Netflix: Where do we go from here?

So who saw the email from Netflix in their inbox this morning? The one that apologized for the increase in prices for instant streaming plus DVD? And then said to make it up to its customers, it’s splitting the company in half. The DVD-rentals will be Qwikster and the Netflix will be instant streaming. And somehow, this is supposed to make everyone happy.

I had the DVD-rental plus streaming before the price hike, but cancelled DVD’s as I prefer streaming (even with the more limited content). But those who still had both are now basically having to do business with not one, but two separate entities. How is that a good idea?

My only idea is that by making the Netflix side of things (the streaming) its own separate entity that maybe they can negotiate lower prices with content providers and get more content up on streaming. Otherwise, this whole exercise seems a pretty stupid move. Especially with Dish now owning Blockbuster and launching a similar service very soon. In fact, if Netflix does not get better and newer content on their streaming product, Blockbuster will probably wipe the floor with them (as Dish will have agreements in place with providers like Starz).

Anyway, the email did say this:

The additional streaming content we have coming in the next few months is substantial, and we are always working to improve our service further.

Substantial is going to have to actually mean substantial, though. Not just a few movies and a few television shows. Substantial needs to mean that it will rival what Qwikster will be offering.

Like most things, I was an early adopter of Netflix, back when it was just DVD’s. But I used the instant streaming pretty much the minute it was available. This is, obviously, an area that is growing and experiencing growing pains. And content providers are starting to pull a ┬ámusic industry and trying to keep that content from getting quickly to the hands of consumers. I can guarantee that t.v. show torrenting is probably on the rise and will continue to be an issue as this occurs. I even think this sort of attitude is why great shows, like Eureka, are getting cancelled. Because the tech-savvy fans who watch it want to view it online and can’t until the end of the season. But as I have already gone into that, at great length, I’ll say this: this is a time of great change and the rules are being writer. But WE the television and movie fans will be the ones writing the rules. And companies can either embrace what we want or not and suffer the consequences.

I know Netflix is trying to pave the way, but it will come down to the content they can provide on instant streaming. And right now? That content is certainly not up to par. I don’t blame Netflix for trying to figure it out, at least they are. I blame the content providers. Because they’re starting to be difficult when it comes to providing that content to online streaming services.

Sorry, folks, but you can’t fight technology and consumer wants. If you don’t believe me, again, look at the music industry.

On another note, that email also mentioned that Netflix will be renting out video games, as well. If it’s anything like Blockbuster’s game rental service, they should probably stick to what they know. But at this point, I think it’s evident, they don’t know much of anything. I highly doubt Netflix will have the video gaming balls or knowledge to compete with Gamefly.

In other related news, Blockbuster (now owned by DISH Network) streaming will be available September 23rd. Which is a smart move. There’s just one problem, as of that time, it will only be available to DISH Network subscribers. Who probably already have On Demand and won’t make much use of streaming. Yes, they are promising streaming to non-subscribers “eventually,” but talk about missing the boat on an opportunity. Blockbuster had a chance to one-up Netflix immediately (given that they’ll have more content), but it sounds like they’ll totally be blowing it. They’re now giving Netflix plenty of time to add more content and become valuable again.

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