In a blog post, by Jamie Odell, on Netflix.com yesterday, it was announced that Netflix was making some changes to its services; members would no longer be able to add DVD’s to their queues on devices they can use to stream movies. The idea is born from another that the “Add to DVD Queue” option ties up valuable resources and would still be supported directly and only from the Netflix.com website.
Numerous readers of the blog were upset by the announcement and this was evident by the nearly one thousand comments in just under a day. Users are concerned that Netflix is gearing up to remove physical media all together. The hints have been dropped by the Netflix group and a big indication of their direction was when they offered a streaming only subscription and hiked the cost of the DVD delivery service.
The interesting aspect of the blog post was that removing the option of adding to your queue from these devices will free up valuable resources for its steaming services. This may indicate that the company is actually feeling some of the heat from ISP’s like Comcast. This will only increase as they add more titles to their instant queue and prepare users for the possible shift in delivery.
Comcast–which has its own on-demand streaming content and pay-per-view movies–demanded a recurring fee in exchange for allowing Netflix streaming media content to flow unfettered through its network. The fee–which Netflix backend provider Level 3 Communications agreed to pay to avoid service interruptions for Netflix customers–feels a lot like extortion a’ la paying mob “protection money” to avoid “bad things” happening to your business.
At current state, Netflix’s watch instantly availability just plain sucks. Many of the offerings are outdated, crappy, or just don’t appeal to the majority of movie enthusiasts. If this is the direction the company is heading, they really need step up their game and get their instant queue in fighting shape and prepare themselves for a mass exodus.