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Corey3rd

A New Releases page is only good a week before the tuesdays the titles come out - if you ask for a new title on release Tuesday, you'll just get "Long Wait" action.

David Mallozzi

Wow, that new page is terrible. It's not New releases, it's Recent releases. I just want to see what's coming out this week, not what came out a month ago.
And if I use that link you provide, it lists only a dozen or so titles coming out this week. I guess because of Christmas? or is it not really all the releases?

Movie Mike

I usually check the new release list at boxofficemojo.com and line the titles up at the top of my queue by Sunday night. I usually am about 2 weeks ahead of schedule and make sure my Tuesday releases are up to date for the coming Tuesday on the Sunday night before they are released.

Tuesday new releases are mailed first thing Monday morning. I've had my pick of the new releases 99% of the time. If I wait until Tuesday to add them, it's about a 3 or 4 week wait. Strange.

I've also noticed that the Blockbuster exclusives from the Weinstein Company released earlier this year are starting to show as available "Now" on the queue list. This is the older titles from the beginning of the year. Perhaps there is a 6 or 9 month window for Blockbuster before Netflix can rent them.

surfgeorge

Well, at least I'm glad to read that I was not selectively chosen due to my "heavy usage" to be denied access to the "releasing this week" page. Looking at the "community blog" on this topic, at the moment there are 213 comments, and while I didn't read them all, clearly 97% plus are upset about the removal of this information from the netflix site. Yes, you can still find the listings here:

http://www.netflix.com/AllNewReleases?lnkctr=NavAllNewReleases

Thanks for that Tygger! But the community blog author clearly states that "it might not be there for long". Like they want to not even have it exist as a hidden secret page! WTF! What is wrong with these people? I'm wondering if some of the blog respondents who claim it is a blatant attempt to shift people to renting the dvds that the corporation wants them to rent might not be correct. Either way, this change is a horrible one for those of us "serious" filmophiles who enjoy the Sunday perusal (for the Monday mailing) of the "releasing this week" listings by category on one quick and easy to read page. Not to mention the ease of adding films to the queue simply by clicking on the "add" button. Who wants to spend the time to go to another website, and then add titles one at a time to the netflix search window, and try to find out if netflix will have it available or not? I sure hope the folks responsible for this change read the blog comments and make the page available again in a clear and simple manner, like it was before. I can't imagine how anyone considered the elimination of this page to be an "improvement"! Get it together!

Will

I love the new design, it recreates the experience of browsing the aisles. And if I need a literal list of this Tuesday's releases (not that it would matter since Netflix never sends me new releases immediately anyway), I can always check thedigitalbits.com or hometheaterforum.

XVarX

I'm not a fan of the revamped New Releases page. I just hope that by going in that direction, it is set up so that they're getting paid by the studios to promote certain titles. If they're doing it that way just because it looks pretty, I think it was an epic fail.

That's fine, it's their website, they can screw up the strengths of their service all they like.

What I liked about their Releasing This Week page was that I could browse through the less popular genres and find something that might not have ever gotten any real promotion. Especially the super low budget stuff.

To me, that was the real appeal of Netflix. I could go anywhere and rent the latest Brad Pitt movie. It's not just anywhere that I could find something like "Harry Knuckles and the Pearl Necklace".

The old Releasing This Week page made it easier to accidentally run across offbeat titles like that.

Guess we can't be having that.

Chance the Gardener

I think for some people the dvd release date has become kind of like the theatrical premiere date used to be in the old days when theaters were pleasant, before people started talking on cell phones and bringing toddlers to see movies like Kill Bill.

The worst nightmare for Netflix is having too many people want the movie on its release date, and then having the people who don't get it become unhappy with Netflix. So they show me a picture of a dvd that was released 3 months ago, thinking that will make me rent that movie instead. Kind of reminds me of how the local Family Video will keep a year-old dvd on the "New Relaases" rack.

Now if Netflix can only figure out how to stop me from watching all the TV commercials that say "Available on dvd January 15".

Seriously, you would think an internet company would know about transparency of information. If they fail to give me the information I want on their website, there are 100 other places I can get that information.

Scribe1964

As I wrote on the Netflix's community blog, I don't think it's a coincidence they did this right after BB raised their prices. They probably have a TON of new members that just came over from BB, so they're attempting to hide their new releases.

And another thing: that link to the new release page is incomplete. It doesn't have two of this week's bigger releases, "Jackass 2.5" and "Eastern Promises."

Tom Shumaker

As another poster mentioned, I, too, like to rent the more obscure releases (older "catalog" titles), many of which slip out onto the market without any ballyhoo. The "Releasing This Week" Page was invaluable to me to find out about these nuggets & to easily add them to my queue. I posted my disdain for this decision on the Netflix Community blog as well as their Facebook page. Their decision is plainly idiotic.

Steven Hoober

I have problems believing this is malicious; instead its some dumb marketing guy deciding there is a need to provide all these silos of information. Note how it matches the organization of the site?

However, I will NEVER use this. And it violates a basic premise of this sort of info presentation in that I cannot get (with a click, hacked links do not count) to a date-ordered all-items list. Even BB stores have the billboard of new releases, and the bulk of what's on the back wall is also new in the past few weeks.

If they loose the simple RSS feed, I'll be renting a lot less, as I won't know what is out now and needs to be watched. Speaking of upgrades, when do I get an "add to queue" link on the RSS feed? Jeesh.

Becky

I like the Coverflow, because it makes the new releases more interesting than when they were just a list of titles. Even if I've never heard of the title, the cover helps me decide whether I might want to know more about it or not.

I look at new releases only for those titles I might have already seen, so I can rate them, or for those titles I already know I want to see, but the Coverflow might make me curious about I movie I hadn't heard of before.

Bruce

The new format is completely awful. One of my weekend treats has been to scan the "releasing this week" page and add movies to my queue. I know that (for now) other ways of getting new release info exists, but if Netflix continues to try to hide new release info, I will be forced to greatly reduce (or end) my account.

I can choose the movies I want in to see, I DO NOT need a pre-selected list based on what NF wants me to see.

Edward R Murrow

Wow! Not even I could have predicted that Netflix is already throttling New Releases.

On the one side we have the bumbling retards at BBO which leads to utter despair and on the other side, we have NFLX which is utterly evil and leads to complete hopelessness. May we have the wisdom to choose wisely.

Annoyed

This new "Releasing this week" page is just awful! It seems designed for illiterates who can only consider four choices at a time. I can only use a dial-up connection and scrolling through the thumbnails of the DVD jackets is an unendingly unpleasant endeavor.

Not only that, but the films in the new "new this week" page aren't even newly released this week.

My queue and the "releasing this week" pages were the only parts of Netflix I used--I genuinely looked forward to seeing what new-to-DVD films were upcoming.

I find it hard to imagine what Netflix is trying to achieve with this miserably designed, intentionally misleading page--maybe a test marketing group of toddlers liked this one better.

Why replace something as simple and reliable as a weekly list of titles with something so unhelpful, untrustworthy, and difficult to use? It just provides Netflix's most active and curious users reasons to despise the site and find their films (or at least information about them) elsewhere.

Oh, that's right. Netflix does not want active and curious users. It wants us to rent three copies of "Evan Almighty" and keep them all winter before we begin watching "Fantastic Four II" all spring.

Mark1971

I absolutely hate the new design. I looked forward to browsing through the new releases every week. Everyone knows when the blockbusters are being released, but what about the foreign films, documentaries, and music videos?

SykoByte

I agree with the people that do not like the new New Releases page. It seems as though they are trying to hide some of the not-so-popular new releases.
I love going through the list each week, looking at each title under each category.
It was completely fine, why go and mess it all up? Big mistake on their part.

eviltimes

It was a stupid move. The old page was easy to use and loaded instantly. I relied on it to find documentaries, re-releases of old films, etc.

delcodave

Here is my problem with this: I went to the New Releases section and scanned the new releases for the gay & lesbian catagory. There was a dvd titled "Noah's Ark, Season 2". This movie was released on June 12, 2007. Over 6 months ago! How is that a new release? With the Releasing this week section, I can get a list of current movies, and not something passed off as new that is 6 months old. I, too, access other websites to make my list of must-have movies. TLAvideo.com and the mojo one. I feel we have to becuase there are a lot of movies that are released every week that netflix has, but didnt list in the Releasing this Week section and you have to be smart enough to navigate on your own. I want it back. It takes too long to search each individual category the new way it is set up, instead of all the categories on one page. Thanks for letting me vent.

JohnnyBob

I concur with the overwhelming majority of comments above. The "Releasing This Week" webpage at Netflix has been part of my weekly routine since I joined them about a year ago. I've looked around and there is no satisfactory substitute, so I very much hope they'll bring it back. Their new hidden "AllNewReleases" link is of course essentially the same thing and would be OK if they'll expand it to give 50-100 or more weekly listings. The Netflix RSS feeds are highly unsatisfactory so are not a substitute for anything!

MovieFiend

While I'm not a huge fan of this page myself, it may actually end up being beneficial for me. While we all think it's simple to know what the exact date films are going to be released without the netflix page, I'd venture to say that about 1/10 of Netflix's customers will rent fewer titles on their release week. That means more availability for those of us that really want them.

Oh, and I personally use videoeta.com after having it recommended by a netflix CSR, it shows this weeks and next weeks releases in a really simple format.

Bill Bobo

Bring back the RELEASING THIS WEEK feature PLEASE!

I choose over 90 percent of my movies from that page, and most of them i have never heard of before and wouldn't have heard of had that page not been available.

I pay for Netflix. I shouldn't have to be searching OTHER SITES to find out what new releases are.
Plus no other site has a simple format by genre, where i can literally look over all the new releases in a matter of minutes.

Make all the other changes you want, but bring back RELEASING THIS WEEK!

Also, if i were a filmmaker i'd be furious. You know how many obscure independent films are now never going to be seen because of this?

Here's the bottom line for me. I'll give Netflix 1 month to correct this error. If they don't fix it by the end of January 2008, I'll cancel my membership.

YES i'm that ticked off about this.

It's clearly a way to stop people from watching so many new movies.

That way they don't have to order so many new copies for the initial rush, only to have tons of copies sitting around months later.

It's like say, the Libarary and Stephen King (or almost any popular author) novels. They order an amount based on pre-release reserves, but then years later, they literally throw out the extras (because they only need 1-2 copies per branch at most, not 20).

OTOH, B&M stores do the same thing, but they only have to rent each disc maybe 3 times before they make money (since they charge per rental, not per month). And can then sell the used discs for half off. (Netflix tries to do this, but it's hard to compete since you never know how good the disc you get is)

It really hurts those people (like me) who like indie or foreign movies, since they often go unnoticed except on that list.

noe638

I always thought Netflix had a tremendous opportunity to be a news and information site for movies, allow people to add movies from any section (for dvds and in theater). This could include a portal strategy to aggregate movie or other information from other sites. Even if a movie is new in theaters, you should be able to easily add it to your queue in Netflix. That is the benefit of having the movies listed in Netflix...ease of adding to your queue. I see adding it to your queue and guaranteeing that you get it when it comes out as completely unrelated.

RSS is not a replacement for a page or section of a portal. It is hard enough to get people to use a computer, but trying to get them to sign up for an RSS aggregator is torturous.

The only conclusion I can draw (conspiracy theorists unite) is that Netflix is trying to downplay New Releases in an effort to smooth out their procument.

Raymond M. Sumner

Not since Coke came out with New Coke have a witnessed such an abysmal business decision. It's now easier to walk down to the local Blockbuster, look at the sign hanging above the cash register and see what's being released this week. AND if I have to do that I might as well join Blockbuster which allows an internet renter to exchange the movies at the store. Obviously Netflix is just another big business that has lost touch with customer service. Instead of giving people movies that they want, they will give movies that they have an excess of - sorry Netflix, that's not the way it works in America. College course BUSINESS 101 "The Customer Always Comes First" and in College course BUSINESS 102 - "The Customer may NOT always be right but he is ALWAYS satisfied". I too will give Netflix a month to return to the old version of their New Releases page, if they don't then I'll just join the online Blockbuster and when I need to I'll walk down to local store and read the sign like in the good old days! Very sad day for the American consumer.

David Fox

I posted the following open letter to the designers and engineers at Netflix over on the Netflix blog (where there are now literally hundreds of angry posts), but I thought it was also worth posting here:


Right now, I am sure there are plenty of folks at Netflix sitting around befuddled, wondering how in the world their new design “improvement” could have generated so much anger and negative reaction. Unfortunately, this is another example of a high tech/software company whose engineers and designers have forgotten the purpose of their product. We have all seen countless examples of software made unusable in the relentless quest to add features, or just to redesign for the sake of having something new.

One thing is clear, and that is that Netflix did not conduct any usability testing on this feature change with any significant number of existing Netflix customers. They just assumed that customers would love their “cool” new look.

I just read another blog written by a Netflix customer, who had called customer service to complain about the redesign. She was informed by the customer service person that the page was redesigned to improve the “customer experience”. While this is almost certainly a canned response that customer service reps have been told to repeat, it is worth highlighting, because it is obvious the designers have gotten all caught up in the idea of the “customer experience” and are missing the basic point - customers don’t care about an “experience”, they just want the product to work..

Or, to put it more clearly:

Customers don’t come to the Netflix web site because they want to use the Netflix website – the come because they want to rent movies.

Please go back and read the previous sentence again and again until it is burned into your brain. They Want To Rent Movies.

Anything that makes it easier to help the movies they want is good. Anything that makes it harder is bad.

I have been a Netflix subscriber since almost the very beginning of the company. I have watched as many changes have been made to the site and many, many of them have been great ideas. This is not one of them.

As an example of a good change, in the last year or so they added the ability to hover the mouse over a movie title or graphic and a small popup window provides a basic description of the movie and rating info. This is excellent usability design – if I am interested, I can quickly add the film to my queue. I don’t have to click on the link and wait for a whole new page to load. If I am not interested, I just move the mouse and I am done. Only if I am uncertain and want more info do I need to click and load the new page on that movie.

Another example of a smart feature added recently – when you click on Add, a popup window gives you the info on the movie you added, along with suggestions for other movies you might want. You can easily and quickly put that popup away, returning to the window you were on. Once again, this has limited the time spent waiting for a page to load (even with broadband, it still takes time to load a web page, and don’t forget that plenty of people still have a slower connection).

Now look at the redesigned “New Releases” page. It is clear that the designers either forgot or didn’t realize that a significant number of Netflix customers are regular users who visit each week for the sole purpose of checking out the week’s new releases and adding the ones they wanted to their queue. For this purpose, a simple list is unquestionably the best way to present this information. If you see a title that you know you want, a single click lets you add it. And if you are unsure of what a title is, the aforementioned mouse hover allows you to quickly find out about that movie.

I also have to wonder if anyone at Netflix took the time to ask the question, “What is the purpose of the new New Releases page? What functionality does it provide?” First of all, why make the change to the larger sized DVD cover graphics? The larger size means you can’t present as much info on a page. Does Netflix really think that the larger graphic helps someone choose a movie easier than the regular sized graphic? Did anyone actually test this concept with real users? I doubt it.

Second, as others have pointed out, many of the movies showing up in New Releases aren’t new! Some are months old. Now I can hear the argument from the designers – “What about customers who don’t visit every week? What if they haven’t visited in a couple of months? They will want to be informed of those movies. Or maybe they didn’t get around to adding them to the queue when the movie was first released.” Or maybe Netflix wants to highlight recent releases that formerly had a long wait and are now available. But there are much smarter ways to provide a solution to these issues. For example, what if when you go to the New releases Page, you are presented with the option of selecting movies released This Week, in the Past Two Weeks, in the Past Month, in the Past Two Months, etc. And further the web site remembers the last option you chose the next time you visit the page. Movies could continue to be grouped by category, and for situations in which there is a long list, you can have collapsible/expandable categories. These are just some ideas – I’m sure others could think of even better ones. But the point is that the driving force behind the decisions should be ease of use for the customer, NOT that it looks cool.

Netflix is a good company, and their original idea was a great one – it made renting movies a better and easier process. Let’s hope after this debacle that they go back to thinking about usability and don’t destroy the company with more disastrous design descisions.

boris

netflix is trying to tilt shipments towards cheap catalog crap. plain and simple.

Heather M. Chambers

I have made a Petition to get the page back. Please sign if you miss the "Releasing this Week" page!

http://www.petitiononline.com/netflix/

boris

there is no way those stingy dirty bastards are bring that page back. get real!

Gus

videoeta.com is the best site to use, they will list literally every single dvd release every week

BetteroffGreg

Personally, I like the change. I can see what is coming out on the morning news, the newspaper as well as online. By the time I get to my netflix page, I know what I want to order already. I'm sure I don't take movies as seriously as some, but remember, that's all they are-movies. If I want something badly enough, I'll go buy it. To me, Netflix is like a favorite grocery store. I go there for most of my shopping, but if I need something not carried-no place carries everything-I enjoy going to another place to see what else is available.

RJ

What "Releasing this Week Page"? It's disappeared and something totally worthless is in its place. And NF is playing it up like it's some sort of improvement?

I'm convinced NF, thinking like a monopoly, and having its website run by non-marketing, technical, "gee-whiz, a new gizmo" type geeks, has no clue what a marketing focus group is, or how to determine what the reaction to radical changes would be before they make them.

Sam

You guys are correct that Netflix is steering people away from the just released titles.

And I think it's fantastic. The desire to have the latest release is such a ridiculous thing that I have no issue with them trying to reduce costs and/or user frustration by not encouraging this behavior as they did with the old page.

If there's a movie you really need to see right away then you'll know about it in advance and don't need Netflix to suggest it to you.

MovieFiend

Personally I could care less. I think I've watched 2 movies from NF in the last 6 months that came out this year. There just really aren't that many good movies that come out. I'd rather wait for the movie to come out, plenty of reviews to be done, then know ahead of time if it's worth watching or not.

Also, obviously everyone here already knows how to use the internet to find their new releases, so if you want to get them the week they come out, this is a GOOD thing, because you'll be competing with fewer people during the highest demand time.

Ron Jon

Netflix forgot online is for convenience when they changed New Release. I'm in process of switch to Blockbuster once I've tested them FREE for three weeks. Cost is far less important than convenience. Curious why Netflix did this -- perhaps to push customers away from ordering too many New Releases by making it harder. Dumb idea if they lose customers as a result. New Releases don't look "new" in current format.

MovieFiend

Well, if the customers they lose are ones that only rent new releases, aka not profitable customers, are they really losing anything.

Sam

Mostly true. Many of those who mainly rent new releases (and need them as soon as they come out) may be profitable when looked at individually. But if by losing some of them it makes many more Netflix customers happy (by getting the movies they really want a little faster) then it is still a net win for Netflix.

Want my new release page

I hate the new design. I'm sure it's very easy to find what films are releasing this week from OTHER websites ... but it's just as easy for me to use OTHER rental services. The "old" New Release page made the Netflix service worth it for me, now it's not.

Sorry, I love Netflix but I hate the "new" New Release design. If things do not change I'll just go with Blockbuster, which seems to be a better service with in store options. Who doesn't have like 12 Blockbuster stores near their house/apt? I hate Blockbuster but I will drop Netflix if this problem doesn't change.

Sisophous

Netflix had an excellent service until some clueless individual decided to change the service. I believe Netflix is trying to save money by not adding new releases on the level they had when they had the "Releasing this Week" page. Not a single new documentary has been added by Netflix since last year. Not even one!!!! And they try to conceal this by changing their website to fool the members. Just go to New Releases under documentaries genre and you will see the same movies appearing each time you try. I've tired of nothing new being released and checking their pitiful website.

rodger leininger

i just want to add that if you go to netflix home page and don't sign in then click "browse selection" it will show you new releases. i guess again, it is a case of newest (or potentially newest) subscribers being treated better.
rodger

dased1

why is netflix releasing some movies later than there real release dates. some by a month some by a few weeks whats up with this????

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