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Netflix remastered? The saga continues.

By now, you all know how and what I feel about Netflix. I used to be in love, but now I'm horrified. Every public statement up until the recent revelation of the Netflix comeback plan has echoed the wrong sentiment at the wrong time. Even after I read the comeback plan, I felt uncertain that the Netflix crew truly understand what customers (I'm including former in this group) want(ed). If you haven't read the comeback plan, it will take 5 minutes. Read it.

Netflix created convenience in the video market in the 90s and early 2000s when there wasn't any. By doing so, they ushered in a whole new business model that not only created profit, but fulfilled a need. Then suddenly without any warning, they forgot why they got into business. Surprisingly throughout all of the drama, they posted profits this last quarter. My question is, will they be able to keep their existing 25 million subscribers while they launch their comeback?

I'm not sure if Netflix reached out to customers before creating the comeback, but considering their current position, I really hope they did. They should have determined why these subscribers remained loyal and ensure that their new offering will be appealing to them. Yes they need to remain competitive, however, they seemed to be quite focused on cable as a primary opponent. Hopefully this doesn't come as a surprise, but there are plenty of other fish (non-cable providers) gathering around to offer more options to customers online.

  • Walmart's Vudu allows customers to pay for what they watch we no subscriptions. They can choose to rent or own. Choices. Revolutionary.
  • Vdio, is going to be an online video service provider. The details are few in number to the average Joe/Joanne, but we do know that the founders of Skype Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are behind it. Vdio may turn out to be a streaming service with web and mobile subscriptions similar to that in the music realm. According to Mashable, this service "will let users instantly watch the best TV and movies."
  • Last but not least is Amazon. With the new Kindle Fire and Amazon's robust Prime service (two-day shipping on all orders and access to Amazon's library of: books, magazines, music, video, television show content it is definitely poised well as a viable competitor. The Kindle Fire is designed to provide Amazon's existing and new customers a platform designed specifically for this content.


Netflix was one of my favorite companies, which is why I continue to watch their moves in the market. I don't want to belabor the point, but my hope is that they learn more about their customers' needs and balance that with their business objectives. In addition, to sharing news about marketing, I do like to share reminders and best practices. We all face the struggle of balancing customer needs and business objectives, but within business if you don't have customers, you don't have a business. Invest the time in making the relationships with your customers last. You'll be happy you did.

Reader Comments (4)

Netflix movies are great! With the comeback, I think they will surely regain the millions of their subscribers including me.
November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSybil Wieners
Hi Sybil,

Thanks for your post. Netflix just raised about $400 million dollars and I'm sure that will go to supporting its international launches. I'm sure some of it will broaden its offerings here in the US, but I'm hoping that some more customer consideration will be incorporated in the US offering. I guess we'll have to continue watching. :-)
November 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterErna
That's really huge Erna. What particular countries will the Netflix will be launching the international releases?
November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKurt Whitner
Hi Kurt, Netflix will be launching in Australia early Q1 of next year. I was there last week and met someone who was signing up for it. I told them to keep me posted as to how things run. They'll also be in the UK, Ireland, Spain and then later in Latin and South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. I'll be watching. :-)
December 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterErna

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