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Netflix, Blockbuster, and the future of all media
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 10662
Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:51 pm    Post subject: Netflix, Blockbuster, and the future of all media Reply with quote

SO Netflix is splitting it's services, Blockbuster stores are no more, Starz has pulled it's titles out of netflix, and then there's the studios (music and movie) plot to get rid of physical media altogether, ... dark times are ahead, dark times indeed.

Thoughts?
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Last edited by Darqcyde on Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Arc Tempest



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
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Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like pie.
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Yorick



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blockbuster still exists. The local BB just made a pathetic attempt at reminding people of such when they put door hanger ads on top of the mailboxes to my building (because they couldn't get further access to the actual apartments, ha ha)
I'll stick to the library, hulu and illegal downloads for my video consumption, since those are things I do not need to exchange small pieces of colored paper to receive.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arc Tempest wrote:
I like pie.

Says someone who is very much affected by all of this.

I think of the long tail and how it seems that those who hold the contracts want to dock that like a sheep dog.

Also THIS MEANS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF TRADING GAMES IN, amongst other things.
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TIAB



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 683

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazon accepts trade-ins.
Blockbuster is and has been awful for a long time.
Family Video is actually expanding(probably because they have porn).
Redbox is cheap and convenient.
Netflix and their streaming selection is B- fighting for A+ rank, but the traditional business model of physical media is a security blanket to Hollywood and they fear teh intarwebs.
Hulu is a loved proof-of-concept but still not stable as a business.
Torrents are free, as always, and tend to be a solution for the people that want to pay for digital video but can't find a legitimate resource for the videos they want to watch.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TIAB wrote:
Amazon accepts trade-ins.
Blockbuster is and has been awful for a long time.
Family Video is actually expanding(probably because they have porn).
Redbox is cheap and convenient.
Netflix and their streaming selection is B- fighting for A+ rank, but the traditional business model of physical media is a security blanket to Hollywood and they fear teh intarwebs.
Hulu is a loved proof-of-concept but still not stable as a business.
Torrents are free, as always, and tend to be a solution for the people that want to pay for digital video but can't find a legitimate resource for the videos they want to watch.


This is changing, not for the better for consumers, and that's the main part of the problem. I can pull out my old NES games and play them. I can pull out my SNES games and play them. I can pull out my PS1, PS2, N64, GAMECUBE, XBOX, GAMEBOY, GAMEBOY ADVANCED, and DS GAMES and still play them.

Why?

Because I own a copy of the media. This requires an extra middleman or two between the studios and consumers and the studios would have that middleman done away with solely for the sake of their own profits (not to make the artist proportionally more money or save the consumers money). As digital distribution channels improve, memory storage costs approach 0 (or nearly so), library selection increases, and compatible device become more ubiquitous physical media will cease to be. In the foreseeable future you will get one d/l per media item per device. Sure some might offer exclusive "multi device d/l" but that's equivalent to paying $5 for a digital d/l copy. I'm pretty sure I can rip anything from physical media myself for less than $5 but that's where it's headed. I don't think it's far fetched to say that by the end of this decade people will very likely be paying a premium charge or price if they want an actually physical copy of the media.
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Halen



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like blockbuster. I take the kids and they really enjoy choosing a film.
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Mr Gary



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am dreading the day physical media dies because I am a whore for collecting and stacking and admiring my own good taste and also because I am an old man and don't understand your interwebs or streams or why you haven't yet vacated my lawn.
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Mizike



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But we brought you pie.
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Arc Tempest



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
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Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
Says someone who is very much affected by all of this.

I think of the long tail and how it seems that those who hold the contracts want to dock that like a sheep dog.

Also THIS MEANS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF TRADING GAMES IN, amongst other things.


You know the weird thing, I'm a game enthusiast, it's my primary form of entertainment, and the last physical copy of a game I bought was over a year ago. I only got that as a physical copy because it was a collectors edition. If you except that instance you have to go back more than three years to see me buying a physical copy of a game.

Every other form of media I demand a physical copy, books will be paper, music will be CDs, movies will be DVDs, but for games... I'm perfectly happy with purely digital versions.

I simply don't buy games with the intent to resell, so the lack of a physical copy has literally no effect on me.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Physical media is a dinosaur. I don't foresee us getting rid of it soon (how many people do you know that still own tape players or VCRs?), but we know where this little train is headed. It was stupid of Netflix to separate the disc site from the streaming site so thoroughly - managing two separate queues is ridiculous - but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. Netflix can now negotiate deals with studios for strictly streaming rights, rather than a combination.

While this may mean Netflix simply signs fewer deals, I kinda doubt it. A majority of their users seem to prefer streaming. Indeed, in their conference call on the 15th they noted that streaming-only customers were down 200k, compared with DVD-only customers down 800,000 from projections. People are either going with streaming only, or just dumping Netflix all together. The streaming side of Netflix has 21.8 million subscribers. That's a lot of cheddar to lay down in a negotiation, and they may no longer have the albatross of settling for some movies streaming but the majority available by disc. Now studios will only have one option - if they want licensing fees from those 21.8 million people they have to open up to streaming.

That is, quite literally, the entirety of my opinion on the matter. "Maybe it will work, we'll see!"
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Yorick



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
Physical media is a dinosaur. I don't foresee us getting rid of it soon (how many people do you know that still own tape players or VCRs?), but we know where this little train is headed.

I still own a VCR. and about a dozen tapes, half of which I just haven't replaced, the other half not available digital or DVD.

granted, haven't used it in about two years ...
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andrew



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much like gay marriage, this issue has already been decided - we're just waiting for the old guard media stakeholders and their excruciating contracts to expire. In the near term, though, this is a major problem for Netflix. Outside of the obvious subscriber considerations, this is going to exacerbate their labor problem.

Netflix is famous for having one of the most interesting/dangerous compensation models: employees are allowed to pick their own salary & stock option mix, up to 50% in options. The theory is that this allows employees to self-incent, anchored to the company's success. Combined with the company's incredible bar-raising hiring & firing standards, it's been difficult for Netflix to attract and retain the kinds of engineers they need to keep innovating ahead of the curve.

Since options are awarded with a value equal to the closing price on the date of issue, a lot of rank & file employees just got screwed, hard, by their own compensation decisions. Regardless of whose fault this ultimately is, it highlights the danger in working for the company. Employees who pick an all-cash salary are viewed as less dedicated and untrustworthy. Employees who guzzled the kool-aid are now losing their shirts - NFLX has dropped over 50% since July, and roughly 40% in the past six days.

If you're a top-tier engineer, Netflix looks like a shitty bet. How does Netflix standout as a competitive employer? It has none of the security of established giants (MS, Google, Apple, Oracle), none of the mid-range growth/risk potential of peaking stars (Amazon, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Facebook), none of the opportunity for tremendous glory & wealth of startups.

If you're trying to transition to away from a supply chain powerhouse to an exclusively tech firm, especially one with as much tribal/tacit knowledge as Netflix, this is extremely bad news. All of the "Freedom" (capital F) culture is turning into churn'n'burn, and has been for years. Without the appeal of skyrocketing stock options, the product team's pace is going to slow.

Combine that with pissed-off investors, pissed-off customers and a braindead marketing department, and you've got a recipe for...well, I dunno, but it ain't good.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Customers are both irrational and fickle, though... a good deal could turn everything around. Re-landing Starz, or signing a heavyweight like HBO, could turn irritated customers back into fans by opening up new streaming opportunities. Turning the tide of customers puts investors at ease. Etc, etc.

Obviously engineers are important - the suggestion engine they use is really streets ahead - but I think this one's going to be solved by the MBAs, even if it ends up costing Netflix some serious coin.
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DeD CHiKn



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mind netflix streaming except they don't have anything I want to watch ever!

Seriously, every time I go "Oh, I'd like to watch this" I look it up and POW only on mail order DVD.
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