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John

Profiles were kept... I use mine daily.

Tyler

As long as I can have a Netflix Subscription for my household despite new profiles and instant queues for people in it, I'm not complaining.

Xenothaulus

I do not need the ability to stream on multiple devices at the same time, but I would like separate ratings for me, the kids, and the wife.

Complication

I'd love to have a separate queue and ratings for my wife but not so much that I'd be willing to pay extra for it.

Alex

As long as there is an easy way to switch around on devices I don't have any issues.

I'm on the 3 disk plan, setup with 3 profiles. One for my wife, one for me, one for our son.

Sharing the streaming becomes a point of contention from time to time.

If there was an easy way to switch accounts on the Roku and Xbox we would probably have two accounts so we could have separate streaming queues.

Ben

Hmm... I was a Netflix subscriber many years ago. Fast forward and I learn that they've added streaming support to my phone, TV, Wii, PS3, etc. So, my wife and I decide to join again. Lo-and-behold, we are surprised to find that we could stream on all our devices at once, should we choose. YAY! Now I can watch some TV on my lunch break, the kids can watch shows on the TV at home, etc. all at the same time. Sure, we grumble about "our queue" being full of stuff only one member of the house wants to watch and would love to have separate queues but are we willing to pay 2x for it? Nope.

See, it's one thing if from the beginning Netflix only allowed one stream at a time. But now, after everyone is used to streaming to multiple devices at a time they want to take that away or charge each user individually? Not OK.

Gary

My wife and I have seperate profiles. The only problem is that because she was the original account holder I do not have access to streaming on my profile. I have to switch to her profile to stream on our computer. Basically, we share the instant queue on her profile but have seperate queues for receiving disc's through the mail.

CJ

I always thought it was clever to allow 4 alternate profiles, but only allow streaming on the one main profile. It has been obvious to me from the get go that the Netflix marketing strategy has been to "hook" you on streaming, preferably on multiple devices, then allow simultaneous streaming on alternate profiles at a price.

I'm still clueless what the Netflix marketing strategy is for "... broader Facebook integration."

Seth

...we believe there may be an opportunity to change our focus from a household relationship to an individual relationship

Um... hellooooo? Anyone home?

First they killed profiles for new customers and then killed the friends feature. Now they're saying that they should create a feature that is a lot like the profiles and friends feature.

It's almost as if Netflix decided to get back into producing their own content again.

Oh wait, they did!

If Netflix is becoming so unfocused and flaky in their priorities why don't they take a try at the rental kiosk business where it seems like there is a lot of money to be made and possible synergy with their brand? I think the company has become kind of afraid to take on any new major changes and is instead just diddling around with inconsequential stuff.

Brian

Anything that makes it more expensive, or more difficult, for my family to use Netflix in the way we are accustomed to, will likely result in a downgrade or elimination of Netflix service.

Netflix Poor DVD/Blu-ray service

"More recently, as streaming has become central to our business, "

-at the expense of our dvd/bluray business!

Dirkmaster

I am on the 3 disc out plan, and have been since '06. I have three devices configured for streaming, often with two or three going simultaneously (thank god for FIOS!). No problems or limitations. But I have to admit, I almost feel bad paying so little for so much content. I'd pay more happily. It's truly worth it.

Neek

I would not happily pay more--personally I like having a projector in each room constantly streaming Netflix as wallpaper and eating up bandwidth--but offering separate queues for a couple extra $ a month is a convenience many people would expect as a future option.

Isaac Church

I already split up the "family" account into several individual accounts so that each person could have their own instant streaming queue. Old news to me.

Knaldskalle

I find myself in complete agreement with Seth. It's a strange ambivalence in Netflix, they want as many people as possible to use their service, but they don't seem to know what to do with them.

colin

just allow streaming to devices from these accounts that would just make my day! I hate sharing a streaming Cue with my dad.

Hank

Is this the same Seth who predicted that the iPad was a momentary fad that would sell less than a million or two units? And who has predicted Netflix was about to be bought out several times over the past two years? Then pardon my skepticism over your assessment of Netflix' management skills.

Whatever this new personal accounts feature turns out to be, there is nothing schizophrenic about Netflix' actions. As any smart business would, they want to maximize their revenue per household. If they were heading towards a per person charge (or up charge) then getting rid of the old profiles feature would be a logical step to getting there.

The Coffeeman

Hmm... they notice that family and friends are making great use of being able to share netflix. They (netflix) then make it just a little more difficult for that to work, turn around and say that you can have it back and more... for a price. What seems flawed about that business plan? =D

Perkins Cobb

Here's how they'll do it: They'll drop the price for the streaming-only plan to $6.99 or even $5.99, but that'll be per device. That way they can market the change as a price drop, and truthfully advertise that you can "...join Netflix for only $5.99!", but raise the prices, in practice, for most subscribers.

I have a single-person household and, like David Lynch, I don't watch movies on my telephone, but even I'll get hit by this, because I stream stuff via my Blu-ray player and, occasonally, on the computer to take screen grabs.

Seth

Hi Hank,

Instead of trying to discredit me, I think it would better serve the discussion if you responded to arguments about Netflix's current strategy.

Based on past and recent behavior by the company, the current management strategy does seem quite quixotic. Knaldskalle makes a good point. While Netflix retains a solid lead over competitors, it has failed to take advantage of that lead in any substantial way.

Take for example Netflix's social network strategy. Despite a number of years, Netflix doesn't have one. As I have written before, Netflix movie pages don't even have a Facebook “recommend” button – a coding task that would take probably an hour to implement site wide. I can't even tell friends I just watched a cool movie on Instant View! That's just crazy. Instead of learning from the previous mistake of executing a large social platform on Netflix that was unwieldy and unpopular, Netflix is again engaged in embarking on a large social platform integrated with Facebook. This is the same mistake.

If you're as a close a reader of my comments as you appear to be, then you know that I predicted that Netflix was coming to the Wii (despite others saying it was technically unlikely); you know that my observations of Netflix's management of employees have been echoed by actual workers; that I foresaw Blu-ray availability would not remain consistent with standard DVDs despite the extra charge; that Reed Hasting's praised Starbucks and Howard Schultz in the past but may be failing to notice that the coffee chain later stumbled badly and Schultz has denounced many of the management techniques Hastings appears to admire; that most user reviews protesting the deletion of the Friends feature would mysteriously disappear.

That's just what I can remember at 2:30 in the morning. So let's stick to the arguments.

David

I thought they already allowed multiple simultaneous streams on the streaming-only plan. Is that not the case?

Per-device charges would be lame.

It would be nice to have an extra kids-account attached to the main account. I'm not sure if it would be worth paying extra for that, though.

refurbished labtops

Osam posting Netflix shut down the mutli-user account profiles feature last year and is testing new Facebook integration, so it'll be interesting to see how they handle multiple users on each account

Neek

The queue management system, to remain in the lead, will need to evolve in the future. Can you imagine in 10 years having to scroll through all your movies to get to the one you want to watch? (at least that's what I have to do on my Blu Ray) And with the convenience computers and Netflix offer, not being able to split the intsant queue into sub-queues and categories in the future would be so lame. Netflix not only has to keep good content but constantly evolve and improve the software to stay ahead of everyone else.
Now, the aspect of them trying to get more money per household--maybe they're getting a little cocky and it could backfire. We just need more competition in the field to solve that.

flawed

In other words what they are saying is "we have reached market saturation in order to grow subscribers we need to stop allowing 6 devices to stream at a time so we can start getting more monies out of our customers!!!"

Johnny

I'd love a profiles-esque option for streaming. Ideally this would involve separate ratings and queues, and very importantly it should keep track of the timing of multiple videos separately. What I mean is, if both my wife and I watch "Movie" and I get to 1hr 15 min and my wife gets to 57 min, both of our respective places should be saved.

Priv8Pete

I just wish that you could override the parental controls on streaming like you can to add a disk to your DVD queue. I either have to leave everything available or log onto Netflix and change the settings before watching something through the Wii that is above the setting. Just a prompt to bypass the parental control would be spectacular.

Hank

Seth, I really don't have to time to remember everything you (or anyone else here) has said. For the most part it's all a big jumbled mass of random ranting and raving. I do however remember such wildly bold (and stunningly incorrect) statements such as your take on the iPad. It's a compliment that I could associate your name to that comment - I wouldn't have if many of your other posts hadn't seemed at least rational.

I would gladly stick just to the topic, but your first post here was just another Netflix has no idea what they are doing rant with little substantive content.

Hank

You, like almost everyone else here, believe I'm just a Netflix apologist and that because I understand what they're doing as a business, that I like it as a customer. Or that because I explain the cold rationality of some of their business decisions that I believe everything they do is golden. I'm sure it will fall on deaf ears, but that is not the case.

Do you consider this veer into discussing social networking to be sticking to the topic at hand (personal accounts)? Or is it just another "this idea is dumb because Netflix has no idea what they are doing - insert random mistake here)"? Never mind, I'll humor you.

There is no doubt that Netflix failed at their first attempts at social networking. But it is a sign of good business thinking that they cut their losses on those failed attempts, rather than continue to tweak a bad strategy.

By all accounts they are revamping their social networking, although we can only speculate on what it will finally look like.

Are they complete idiots for not having a button to recommend a movie on Facebook? Your idea is to just add a simple button without considering the long term plans - what could go wrong. They could just remove that button after they deploy their final grand strategy, right. Netflix fans have shown they can be mature about such feature changes, of course.

Probably without realizing it, you've actually stumbled on a connection between this feature and the original topic. One reason Facebook integration is tricky is because Netflix accounts are household accounts and Facebook accounts are personal. I won't go into the myriad ways this causes difficulties for developers (Netflix and their partners), but you are grossly mistaken if think adding a simple Facebook button won't cost them a ton in support calls and potential future headaches.

Hey, I've got a great idea. How about a simple little web page that lists all the movies coming to Netflix this week and we'll put a link to it on the main page. Everybody wants that, right?

Hank

Seth, if you were Netflix how would you have managed the transition from "single fee household accounts with profiles and friends" to "personal accounts with Facebook (and possibly other third party social network) integration"?

Obsolescing the profiles and killing friends looks like a necessary stage to me, but if you had/have a better transition plan I would love to hear it. Or would you just have plodded along with the old plan?

Nate

I'm not on Facebook and have zero desire to be on Facebook. How about you worry more about bandwidth caps NF and put your time/energy/money into lobbying/fighting them.

Seth

Hank, take your protein pills and put your helmet on

RJM

Why not charge $7.99 per person if the market will bear it ?

Hank

So Seth, in other words you don't really want to have a discussion and just want to make wild unbacked assertions. Have it your way, Netflix is run by a bunch of clueless, but so far lucky, amateurs who are now flailing wildly. Let's hope somebody buys them before they crash and burn from their own incompetence. It's much easier to think that than figure out why they're making the decisions they have.

DLS

hmm Seems like most people are already forgetting that Netflix allows one stream per dvd out at a time and only one for the streaming plan. Now because Netflix didn't enforce this people are complaining they allowed me to stream 3, 4, 5 or 6 streams at a time but now they want to enforce it and charge me, in other words saying, I should get something I don't pay for. Well, Netflix had us on the honor system and apparently it didn't work, I for one don't blame them they can't make any money if people are allowed to use more than they pay for and I would gladly pay a few dollars more to have my own queue as well.

Seth

I agree with DLS that there's nothing wrong with Netflix enforcing the number of streams.

Part of the problem is that Netflix hasn't been very good at communicating with customers as of late. Their communication with users about the 30 day windows for some titles has been to simply never mention it. I can't even find any information about it in their help FAQ.

I don't think customers understand the issues regarding the number of devices they can stream on and there isn't much information about that on the website either. Netflix's has been rather opaque on a lot of issues and it's going to might make it difficult to transition to "personal" accounts.

lokochon

Netflix is just going to add a family package for e set fee.

refurbished labtops

Netflix, which for better or worse possesses a rather unique ability to entertain solitary users for hours on end, is about to get both more social and more specific. The company has informed shareholders that it will connect with Facebook in order to develop personal Netflix account
http://www.delld610.com/

Gir

"Part of the problem is that Netflix hasn't been very good at communicating with customers as of late."

Point of fact, they've never been good about communicating with customers (with maybe a couple of exceptions, but mostly not good).

My current understanding is they allow a certain number of simultaneous streams based on which plan you're on. It sounds like they're planing on changing it, but it's not entirely clear *how* they plan to change it. Will it be a charge per device, or a charge per profile?

Charging by profile wouldn't bother me. Charging by device would.

flawed

So basically what Netflix wanted to do was run Movie Gallery and Blockbuster out of business with cheaper pricing. Then turn around and raise prices.

dAVe

"...opportunity to change our [Netflix] focus from a household relationship to an individual relationship...

I'm not sure what "individual relationship" is equated to, if that's a membership account, user profile or registered device but I think this "opportunity to change" would be a foundational paradigm change and Netflix will probably have to hit the reset button if they really want (or think they have) to go in that direction. I also think Warner Bros. movies on Facebook should have sent shockwaves through the Netflix corporate offices. I'm not saying technology innovation via Facebook is right or good or even has a chance to be successful but that surprise was definitely an eyebrow raiser. I think what we're seeing and reading from Netflix is the initial aftermath rhetoric since this blog posting is based on information from an Investor Relations FAQ.

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