Netflix, the streaming movie and DVD subscription service, seems to have a little public relations problem on their hands. The company announced that it will no longer allow users to add DVD’s to their queue from any device they use to view the Watch Instantly streaming service. In other words, users will no longer be able to add titles to their DVD queue from their gaming console, smartphones, tablets, AppleTV or their Ethernet capable televisions.
In the past users were able to browse content and indicate they would want the DVD shipped directly from their streaming device when it was unavailable to view instantly. The official statement came from the Netflix Director of Product Management, Jamie O’Dell, who stated the company is removing this function, “so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly”.
That sounds all fine and dandy, but let me translate what that means to me. O’Dell might as well have said, ‘we are pushing our customers towards utilizing the streaming service in order to move them away from physical media, thus eliminating high shipping costs and increasing our profit margin’. I mean, come on Netflix, we all know it costs the company more in logistics on the DVD side of the business than streaming. Frankly, it’s ok if you want to push the customer base towards streaming, just don’t come across like it’s all about them.
I personally only subscribe to the streaming service because I am a impulsive movie watcher, therefore I have little patience to wait for the DVD in the mail. Even if I ordered a few DVDs to have on hand, they would likely sit on the coffee table for quite a while before viewing.
Needless to say, this announcement has caused quite an an uproar in the Netflix user forums with statements such as this one from Jason, “You’re just killing off DVD subscriptions one step at a time. First the price hike, Blu-Ray surcharge, and now this. When optical media goes, so do I.”
So, TechnoBuffalo faithful, what are your thoughts? It does seems as if Netflix is looking at killing off physical media in the future, but I want to hear from you.