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Netflix has over 20 million subscribers worldwide, and is currently one of the most prominent online subscription services for watching movies and TV shows. Unfortunately, the company made a series of blunders in 2011, which included strange branding decisions and a big price hike that angered many subscribers. This resulted in falling revenues and a huge drop in stock prices (more on this below).
We personally think Netflix’s woes are temporary, and highly doubt it will meet a fate similar to Blockbuster. The Netflix streaming service, in our opinion, still gives moviegoers the best bang for the buck. Streaming content is no doubt the wave of the future, and we feel that Netflix is still considerably ahead of its competitors in this competitive space. The main issue that Netflix must address is to somehow ensure that their streaming content remains superior to other options. With over 20 million subscribers, we believe they have the size and influence to do this.
Currently, Netflix offers two types of services. The streaming service allows you to instantly watch movies and TV episodes online. You do not necessarily have to use your computer to watch streaming titles, as they can be viewed as long as you have a Netflix-ready device hooked up to your TV. Compatible devices currently include Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 consoles, as well as Blu-ray players, mobile devices, TiVo, and HDTVs connected to the Internet. The selection of streaming titles number over 17,000, with new titles being added on a regular basis.
The second kind of service available at Netflix is the traditional DVD rental service, where you can rent up to 4 DVDs at a time and have them delivered to you by mail. Note that the Netflix free trial on this page is only for the streaming service, although you can always upgrade your plan to include DVD rentals later. Current Netflix plans starts at just $7.99 a month.
Recent News about Netflix
The blunders Netflix made in 2011 will no doubt make for a great Harvard case study at some point. Given all the announcements, reversals, and changes that were made, you may be a bit confused about where exactly Netflix stands at the moment. You’re not alone, and we will attempt to provide some clarification here.
- Qwikster is dead, and not a moment too soon – As you may recall, at one point, Netflix planned to separate its DVD-by-mail program from its streaming service, calling the new service Qwikster. This awful plan was abandoned in October 2011. This was a smart move, if you ask us, since just about everyone seemed to think it was a dumb idea.
- Starz content will be gone starting Feb 2012 – If you want to watch all the episodes of Spartacus, you better get them in quickly, since Starz will no longer let Netflix stream their content beginning in February.
- The price hike stays for now – In the good old days, you only had to pay $10 to get both DVDs by mail along with streaming service. Now, you are stuck with paying $7.99 for one or the other. If you want both, you must pay $15.98. This 60% rise in price was the one that infuriated many long-term customers, resulting in a loss of around 1 million subscribers.
As for the stock price (which took a huge beating in the latter half of 2011), we’ll get back to you on that when we find our crystal ball…
Some New Additions to Netflix’s Streaming Library
All these titles can be viewed instantly online using the 1-month Netflix free trial.
Popular TV shows that are available through the streaming service include:
- Pawn Stars
- Battlestar Galactica
- Star Trek
- Vampire Diaries
- Prison Break
- Spartacus (until Feb 2012)
- The Walking Dead
- Lie to Me
- Jersey Shore
- Burn Notice
- The Office
- And many more