Open Letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix,

I just received your note about how you are spinning off your DVD business into a new offering called Qwikster, separating it from the Netflix streaming service.  Why?  The new model does not seem to take into account the life cycle of video content as I understand it.  Movies and TV shows move from being unavailable to viewers directly while still on TV or in the theaters.  After a period of time elapses, the video content is available on DVD only—but still not streaming.  As more time passes, some DVD content can be accessed via streaming for instant viewing.  [It’s entirely possible that there’s more to it than that, but that’s my layman’s take on it.]

With your service, I had options for each stage of the video life cycle.  Looking for the not-yet-released on-DVD Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II?  I can click on SAVE so I don’t forget about it, and have it shipped when it does become available.  How  about the latest season of Brothers & Sisters?  Looks like it’s only available on DVD.  I’ll click on DISCS and have it mailed.  Over the weekend, my daughter suggests we watch Tangled.  Yes!  It’s available instantly.  I’ll click on PLAY or Add it to my Instant Queue so I can see it on the big TV through TiVo.

Netflix, you have historically made it easy to get the content I wanted, in whatever form it was available, in one place.  [Side note: The U.S. Mail did not earn the nickname snail mail by being qwik. Redbox is qwik.  My local video store is qwik.  Mailing DVDs is not.]

I use your service as a video delivery mechanism, and also as a way of tracking everything-I-eventually-want-to-see.  Your interface until now has made a lot of sense for both of those purposes.  I don’t really care about the format of the content.  That’s driven by factors I can’t control—how long since a movie was released, or whether it’s been released at all yet.  I care about quick and simple.   Netflix, you just made my life more complicated.  And I like simple.

Best Regards,

Pam, customer since 2006

© September 2011 by Pam Daniels.  All rights reserved.

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