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  1. #1
    towergrove's Avatar
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    Default Consumer Reports Joins the Netflix Pile-On

    Netflix fails in customer satisfaction when it comes to streaming but slightly by 1 point is ahead when it comes to disc rentals. Not good news for Netflix.

    Yesterday, Reed Hastings saw a quarter of his company’s stock value disappear. Today’s insult to injury: A dis from Consumer Reports.
    A new survey from the magazine places the Netflix streaming service sixth in user satisfaction, behind, well, just about everybody: Walmart’s Vudu, Apple’s iTunes, Amazon’s Instant and Prime offerings, and Hulu.*The big ding against Netflix: It doesn’t have a selection of stuff people want to see.
    Anyone who follows digital video will see the obvious asterisk that should come with the ranking: It compares apples and oranges.
    Netflix is a subscription video-on-demand service, which means it gets a much smaller selection of titles (particularly movies), than a la carte rental services like Vudu and iTunes. It’s like complaining that the Endless Shrimp special at Red Lobster doesn’t include snow crab legs. Different things, different economics, different prices.
    But most people don’t follow digital video — they just want to watch stuff. And carping about selection is not a new critique — it’s the one you hear anecdotally from lots of people who use or have used Netflix (kids are a different story).
    Hastings could rectify this, at a minimum, by adding a la carte rentals in addition to his subscription offerings. But he’s remained ardently opposed to the idea, for whatever reason.
    Near-term, this won’t be as problematic for Hastings as the disappointing growth guidance he offered up Tuesday afternoon, which led to yesterday’s stock dive. And I personally stopped taking Consumer Reports that seriously in March, when they warned that the new iPad could kinda maybe get not exactly hot but sort of tepid. But for lots of people, Consumer Reports is still Consumer Reports, and their word — or at least word of their word — carries lots of weight.
    Small consolation prize for Netflix: Consumer Reports thinks the company’s original DVD-by-mail business — the “old fogey discs” business, in Hastings’s words — is the best disc rental service. But that’s the business Hastings has decided to let fall away.
    Update: The Consumer Reports reps who sent me a preview of their article have now asked me to pull the screenshot of their ratings graphic, which they don’t want republished beyond their magazine and Web site. That’s frustrating, but I’ll do my best to replicate the important stuff here:
    Streaming services (name/reader score):
    Vudu/76
    iTunes/75
    Amazon Instant/74
    Amazon Prime/70
    Hulu/70
    Netflix/69
    Video-on-demand channels/68
    Hulu Plus/66
    Disc rentals:
    Netflix/78
    Independent stores/77
    Redbox/77
    Blockbuster/71
    Blockbuster Express/69
    Blockbuster Total Access/68
    *
    http://allthingsd.com/20120726/consu...tflix-pile-on/
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  2. #2
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    With the stock getting pummeled, and the drop in OD subscribers continuing, Netflix is going to be hard pressed to find the money to secure the type of streaming content people want to see.
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    I find that suprising. I use literally everything on that streaming list and I find Netflix to be by far the best (with only VUDU possibily being close). Hulu's quality and selection isn't anything to get excited about. Same goes for Amazon's.
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    Streaming makes me cringe...I hope they all fail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favelle View Post
    Streaming makes me cringe...I hope they all fail.
    They won't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickoakdl View Post
    They won't.
    They wont, you are correct... but I should point out that they wont be $8.99 all you can eat for long. I would expect the prices to go up quite a bit. I recently saw a poll asking if Netflix members would stick around if the price was increased to around $39.95 a month (the threshold which many say would allow Netflix to increase their selection first Run aka Newer films and television series) Most in the poll said they would abandon the service even if they raised the pricing by only a few dollars. That doesn't show that people value the service that much, IMO.

    Also, There will continue to be services and products for those of us that prefer to own instead of rent.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by towergrove View Post
    They wont, you are correct... but I should point out that they wont be $8.99 all you can eat for long. I would expect the prices to go up quite a bit. I recently saw a poll asking if Netflix members would stick around if the price was increased to around $39.95 a month (the threshold which many say would allow Netflix to increase their selection first Run aka Newer films and television series) Most in the poll said they would abandon the service even if they raised the pricing by only a few dollars. That doesn't show that people value the service that much, IMO.

    Also, There will continue to be services and products for those of us that prefer to own instead of rent.
    It's only a matter of time that the major cable carriers start offering a streaming variant to their content. Once that occurs, I expect the ability to subscribe to channels like HBO, showtime, etc. Having movie tiers, etc.

    They own the pipes, they don't want loose money to the competition. Diversification is really only a step away. With the conversion of some of the premium tiers developing streaming solutions, I expect a gradual turnover of more channels in such a fashion and eventual cable hopover.

    But as I mentioned in the other thread, I don't seen this happening for 5-10 years.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sbert View Post
    It's only a matter of time that the major cable carriers start offering a streaming variant to their content. Once that occurs, I expect the ability to subscribe to channels like HBO, showtime, etc. Having movie tiers, etc.

    They own the pipes, they don't want loose money to the competition. Diversification is really only a step away. With the conversion of some of the premium tiers developing streaming solutions, I expect a gradual turnover of more channels in such a fashion and eventual cable hopover.

    But as I mentioned in the other thread, I don't seen this happening for 5-10 years.
    They have had one for years. It's called On Demand. A no charge extra for your cable service. Only limiting factor is, you can only watch content that is part of your plan.

    Losing money to the competition? If you need a cable modem to access SVOD or VOD internet based content - they get money from you don't they? I pay almost $50 a month for mine.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post
    They have had one for years. It's called On Demand. A no charge extra for your cable service. Only limiting factor is, you can only watch content that is part of your plan.

    Losing money to the competition? If you need a cable modem to access SVOD or VOD internet based content - they get money from you don't they? I pay almost $50 a month for mine.
    I haven't seen an ondemand - internet based option, but perhaps it's hidden well enough I don't know how to access it. I've been using some hbo on demand.

    I guess it comes down to spending that 8 or 9 bux on netflix or spending that money on cable. Instead of allowing competition offering content through their internet connection. It would be easy for them to corner the market and offer that service bundled.

    I.e. You get our cable tv + internet tv with the channels you have on regular cable TV for an extra 30 dollars a month and ability to stream to any device on your IP address.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sbert View Post
    I haven't seen an ondemand - internet based option, but perhaps it's hidden well enough I don't know how to access it. I've been using some hbo on demand.
    Just Google: On Demand

    On my Comcast DVR remote, On Demand is a big button. Press it and you are automatically sent to the On Demand Menu. For Comcast, On Demand is channel # 1.

    I guess it comes down to spending that 8 or 9 bux on netflix or spending that money on cable. Instead of allowing competition offering content through their internet connection. It would be easy for them to corner the market and offer that service bundled.
    Here in ABQ, NM, all of the premium channels cost more than $8. Some as high as $20.

    You do understand that the content providers have caveats on how their content can be distributed to consumers. So it isn't as "easy" as you think it might be. The contract between the content providers and the Pay TV providers spell it out specifically.

    I.e. You get our cable tv + internet tv with the channels you have on regular cable TV for an extra 30 dollars a month and ability to stream to any device on your IP address.
    $30 a month? That seems expensive. Comcast I believe already has some kind of an APP that allows you to stream content to other devices. Goes under the name "Xfinity." No charge. Again, you are limited to the content under your plan.
    Last edited by Lee Stewart; 07-28-2012 at 10:57 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post
    On my Comcast remote, On Demand is a big button. Press it and you are automatically sent to the On Demand Menu. For Comcast, On Demand is channel # 1.



    Here in ABQ, NM, all of the premium channels cost more than $8. Some as high as $20.

    You do understand that the content providers have caveats on how their content can be distributed to consumers. So it isn't as "easy" as you think it might be. The contract between the content providers and the Pay TV providers spell it out specifically.



    $30 a month? That seems expensive. Comcast I believe already has some kind of an APP that allows you to stream content to other devices. Goes under the name "Xfinity." No charge. Again, you are limited to the content under your plan.
    I have ondemand via by cable box but it's not something I can stream or use on the computer. I think you misunderstand what I mean by internet based. I mean that there is access via routine computer os/mobile os. Android, windows, linux, etc. Not a cable box.

    As I said these things are not something that will occur for another 5-10 years and more the latter. Part of it does have to deal with contracting terms and length of these terms and if there are restricted convenants etc.

    And yes, xfinity is EXACTLY what I was referring to. I expect all the major providers to go this route. This will basically make other ondemand services somewhat redundant and useless (i.e. vudu / netflix / cinemanow ) -> provided that these don't have some sort of contracted protected niche that they cater to.
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  12. #12
    Lee Stewart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sbert View Post
    I have ondemand via by cable box but it's not something I can stream or use on the computer. I think you misunderstand what I mean by internet based. I mean that there is access via routine computer os/mobile os. Android, windows, linux, etc. Not a cable box.
    I can access Comcast content through my PC if I wanted to. Just have to go to their Xfinity website. Have to register first.

    As I said these things are not something that will occur for another 5-10 years and more the latter. Part of it does have to deal with contracting terms and length of these terms and if there are restricted convenants etc.

    And yes, xfinity is EXACTLY what I was referring to. I expect all the major providers to go this route. This will basically make other ondemand services somewhat redundant and useless (i.e. vudu / netflix / cinemanow ) -> provided that these don't have some sort of contracted protected niche that they cater to.
    I don't see the cable or SAT companies going into the SVOD business like Netflix or Amazon has. Verizon is going to try with their partnership with Redbox later this year though.

  13. #13
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    I use time warner. I think they have an ipad app, but I also just moved from tennessee to california. We were using charter before and the best they had a few months ago was using the premium streaming services, i.e. HBOgo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sbert View Post
    I use time warner. I think they have an ipad app, but I also just moved from tennessee to california. We were using charter before and the best they had a few months ago was using the premium streaming services, i.e. HBOgo.
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