


Or more generically, can a software company become a content provider faster than a content provider can become a software company?

Put in those terms I'll bet on Netflix.


Creating content people want to watch is much harder than writing software. See, e.g., all the bitching on here about the quality of Netflix's catalog.


It's not about creating the content though. The people at BigMediaCompanies aren't actually doing that. It's about their ability to manage the process. It's not clear that they're particularly awesome at that.


Sure, but somehow their control over the process gives them effective ownership over the people that create the content. Can Netflix replicate that? I think they're getting there judging by House of Cards, but I think it's fair to say that it's not an easier task than the video streaming/distribution one.


He also claimed that they'd support discs by mail forever, then turned around and tried to hack off that part of the business. Netflix can't be trusted to do what they say they will.


Yes and no.

Netflix's basic original goal is the same: they want it to be the entertainment option that you instinctively reach for when you have free time (the "moments of truth").

In the past, they achieved this via their vast catalog and their customers' viewing queues. Most customers have a queue full of things to watch, so when they sit down they can just pop the next thing off the queue.

In the future, it looks like they hope to achieve the same default status by simply replacing the queue with fantastic original and curated content and content recommendation systems. No, they won't have everything, but they'll still have more than your limited free time can handle, and their stuff will be of higher quality than anything you can get elsewhere.

I'm not sold on whether they can pull off the switcheroo, but it's also clear to everyone that their existing business model can't survive the next 10 years as content incumbents move their content off Netflix and onto their own proprietary platforms. In that world, no one can be Netflix (not even Netflix). However, Netflix has a good chance of being better than any of the other proprietary platforms. Given customers' limited money and patience with juggling accounts and different apps, Netflix stands a good chance to come out on top in that situation. That said, in that world I can't imagine them being more than 5x more profitable than the next most successful competitor in a landscape made up of tens of competitors.


I don't see a future for proprietary platforms. Not too long ago, the music industry tried that. They were not successful, services like iTunes or Spotify won the customers.

It seems to me that the TV content owners have to make that same mistake, then there will be streaming providers that have "everything". Perhaps not Netflix, but something similar.


I don't think people consume music in the same way as movies or TV. My wife and I have accounts for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and we'll get HBO Go. When you're going to sit down for 30-60 minutes, it's not a big deal to search a couple of places. And throw in some central search like what Roku does, it's really no big deal.


I think that the real problem is that most people will not pay for 5 different streaming services. Remember, the median family income in the US is only about 50k, which I'm guessing is less than most people here make by themselves. I predict that the dismantling of "has everything" Netflix results in a resurgence of video piracy (or maybe redbox) -- overall, a net loss for the industry.


> I think that the real problem is that most people will not pay for 5 different streaming services. Remember, the median family income in the US is only about 50k, which I'm guessing is less than most people here make by themselves.

Why won't they pay for 5 streaming services? They're already paying for 100 channels.

Remember, cable or satellite TV together have 80% penetration in the United States. That means that your median family with the $50k income is paying close to $80 per month for video entertainment. ($80 happens to be Comcast's video ARPU.)

If the end-game is the unbundling of video content from the delivery mechanism, then that $80 will buy a lot of streaming services. Probably more than five. Depends how they're bundled.


There's just no way I'm going to pay for TV channel by channel, though. I joined for a month or two to support Arrested Development. There's very few shows I'd care enough to do that for. I canceled because regardless of their other originals I wasn't going to keep paying for another channel. It's not nearly enough content to be a replacement for cable and not worth another bill every month in addition.

Also, I'm not sure what you mean about them having a great movie selection. By mail, sure. But by streaming that's never been true.


>>> Now they're becoming a "channel" focused on hosting a curated collection, including their own productions.

i.e. "youtube for TV".

Since screens are converging, i.e. we can see TV shows on PC or any other device, netflix will be direct competitor to youtube with only captive/curated shows.


Am I the only one who finds finding something on Netflix to watch increasingly difficult, and contradictory to what they say in that piece. My experience is mostly using Roku (a spinoff from Netflix) and Android.

For example if I watch a WWII documentary, then they feel the need to recommend every one they have, for a long time. Oh and "watch" means "seen more than a second or two of", so you get all this crud even if you didn't like it.

Perhaps the biggest sin is showing me stuff I have already watched, outside of the "watch again section". My home screen is mostly things I have seen, and I have to keep scrolling past to see if there is anything interesting deeper in the sections.

It is especially annoying that there is no "do not show this again". My home screen is a collection of content I have already seen, or do not want to see. It makes Netflix look dumb and is very user hostile.

Most amusing is that they don't provide a way of finding content that you want to watch now. For example you would like to watch something funny and light for the next half hour, or a date night movie. Sometimes those categories randomly show up on the screen, but usually not.

I'd go on, but the overall vibe is a very dumb experience of recommendations that I don't want, no useful content exploration, and it feels like I watch stuff despite them, rather than because of them. Maybe I should cancel my account again.


> Perhaps the biggest sin is showing me stuff I have already watched

This please, if someone from Netflix is reading, please remove movies already watched from all but the "watch again" category. Also please put back "random picks" category: I found great hidden treasures thanks to it.


I'm not a fan of their suggestion interface either, but InstantWatcher and CanIstream.it go a long way towards fixing that.

But...Roku, a spinoff? Nope. Roku's independent, founded by the guy who founded ReplayTV, which was TiVo's only real competition way back when.



Thanks for the correction! I missed that chapter somehow.


https://www.roku.com/about/company

In the early days of Roku, Anthony also served as the vice president of Internet TV at Netflix, where he developed what is known today as the Roku streaming player, originally designed as the original video player for Netflix.

Prior to Roku, Anthony invented the digital video recorder (DVR) and founded ReplayTV


Wow, OK. I'm definitely wrong then. Thanks for the correction!


The Netflix experience seems to have become increasingly user hostile.

No Netflix, I don't want to watch Marco Polo. Wait what? You "updated" the XBox One app and now I have to give voice commands such as "Watch Item 1" instead of "Watch Arrested Development"? How is it that everything you recommend to me these days, unlike in the past, reflects popularity more than my preferences?


Huge Netflix fan, but you nailed one point: they should let us edit the "recently watched" and other lists. After I watch something, I would like to take it off of my 'recently watched' list instead of waiting a month for it to eventually disappear.


As of this past fall, you can remove entries from Recently Watched, at least via the web. Just click on "Recently Watched" from the homepage and click X next to something you want to remove.


You can also mark content as Not Interested on the web. But these kind of things aren't possible in their other interfaces, and having to make a mental note to later go to a browser to do things is annoying.


Winning moments of truth

We strive to win more of our members’ “moments of truth”.

Those decision points are, say, at 7:15 pm when a member wants to relax, enjoy a shared experience with friends and family, or is bored.

They could play a video game, surf the web, read a magazine, channel surf their MVPD/DVR system, buy a pay-per-view movie, put on a DVD, use a piracy service, turn on Hulu, or launch Netflix.

We want our members to choose Netflix in these moments of truth.

---------------------------------------------------

This nails it. When I get home (especially if I had a long day at work), I first go to Netflix and see what's on my list. This is because Netflix app is beautiful, it always works and they have my list of things to watch. As someone who loves to watch documentaries, I am happy with the selection that Netflix offers.

If I don't like anything on the list, I just watch an old Friends or Breaking Bad episode.

I think Netflix has absolutely nailed the user experience and depending on your taste/location, their selection is great as well.


Although I use Netflix all the time, it's in spite of their app. Outside of the "my list" I've curated myself, 98% of the things the Netflix app shows me, I'm not really interested in. I feel like that ratio could easily be made better if they allowed me to mark things I'm not interested in and never show me those things again + apply machine learning to display a better personalized catalog.

Whenever I use Netflix I always feel like there is a lot of content locked away and I have to dig past the same stuff it always shows to find stuff I'm interested in.


> ... if they allowed me to mark things I'm not interested in and never show me those things again

You can literally do exactly that. If you hover over a title there should be a button that says "Not Interested". It should appear just below the stars as if you were going to provide a rating.


I primarily interact with Netflix through my game console. 'Not Interested' is not an option in that UI.


Many of Netflix's recommendations are films I've already seen. I asked Netflix's Twitter account about this and they replied (!!) saying it was a "feature". I guess they don't want to show an empty list.


Try using instantwatcher.com. I can't believe Netflix hasn't bought them yet.


> their selection is great as well

Hulu gets more of my bitching when related to selection, but Netflix gets it's share.

Partial seasons, only a few seasons of shows that have long since ended, so many movies not offered.

But basically when it comes down to I want to watch something, we have both a Hulu subscription and Netflix for a reason and I still have to torrent things.

Also, their app sucks for finding things.


I had Hulu, but a paid service showing the same unskippable commercials over and over again was just too much.


Hulu's commercials are the absolute worst. I'm not paying a monthly fee so I can watch that stupid Jack in the Box add about the bacon cheeseburger a thousand times. Even if there were more different ads it wouldn't be so bad, but the repeating commercials are absolutely what keep me from ever signing up for Hulu+ (again)


I hear you re: the commercials. It cost the networks less to show content on Hulu so the commercial time should be less. Also, as you say, they should not show the same commercials over and over again. I recently re-subscribed to Hulu+, and I will probably stick with them for a few more months, but really, they could make the service better and still generate good profits for the networks who collectively own Hulu+.


Well until the most recent update, I didn't see ads on Hulu. I haven't looked into making that happen again yet.


Hah! Countless times I open up Netflix, scroll through endless lists of garbage, that even Netflix suggests I will rate 2 stars, then give up. On the Android app, "My List" doesn't appear to work. I used to pay for Netflix literally for recommendations (had a DVD-only sub, never queued DVDs). A good recommendation engine is easily worth $10/month for me.

Oh, then I finally pick something. And it starts, playing with subtitles in Portuguese because I'm visiting Central America, and Netflix apparently took language lessons from Feynman. Audio's in English, but screw my hearing, I've gotta go read another language. Even on titles with the "Netflix" brand on them, same crap. Or the subs are crappy.

So I give up, load up put.io, and in a few seconds I'm streaming HD on my big screen, Chromecast, or phone. (Unlike Netflix, which streams low quality for several minutes before popping into HD hopefully.)


Their subtitle and language selection is really rather poor.


This nails it, but I think they're failing. I can't mention how many times it's 10:00 and I start looking for something interesting, and by 10:15 give up and go to bed. (Or pay for something on Amazon)


The netflix app is great - on a tablet. Unfortunately their PS3/4 apps kind of suck, because they took their design cues from tablet. It became much less usable after they did away with simple browsing and lists, and only various 'popular genre X' top-few selections are shown by default.

If you know what you're looking for, it's easy to search (though chances are you won't find it these days...). If you want to explore and discover, it's much harder.

I also wish they'd implement rentals. When we decide to watch a specific movie, these days we will as often as not skip Netflix entirely and go directly to Amazon Prime- because they, typically, will have it available as a rental if not for free.

(Also, firefox says "movie" isn't a word... how odd...)


It's the Windows 8 problem -- trying to make one UI that works equally well on the entire spectrum of form factors.

In Netflix's case their UI is designed for tablets, and it really really shows anywhere else. On a phone, the big cover images take up so much real estate that paging through lots of results is slow. On a TV or computer monitor, it feels weird because it's designed around touchscreen interactions like flicking, which you can't do elegantly with a remote control or XBox controller.

Microsoft seems to have finally figured out that "one UI to rule them all" is a pipe dream; maybe Netflix eventually will too.


There are other touchscreen interactions that are terrible on PC. My favourite example to hate (and lots of other websites, etc. do this too) is the carousel with arrows at either end which you hover over to scroll, at a slow, frustrating rate. Clicking does nothing, so you have no control over how quickly you move through content. You just place your cursor and sit, and wait, and wait, and wait. It's surprisingly irritating.


Their roku app does not support trailers. I don't know if their other apps suffer the same problem. Browse > hunt for trailer on youtube > cast to TV > if thumbs down, launch netflix app again > find where I left off > goto step 1.


They have nailed the experience when it comes to UI not still have a ways to go in terms of discovery. Netflix makes it easy to continue where I've left off, play something I've saved, and fully takes advantage of every piece of context that I have actively provided. However if over time I have gotten lazy or no longer give Netflix this valuable information, then what I am presented with gets stale and my routine of going to Netflix becomes compromised.


Maybe it's just me. But one thing about linear (live) broadcasts -- and this also applies to an extent to live radio vs. mp3's -- is that there is just something engaging about watching a program that you know other people, at that moment, are also watching.

It's also missed when watching a show that you DVR'ed, after the fact -- like the series finale to Lost, or the Super Bowl.

If/when live broadcasts are completely a thing of the past, I think this sense of engagement will be lost forever, and people won't even realize what they're missing out on.

In a way, it's sort of like watching someone play a video game live on Twitch vs. watching it on Youtube.

Does anyone else know and also feel this sense I'm talking about?


I think this might be something that Netflix is overlooking. The community-like aspect of watching something simultaneously with the rest of the word is extremely powerful. The Twitch generation could prove that live broadcasts or some kind of time-locked release schedule is much more likely to build momentum.

Granted, Netflix's data is probably much more convincing than any vague feeling of community, but I wonder if the "indulgent viewing" they mention is the side-effect of our brains failing to cope with sudden overflow of stuff to consume.


I totally agree Netflix is overlooking this aspect of live programming.

I would love to see a Netflix 'channel' that loops randomly through the top 100 shows/movies and plays the content live for everyone.


I experience this phenomenon on a less immediate time scale: in the days following a new episode of Breaking Bad, etc, there is discussion and camaraderie with other fans. With the "binge-only" model of House of Cards, that same social experience is not possible.


Netflix needs to release batches of episodes every Friday. Over the course of a weekend people can watch 4 episodes and then chat about them on Monday. A little space and anticipation is a good thing.


And that social experience is something an internet streaming service should be able to exploit. Though maybe Netflix doesn't want to get involved in social networking.


> With the "binge-only" model of House of Cards, that same social experience is not possible.

Maybe that's why they're releasing just one episode/week of their new TV series "Better Call Saul".


I think that's because Better Call Saul is originally broadcast on AMC, which airs it weekly.


I know what you mean, but I also get the opposite experience. I'll sometimes learn of a cool show after it's been on for a few episodes or seasons. I like the anticipation of watching something that others have already seen and really liked. It's like being let in on a secret.

I also like when I tell a friend about a show that they haven't yet seen. Watching them catch up is fun for me. "How far did you get last night? Were there any new characters introduced? You're going to be surprised how it ends!"


I think this is a matter of personal preference, analogous to whether or not people want to be early adopters in technology or music, though not necessarily correlated with preferences in those other areas.


I get what you are saying, but for me that experience went extinct years ago. Nobody in my circles watches anything live, and if they do, they don't talk about it within earshot of me.


With BBC Iplayer you can watch live content as it is broadcast, but also rewind to the start and watch form the beginning. I regularly watch shows on the night they are broadcast and enjoy the live aspect, but don't have to stick perfectly to a schedule. This approach makes me much more likely to watch BBC content at that "decision point".

I would love NetFlix to invest in semi-live programs like news and current affairs. So that I could turn on the TV and start watching the news from the beginning instead of midway through a banal rolling program. You would get the sense of engagement of a live show without having to timetable your life.


I've never thought about this with TV, but I've definitely felt it with the radio. There's something about being tuned in that feels like I'm connected to others, or part of a community. If I switch to listening to my own music (even if it's still through an online service like Spotify), it feels disconnected.

I'm not sure how useful this feeling is, and so it may die out, but I wanted to acknowledge that you're not the only one to notice it. :)


I've noticed that I've been overall consuming fewer new things as I shift to an on-demand model of media consumption rather than live consumption. I think part of that is that I miss that communal rush you describe, but part is that most media just kinda sucks (always has and always will), and nowadays I only get the best of it suggested to me.


This is completely irrelevant for almost any content I watch. Live events like the Super Bowl are a very special category.


This is a great write-up and a wonderful precedent for netflix to set. That being said, I feel the post is mostly promises, as Netflix is in the middle of another year-long 'content desert'. I cant remember the last time I got excited about The Matrix or Iron Man coming back into the queue.

My process is to check http://instantwatcher.com/ and then go to netflix. The thing is I've been disappointed by whats at the top of the charts for so long, I've considered dropping netflix. The top 50 is uninteresting sounding documentaries, low budget horror, and everything else that rounds out the discount DVD bin at the grocery store. Netflix excells at one thing - Television.

I get that its likely not Netflix's fault. The cut for movie studios each month from an $8 subscription cant be very much. I feel Amazon's pay-to-play model is more realistic, though less consumer friendly. I remember the deal announced last year of netflix getting first run Disney flicks (starting in 2015 I think?) and thats exiting, but the daily reality of netflix besides TV is the entertainment equivalent of hot, soupy gruel.


My similar process involves cruising reddit.com/r/netflixbestof and then going to Netflix.

I also grow tired of seeing promotions for older movies, but I on the other hand, I really like Netflix's "original content" series.


I find that going to Netflix for something specific isn't fruitful, and I use Vudu for that and rent/buy it.

But I can generally always find -something- on Netflix to fill time, as long as I'm not too picky about what it is. That strikes me as more the model they were going for.

I will say this: they're very good at a number of niche (maybe not your niche) genres, critically-acclaimed horror and documentaries being two of my favorites. Blockbusters are fine and all, but I've usually seen them well before I'm going to fall back on Netflix for something.


I don't see Amazon's model as less consumer-friendly - particularly as I remember well the days of having to go to the local video rental place, making sure to return it on time, paying late fees, etc.

I'm happy to pay $3-5 for a few days in which to watch a movie, and then not think about it when I'm done. The price is right, and the convenience can't be beaten.


You could buy a lot of movies outright for only a bit more than Amazon charges, so the price seems a bit steep to me. Obviously not back-breaking, but the price feels wrong.


I've never understood buying a movie, though. Once I've seen it, I'm done. No need to ever see it again. One of the best things about Amazon's service is the hybrid model. Prime for tons of content and when that fails you can rent a la carte. While everyone is fighting the content purchasing wars this seems to give the consumer the most content albeit with inconsistent total pricing.


One of the things they bring up, which is that apps are replacing channels, annoys me. I'd rather do a global search and then present me with delivery media (channels/apps/whatever) instead of having to pick the app and then do individual searches. It's a pain point.

Also, if they want to capture the hotel market, I mean people on the road staying in temp accommodation, they'll have to deliver blue content (or yellow as they say in Asia). People on the road want pornographic content, more so than at home. Their current most likely option is to get it at high markup via hotel operator delivery systems.


This is one of the things Roku gets right compared to other set top boxes. You can search across services. Unlike on other boxes like Amazon's which lets you search Amazon and will always push their content above anyone else's. It's especially annoying if something is available on Netflix and is paid content on Amazon... it's still going to tell you to buy it on Amazon even when you already have access to it for no additional cost.


It's a platform seller, too. I've had an Apple TV, Fire TV, Fire Stick, Playstation 4, and a Roku box. This singular feature is the reason why we watch TV and movies on the Roku box more than anything else. It's like magic.


Interestingly, Roku was create by Netflix, at first it was Netflix TV, but they spun it off.


> they'll have to deliver blue content

Where are you from? I was pretty shocked to learn from chinese people that they thought the english euphemism for pornography was "blue". This is the first time I've seen someone use it.


I'm from Ireland and "blue movies" used to be a common term for pornographic films and I'm fairly certain that our British neighbours also used this terminology. However, while typing this comment it occurs to me that I haven't heard the term in many years and I suspect it has fallen out of fashion as Internet sites have taken over from sex shops (which really only arrived in Ireland in the mid to late 90s).


Roku has global search, but apps have to support it, which the big names do.


My family uses netflix. I don't. Every time I want to watch something I cannot find it. 10,000 titles is nothing in a world where The Simpsons has several hundred. Netflix needs more and deeper content.

I won't admit to ever downloading something without full written permission of the copyright holder, carved in stone and witnessed by three saints, but last night I did watch "Black Books" after not finding it on Netflix or any other service.

(If you are a fan of 'Father Ted' or 'The IT Crowd', Black Books was done by the same people and contains many of the same jokes.)


The biggest issue with content is that rights-holders either don't want their programs on Netflix or they don't think they'll be paid enough. I think Netflix is in a sweet spot on pricing (if the charge substantially more, people may be more inclined to stop subscribing) so paying more to attract the heel-draggers may mot be an option.

That's part of the reason why they're making their own series. Eventually rights-holders won't have much choice but to allow streaming, but for the immediate future they're the bottleneck.


IP holders have pretty much embraced streaming. They have not embraced Netflix's price point. And at 8 bucks a month, I don't think it is reasonable to expect them too. I don't think 8 bucks is enough revenue to be a major source of funding all the content that is produced.

Netflix has been essentially freeriding on cinema goers and live tv watchers who subsidize all the content creation. If Netflix replaces those sources, it'll have to provide similar revenue.


exactly. Why don't they have a full catalog of everything out there and let me pay 5 bucks for a particular movie I want to watch?


It looks like Amazon's video service has Black Books. Do they only have some of the episodes? Did you just not find them or not want to pay for them?


When I looked I couldn't find it on Amazon. It might be a licensing issue as I'm in Canada. (A VERY common issue north of the boarder.)

Using a VPN to bypass such a restriction is just as much a copyright violation as downloading from thepiratebay.


It's a contract-, TOS-, trade- or tax-code-violation but not "as much a copyright violation" as plain old piracy.


That's up for debate. Some rights groups (the mpaa etc) see a vpn as "bypassing technical protections". Once upon a time some claimed it a CFAA violation in that you were accessing a computer system under false pretences, ie you were fibbing about your location. BS imho and CFAA law has moved on from such interpretations, but some still call for netflix to block VPNs.

Either way you are creating an unlicensed copy, or at least a performance, of the work. It would be the local license holders right to go after you, or Netflix, for violating "their" copyrights.


It's accessing the internet from a different IP, not a different location, the whole idea of an IP (without additional information) being equivalent with a proof of physical location will most likely not hold up as a legal concept in a higher court. So called geo-fencing by IP only is fuzzy by definition.

The copy is licensed since it's made available by the distributor to the customer. It's the distributors duty to the determine if a customer is eligible for purchase or not, best way would be having to provide a verifiable invoice address within the region of the granted license. An IP is a best guess at best, but not a verifiable proof of the physical location of the end customer. Netflix doesn't ask for an invoice address, Amazon Prime does. Amazon also has siloed accounts for each market where you would have to have multiple subscriptions in different countries to access the local offerings, where as NETFLIX has only one global platform. If an US-resident purchases a US-NETFLIX subscription travels abroad for a short or long period it shouldn't make a legal difference if a private VPN to the home's IP or a commercial VPN service is used.

By all enforceable concepts the place of purchase of the subscription is the relevant thing for having a valid license for private use, not the place of consumption.

Also I can't see why the first-sale doctrine wouldn't apply here either. Rights holder sold a distribution license to Netflix under certain restrictions (first sale). With Netflix distributing the copy to the end customer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine


First sale doesn't apply because you are purchasing a "license" not a "copy". Licenses are essentially contracts through which parties can create all sorts of restrictions that wouldn't apply to copies. Top of the list are restrictions on selling the license to others, ie non-transferability.

The problem with Netflix really starts long before the consumer. With something like Black Books, which predates the netflix concept, nobody has universal distribution rights. The original creator, the BBC, long ago sold the American rights to someone else (PBS?). So there is nobody from which Netflix can purchase worldwide rights. Netflix instead purchases whatever rights they find and must mirrors them. Netflix very recently spoke out on this issue.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/netflix-upholds-geoblocking-...


Netflix is clearly running a two-sided strategy, having less then strict checks on the consumer side while telling the studios they will enforce their restrictions.

The purchase of a DVD grants you the license to play the stored content for unlimited private screenings from the medium provided. It's both a license and a copy. The first sale doctrine overrides the "For Home Use Only." clause (which is a part of a license) still present on many DVDs and allows libraries and retailers (notably old netflix) to rent out the medium.


The original creator of Black Books was Channel 4, not the BBC. BBC Worldwide (a for-profit subsidiary of the BBC) does license shows to other markets on behalf of more than just the BBC, though - I expect if you're watching it outside the UK their logo will be on it.

BTW, not that it helps you...but Black Books is currently on UK Netflix. http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70157495?trkid=13462100


This is really to your point, not against it, but Black Books used to be on Netflix.


If someone from Netflix is reading:

> We win those moments of truth when members expect Netflix to be more pleasurable than their other options

Can you please make it easier for me to find my "Recently Watched" TV Shows? That would definitely make my experience "more pleasurable".

Also, please stop showing me movies I've already rated. I've seen those. Just show those to me in the "watch again" list.

Platform: Website


This is a link, if you've never hovered over it: http://i.imgur.com/Bs4B4Ch.png


I've been confused about why the website seems so counterintuitive. I really hope someone at Netflix understands this problem and pushes for a fix.


Just click on "Recently Watched" at the top left of the homepage.

It links to here: https://www.netflix.com/WiViewingActivity


So for me that page is broken. It reads "My Activity" and then its just a grey page.


Some ideas:

* Check for Netflix extensions and disable them in case they are breaking the page.

* Turn off "Test participation" in Your Account

* Open the console and see if there are any error messages.

* Contact Netflix Support (there is a link from Your Account and when I've tried it I have gotten a response right away.)

Normally, for me the page looks very similar to https://www.netflix.com/MoviesYouveSeen (and is linked to from there.)


I personally don't really like the setup Netflix uses as much UI-wise. It seems as though nowadays services need to be all about personalization, where ratings, reviews, and content watched all factor into the new content that is shown to me, the user. I might only like one movie or tv show of a particular genre, give it 4 or 5 stars, and then there's a pretty good chance I'll keep being shown similar ones that I know I'll never be interested in watching.

For myself, I think it would work really well if they had the more standard list of available shows, movies, etc in alphabetical order, or some other more sortable format, perhaps by release/airing year, or similar.


They wouldn't have to put so much work into fixing their UI if they had just left their API open. Now that it's gone Netflix has become much less navigable and while the words in this post sound nice to my ears, when I'm sitting on the couch I mostly just get pissed off at the experience.


They have a lot of this, at least if you are accessing the service via the web. Just click on Browse and choose a genre and you'll be able to sort by rating, year of release, maturity rating, or alphabetical order. You can also access these genres by clicking on the section titles in the recommendations.

Otherwise, your best bet is to use one of the many external sites such as allflicks.net.


Oh... I guess I missed that via the website. AFAIK that's not available for other clients, but I could be wrong actually. It still seems that they want to have personalized lists front and center, when it would be nice if they would have a setting that lets a user choose what is displayed at the root level. But otherwise that does seem to work pretty well.

Thanks for the tip.


it's absolutely ridiculous that they don't provide this sort of basic functionality.


I'm pretty sure its intentional to hide the gaps in their collection and to show you new stuff they did manage to license.


Eventually, as linear TV is viewed less, the spectrum it now uses on cable, fiber, and over-the-air will be reallocated to expand Internet data transmission. Satellite TV subscribers will be fewer and more rural. The value of high-speed Internet will increase.

This is something that has always bothered me, internet bandwidth only takes up a small amount of spectrum in place of channels and the cable companies could cut lots of channels and improve broadband dramatically. The days of someone dictating what you watch and at what time are over, why all the spectrum hoarding.

Even when I got my first broadband cable connection, one of the first on the node in Chandler in 1996, the cable guy said it only used the space of 2 channels for internet data and the rest for broadcast/cable channels.


My cable company dynamically allocates the bandwidth on the last mile cable so that it only broadcasts what people are currently watching. This ostensibly lets them show much higher bandwidth HD shows and have more channels available than they actually have bandwidth for.

So in this particular case, it's not as wasted as it could be. I even think this might be why they were recently able to bump up all the internet speeds in my area.


Even now, with the 300/20 service TWC offers, it only uses 20 channels (16 down, 4 up -- equivalent to analog channels afaik).


Must be hard for netflix sometimes.

Here in The Netherlands for the past 5 months only Lord of the Rings part 1 and part 3 have been available due to licensing issues or something. I've called customer support a few times and they keep saying " We're working on it. but we have issues obtaining the license". Seriously. How can a studio only license Part one and three? This stuff makes me mad.

Contacted customer support for the last time today and the person I talked to once again told me the same thing but then surprisingly started openly ranting about "How te studios can be such a pain when we ask them to renew licenses. And that it's diffucult not to get in trouble with them".

Anyhow. they'll personally contact me once they have fixed the license again. That's some nice customer support right there.

Quite saddening to see studios stand in the way of a solid product. I just want to watch my darn triology on friday evening.


> How can a studio only license Part one and three?

They probably have licensed all three parts for streaming, but perhaps, in your region, someone paid for an exclusive license on the second part that hasn't expired, so Netflix isn't able to get a license.


> As we’ve gained experience, we’ve found that the 20th documentary about bicycling will mostly just take away viewing from the other 19 such docs, and instead of trying to have everything, we should strive to have the best in each category. As such, we are actively curating our service rather than carrying as many titles as we can.

This sounds like a bad move to me. Maybe carrying a huge breadth of content is a good way to attract new users, but unless they have depth of content, they aren't going to hold onto those users. Most people aren't that eclectic in their tastes, so if you only have one film in each category (even if it's the "best" one) people are going to drop them after they've watched everything they like.

Put another way, bicycling-documentary fanatics aren't going to keep paying $8/month indefinitely for access to one great biking doc.


What confuses me is this: Why doesn't Netflix allow me to pay a little bit more, as an option, and, in exchange, have every single movie available to watch online? I mean, sure, they can produce their own shows, but only some of them will be good. So why limit content so much? I pretty much stopped using Netflix, instead I go to Amazon Instant Video

I may be missing something, but strategy of producing original content, while limiting the catalog, doesn't make sense. Why not have infinitely large online catalog AND produce original shows?


> What confuses me is this: Why doesn't Netflix allow me to pay a little bit more, as an option, and, in exchange, have every single movie available to watch online?

Because much of the content they don't have is because the content owner is competing with Netflix and won't license it, or because some other Netflix competitor has purchased an exclusive license.

Some of it is Netflix managing in-total licensing costs, which could be addressed by having "premium" content (either as a tier or pay-per-title or pay-per-view), but that's not the case in general.

> Why not have infinitely large online catalog

Netflix's former, deeper catalog was only possible because content owners were less aggressive in attempting to capture all the value of online streaming of their property.


are you talking about Amazon Instant Video when you say competitor?


The producers of the other content are not willing to license it to Netflix anymore, because they want to sell it via similar services themselves.


ok, great. What are the services? I mean, I don't care about netflix. I just want to be able to access a website where I can watch any movie ever made, any time, for a price. If the price is 20 bucks, fine.


OK, a little OT and minuscule, but kind of gels with in with Netflix's overall future...has anyone else noticed that Netflix's predicted ratings seem to be a bit inflated, since perhaps last year? For previous years, I could count the number with one hand of movies/TV-shows that Netflix rated more than a 4-star for me...now there are dozens and dozens of things that Netflix thinks I would give a perfect rating to.

Maybe it's because I've become less discerning or have unconsciously changed in the way I rate things...but I don't think so...it used to be that anything predicted to be 4-stars or above --which was very rare -- was indeed something that I would love. Now I'm seeing many preemptive 4.8 to 5-star ratings for things that I know I don't like (because I've seen them before).

(I think we can agree that the effect of seeing more high-rated content is not the result of Netflix actually getting more quality content...the number of good movies has remained constant or gone down, especially since the Starz day)

The cynical user in me thinks Netflix has tweaked its algorithm to encourage me to watch more things. However, at least they don't seem to have tweaked it in favor of their exclusive content, as none of those (such as Marco Polo) are predicted to rate highly with me.


dvd.netflix.com seems to still use the old reliable ratings predictor. Downloading (netflix.com) uses a much inflated predictor that seems designed to push popular stuff. I imagine they have to do this to obscure that the selection is so much poorer for download.


Can someone tell me how geo-fencing within the EU is still a thing to stay when one of the EU's main digital agenda goals is to establish a digital single market market?

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/our-goals/pillar-i-di...

[Edit] Some sources:

Geographical Restrictions, (and different pricing) for digital goods within the EU are clearly discriminatory against the customer. As stated here:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2014_2019/documents/i...

Under intellectual property law, right holders may geographically restrict licenses. Therefore intellectual property law allows businesses to compartmentalise the market. Restrictions of passive sale are contrary to the consumers’ freedom of access to goods and services on the DSM, and are not permitted under European law.

Prohibiting geographical restrictions would not require fundamental changes to the international system of intellectual property rights. It would simply ensure that all licences granted for the territory of one Member State are valid for the whole territory of the EU. The tendency to market compartmentalisation is inherent to territorially restricted IP rights.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/201...


The EU's competition authority has actually launched an antitrust investigation into this in January 2014: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-15_en.htm

It's a really complicated issue though, but hopefully, geo-restrictions will vanish at some point in the EU, either by legal or political force.


> As such, we are actively curating our service rather than carrying as many titles as we can.

I hope this is true. Because the quality of content that has been added to Netflix over the past year has mostly been god awful. A lot of the movies that have been added are not even D-grade quality. They are straight to video dreck.

On top of the bad movies there's been reams and reams of awful reality shows as well.

When I first signed up for Netflix they had full libraries of HBO and Showtime shows. NBC shows. Movies that people actually went to see in theaters.

I understand that having HBO and Showtime's libraries is going to be hard now that those companies are pursuing their own subscription services. But that doesn't mean Netflix needs to resort to the crap it's been adding lately.

Honestly, if things don't improve in 2015 there's a good chance I'll cancel my Netflix subscription.


"we should strive to have the best in each category" ... this is certainly not happening in Canada.


Agreed, but this is true in any of their countries. Content licensing really gets in their way.


Completely agree with this. Fortunately there are ways around this for savvy people. But yes. Canadian Netflix is poor, and the price should reflect the diminished offering.


For a few bucks you can get a proxy or VPN in other countries. Pretty essential when traveling since Netflix cannot even keep their UI in a single language when I go on trips.


Netflix employs many smarter business people than me that operate with a lot more information, so my opinion may be completely incorrect, but I've always thought that they erred by being scared off of the criticism they got when they increased their pricing a tiny bit. Less than ten dollars a month is an incredible bargain for the vast number of hours of content that they provide. Netflix should double, triple, or quadruple their price and get themselves in financial position to meet the demands of all of the studios going forward for all of their content.

You can't do that if you're pricing yourself out of that game though. I want to pay Netflix more money for a catalog that has virtually every movie/tv show ever. But that's just me.


Just a tangent, but the 600m for advertising and 500m for product development is not a Netflix only thing, but it always pisses me off so much to read it.

That first number, the bigger number, is a black hole. Advertising is the worst, with its only competitor in my book being the legal system, industry in the industrialized world. It produces nothing of value, because all it tries to do it move money from predisposed destinations to the advertisers. It is buying market share, without making anything with the money. The later is actual productivity, goods and services people can use and want and experience and benefit from.

I'd go into another tangent about how advertisings size is out of control and it only gets worse due to how people are getting poorer on average (less money per individual) while wealth concentrates in the rich (ie, those that would own a company like Netflix) which means that when you rake in huge profits and a big money pot, what do you spend it on? Making goods and services is pointless if there is no money left in the market to explore your products and buy new things. Instead you throw those profits into advertising, into a non-productive discipline whose only job is to manipulate people into giving you money they would have spent elsewhere. But this post is already long enough that nobody is going to read it anyway!

What a colossal waste, everywhere advertising happens. And it is only on track to get worse.


> It is buying market share, without making anything with the money.

Erm. Yes, it's doing something with the money. Buying market share.


I wonder if Netflix is preparing to offer services to studios/businesses as a contingency plan. Their infrastructure seems to be amazing, especially compared to the bug-riddled Hulus and Crackles of the world. I don't have cable, so I'm not sure how it compares to HBO Go and other studio-centric sites, but it can't be easy to maintain those kinds of services. Maybe we'll see a future where studios leverage Netflix's cloud, but offer their own distribution/revenue schemes?


This was interesting positioning from Netflix: We don’t and can’t compete on breadth of entertainment with Comcast, Sky, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, or Google. For us to be hugely successful we have to be a focused passion brand. Starbucks, not 7-Eleven. Southwest, not United. HBO, not Dish.

Netflix is phasing out its DVD business over the next couple of years to focus on domestic and international streaming. International is where penetration is pretty low and they're targeting 15-16% penetration of broadband households over five years from its current 3%.

In the last few quarters they've outperformed their own subscriber growth forecasts on the international side with country launches in France, Germany underway. The share price has jumped each time. Other markets they are likely to cover Italy, Spain, OZ & NZ. Massive markets like India, China, Russia and Japan really unlikely for the medium term at least with piracy, strong local incumbents and lower purchasing power.

It's just made $270m in profits in December 2014, after 10 years of losses from IPO to 2012 and secured a $500m loan with $1.1 billion cash so it is only now becoming financially sustainable. I assume they are getting better at creating own original content and thought Marco Polo was pretty good, might be on my own there though. I think the future is bright though opening in each new country and having to license content in them way in advance means lots of upfront costs in unfamilar locations. Should be a long slog but they're on the right track as a focused, passion brand.


"long-term-view.cfm"!? Cold Fusion? That's still a thing?!


If you do a dig on ir.netflix.com, you'll see this is hosted at shareholder.com. It is not uncommon for publicly traded companies to host this stuff through third-party providers.


I was surprised to see it on a Netflix property, but ColdFusion very much is alive and well otherwise. I think even Linode uses it.


Interesting read. I think they are slightly underestimating Amazon as a competitor. They mention them but from my point of view the edge that Netflix has is good engineering (including usability) and being attractive to good engineers. A somewhat random small, recent example is the fact that they were at reactconf, talking about interesting stuff (targeting non-DOM) and showing involvement in "hot" technology.

That's an edge that HBO has a really hard time catching up to but Amazon doesn't. I think Netflix is putting a bit too much focus on the content side. It also reads a bit like they'll shift a bit more from customer to business partner focus which may or may not be a good idea.


The thing I find most interesting is their strategic take on piracy - they recognize it as a competitor. When a 'moment of truth' rolls around, it's an option potential customers might choose, depending on content available and user experience.

They dive into detail on the 'competitors-for-content' category, with whom they could compete both on the available content and user experience fronts. On the other hand, the only advantage they can eke out over piracy is in the user experience.


I'm building lazyfan[1] precisely because of how fragmented availability has become. Even when you want to pay to stream a specific movie, it might be available from iTunes, but not Amazon or vice versa. But you don't want to pay for something you have so you have to check Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Forget comparison shopping, it's tough to even know what's for sale.

[1] http://www.lazyfan.com (beta)(a movie trailer autoplays)


Given their example scenario ("moment of truth"), I'm far more likely to just buy an episode of something for a few bucks on iTunes. That way I have a much better chance of finding what I'm looking for, and I can watch something current if I want.

I'd prefer a subscription, and I don't really care to own a random episode, but if I was watching so many shows that the money would be an issue, I would have a cable subscription (I don't).


I am amazed at the dollar amounts the give. I never expected it to so much to market such a service. The technology side I could see, expanding their reach and such.


Shooting a commercial can cost a million bucks. If you want prime advertising slots, it might cost from a few hundred grand up to a million for a 30 second spot. Print and online advertising is cheaper, of course, but I don't think their advertising budget is unreasonable considering how large a company they are and how difficult it may be to get new subscribers.


$800M just ain't what it used to be.

And persuading potential customers who are not naturally inclined toward your service is much harder & more costly than attracting those seeking what you provide.


Man this transition feels like it is going to take my lifetime. Years ago it felt like an internet based on demand (+cheap) option should have been available. It is a simple thing to fantasize about but a difficult thing to realize it seems. For me personally the price point still feels too high given that I never get to own any content.


My attempt at a tl;dr:

We cannot afford to license all content from all studios (and compete with Comcast/AT&T etc), so instead we will spend 5b trying to create our own content (and compete with HBO instead).

Oh and we will be spending half a billion on marketing.

(did I misread)


Time to bid a farewell and switch my mindset to Google Play, Vudu, and Amazon Instant Videos. I get less bang for my bucks with Netflix and I'm not into TV shows to justify with their "original" stuff. Why do they want to get into this game when all HBO needs is to open HBO Go to everybody for $7.99/mo?


Netflix europe has terrible descriptions of the films/shows which you may as well ignore. Also their catalog really isn't that impressive. It would be rather easy to replace it if anyone tried.


I interviewed here, and it was by far among some of the best group of people I've ever met.

I think some of the HR people are a bit rough, but the teams that contribute to the bottom line are top notch.


I wonder when they are going to close down their DVD division.


Since the online catalog started shrinking, the DVD division is more useful. The DVD rental business has first-sale-doctrine rights; Netflix can rent those DVDs even if the studio doesn't like it. They don't have that right online, and have to cut a deal each title.


Yes but are people still using it? Personally I don't really care how big of a catalog they have, I'm not going to wait 2-3 days for a movie to arrive.


Yes. I like movies, and a service that only has a limited selection of crappy movies isn't that interesting to me. I don't really care if it takes a couple days to arrive. I can see the attraction of the streaming service if you are into the TV series that they have, but it's not even a competitor for movies. I would love to sign up for a full catalog streaming service, but it looks like that will never happen.


Use the DVD system to recommend, then torrent? That's isomorphic to having Netflix drop the DVD into a block device and letting you access it over a long cable, so you shouldn't have any ethical issues.


Well... you can get a few movies at a time, so you're not waiting once you get them all... you just return the one you're done watching and the next one arrives so you always have a "stash." If you're watching more than two or three movies every two days, maybe you should get out a bit more.


Why are people raving about this? It has no new information and sounds like a marketing release. What am I missing?


I wonder how long until they stop their DVD shipping side business.


So, what is happening faster:

1) Deployment of AFFORDABLE highspeed broadband

or

2) Decreasing local storage costs

Why do I need to stream something if I can store 6TB of data locally for less than $150 (and decreasing daily).

How much storage space will $200 buy you in 10 years? And how many decades of video and audio could one store on such a device?


You still have to get that content from somewhere. Storage space isn't really the limitation there. Plus, even if you could, what would be the motivationto store eeverything locally, when 1) you rarely watch a show more than once, and 2) you can stream it instantaneously anyway?


Maybe you have better internet than me, but my streaming quality isn't always HD, and if I fastforward/rewind I generally have to wait a while to rebuffer. Do an advance download of everything in my watchlist, and the next episodes of the series I'm watching, and everything will by high quality, no wait, all the time.

Besides that, just because something's available on streaming doesn't mean it'll stay there forever.


This was kicked around on HN here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7507566

TL;DR - rough-guess numbers say the entire Netflix library can fit on 24TB, and would cost (content + hardware pricing) around $2500 per copy.


If you're an isp they'll give you a server full of it for free. https://openconnect.itp.netflix.com/hardware/index.html


How much do you want to pay to purchase and store all that video? That's where Netflix's value comes in.


> How much do you want to pay to purchase and store all that video? That's where Netflix's value comes in.

It's not clear to me that mr. throwaway was planning on purchasing any of that content.


Can someone tldr; this?




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