NextFlix? Why Netflix Lost Their Luster in 2011
Netflix's strange changes over the last year are now becoming a lot clearer. Many baulked at first when they spun off streaming plans from DVD offerings last year. The real howls of pain came from the ill-fated Quickster service brought in to the world by Reed Hastings. This would have been the worst technology and internet company PR fiasco if HP didn't already corner that market. It's now coming to light that DVD by mail may be choked out in deals made to shore up streaming offerings offerings. Plus, no more Starz movies on watch now.
Piecing together the year long drama, there seems to be two prong approach to fixing this problem. First, come up with compelling, organic content. Second, deconflict streaming from DVD by mail businesses such that one can't hamper the other. The former appears to be coming to fruition with the Netflix produced House of Cards coming this year. The latter will be more difficult now that separate companies isn't a viable option. At a minimum, the plans are setup to pull their own weight rather than one augmenting the other as before.
Unfortunately, it appears that things will get worse in some areas before they get better. HBO clearly views Netflix as a ghetto for their premium content. It will take serveral years to build up momentum with their own branded shows. Pulling up smaller movie and internet based companies is something Netflix already has some handle on and should expand. The best hope is to keep on those paths in order to have a better position when negotiating new deals. Even the content owner love-child, Hulu is getting pushed into unwisely selling their assets. Big media appears deeply afraid of systems with broader choices and their divide and conquer strategy is working quite well for the near future.