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jedipunk

I would make a Vista MCE plugin.

FredFredrickson

If I ran Blockbuster, I'd do the only logical thing to save my company:

1. Unify online subscriptions again. EVERYBODY is upset by the subscription changes. Heck, my mom is upset cause I'm still paying 17.99 for the same account she's now paying $25 for! Talk about unfair treatment. All it's doing is upsetting everybody, because with so many different variations, everybody's wondering if they got a deal, or got scammed.

2. In order to actually start profitting, I'd do away with the end of late fees. I understand a good portion of customers really enjoy this - so I would enact a late-fee protection plan, like overdraft protection. For $X a rental, you can protect yourself against fees if you keep it a few days late. But for everybody else, it's due back on the due date.

3. Because the due dates now exist, we'll have more money from late fees, but also- we won't have to order as many copies of new releases, thus saveing millions on the budget.

4. I'd increase advertisements. Clearly the best way to cover the cost is to utilize your huge consumer base as an advertising outlet. I'd increase advertising to in-dvd flyers, and heck- promo dvds with trailers and advertisements. Anything to try to balance the loss.

5. I'd actually start profitting.

bmovies

"What Would You Do If You Ran Netflix?"

Sell the place and retire.

paving

1. Release a cheap, standalone set-top box as has been rumored. I like the idea of two versions, one cheaper for standard tv and a higher end model for HDTV's. Include a DVD player in the box and you have a KILLER set top box. Must be wi-fi and not rely on a pc.

2. Get NBC to put their shows on netflix the same week they come out. Let them keep most of the money. Use example of viewership to leverage other current shows/their own new content.

3. Crank out that Silverlight version of the media player that works in multi-os RIGHT QUICK. Will generate "internet buzz" bigger than the customer base

4. Create genre-based portals. I want to go to a Foreign movie site that really digs deep, offers editorial content, etc, helping me locate movies i want to watch. Would like a similar one for documentaries. Key is to avoid editorializing and view it as a more user-friendly searching interface. HD DVD (and blu-ray) could also get one of these special portals.

5. Random bonuses! Send me a 4th movie sometime, with a note saying "thanks for being a customer" and little things like that. Could be based on "good customer behavior" from Netflix-operations point of view.

leonardodicrapio

"Release a cheap, standalone set-top box as has been rumored. I like the idea of two versions, one cheaper for standard tv and a higher end model for HDTV's. Include a DVD player in the box and you have a KILLER set top box. Must be wi-fi and not rely on a pc."

If the higher end model had an integrated HD-DVD player and sold for $150 it would sell like hot cakes this Christmas.

However, a $100 model with component outputs (as has been rumored) wouldn't see much adoption. Just my honest opinion because honestly you have to give people a reason to want to add another box to their set-up. The DVD player probably isn't too bad a suggestion, though, because the marginal additional cost (an extra $10-$20?) may exceed the added benefit to the end-user (it might be vauled as an additional $20-$30 worth of benefits).

leonardodicrapio

oops... meant to the say the added benefit may exceed the marginal additional cost, not the other way round (my hypothetical numbers were right).

paving

Also, need to be able to mess with my queue from the set top box menu

UI is critical. see: front row, Tivo.

A underestimated thing is the REMOTE. so many bad remotes, so little time. Give me something that works with easy to feel buttons, please.

corey3rd

I'd short the stock and then run it into the ground. Golden Parachute and a Swiss Bank account will save me from the wreckage.

Anytime a cult title has a Very Long Wait, I'd at least buy a dozen more copies to put into the system rather than frustrating members.

jamo

Set-top box. HD content On Demand. Throw some weight around with content providers until they get on the boat and supply full libraries.

Creative programming. Special events - Free rental if you watch the film as a time-based event. Premiere a new film at 7:00 on Saturday for free. Toss an ad or two on the download, if it is free, I don't care.

Once the download service is running properly - Have Red Envelope partner with film festivals! Offer the Sundance 2007 collection or River's Edge Film Festival 2007 collection. Partner with Without-a-box for a season pass to multiple festivals.


Edward R Murrow

1) One wire coming in that provides phone, cable and internet
2) Hundreds of HD movies, sports and TV programs provided as part of the subscription available on demand
3) Optional premium channels such as HBO and Showtime for excellent content such as Sopranos, Weeds, etc. available on demand.

Oh wait a second, we already have this available to us all. It's called Comcast.

Netflix can only provide the HD movie and some of the TV program part of #2 above.

noe638

I always thought NF lacked a good customer referral program. They used to call their customers evangelical...well those customers referred a lot of people. They pay affiliates, but they don't reward their customers. I love swag and I love wearing and using free stuff. Send out coffee mugs or tshirts for referring friends, give dollar discounts or additional movie rentals. All this stuff that people tote around just ends up promoting the product more.

paving

Comcast is terrible. And costs $70 month. I canceled them because I have netflix (and bittorrent)

As for streaming HD, ya'll need to learn about bandwidth. HDTV streamed will eat your lousy dsl/cable line. Don't bet on it happening. HD DVD is a vastly superior delivery mechanism for HD for the next 5 years minimum. Even cable and satellite compress the hell out of their "hdtv" offerings.

gir

FWIW: HDTV broadcast (1920P) requires approximate 19.8 Mbps, roughly twice the maximum bitrate of a DVD.

Old Timer Too

If I ran (take your pick - this applies to both):

1. No more throttling or preferential treatment (except for super renters (see item 5) - no delaying any shipment - the next title goes out the same day that one is checked in (mail returns).

2. Mail is always checked in the day it is received - no saying the disc was checked in the next calendar day (applies to BBOL turned in at stores and applies to the store business "day" - cutoff for same day shipment when a disc is turned in at a store is 11:00 am).

3. If a shipping date is missed for any reason - and for damaged/unplayable and lost discs - for every two discs that miss a shipping day and/or are reported damaged or lost, ship an additional title from the queue. The events are cumulative - that is, there is no time limit between events or the type.

4. Charge heavy renters a premium surcharge at the end of the rental month - For those renting 2 or more times per week per slot (averaged over the month), add $2 for 3- & 4-out plans, $3 for 5- & 6-out plans, $5 for 7 & 8-out plans. For those renting 2-1/2 or more times per week per slot (average), add $4, $5, and $10 as a surcharge, respectively.

5. Offer a super-renter plan wherein the plan always has preference over standard plans - absolutely unliminted rents, discs - including new releases - always ship before any other plan, never throttled (in addition to item #3 on my list, an extra disc is shipped for every two extra days discs take to be delivered or returned). Saturday receipt and shipping. The additional charge is $2 per disc over the standard rate - 3-out would pay an additional $6 while 8-out would pay an additional $16.

6. Offer 1-out through 8-out plans (Netflix already does this; Blockbuster needs to).

7. Fast, responsive web sites for all current browsers.

Old Timer Too

Correction to item 4: For those renting 2-1/2 or more times per week per slot (average), add $4, $7, and $10 as a surcharge, respectively.

Hugh

I would add Netflix drop boxes at certain points in major cities, preferably near mass transit locations. The drop box would be similar to a post office drop box, but branded with Netflix colors and logo, doubling as an advertisment. I would have an employee collect from these drop boxes twice a day, and bring the movies directly to the local shipping center. I would encourage customers to use these drop boxes by promising faster turnaround times. By avoiding postage, this would save the company money.

For example, put a Netflix drop box in Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Netflix has more than two percent of the country as subscribers. Grand Central has roughly 125,000 daily commuters. That's more than 2500 subscriber-commuters per day. Assuming each drops off only eight movies per month, that will save the postage on more than 20,000 movies per month.

hueristix

Live from Santa Cruz, CA.

heh. It is easy to criticize, and Netflix is doing so much right- don't take Reed for granted because he/they pioneered a lot. To me, without having met him or worked for him, Reed is crucial to Netflix being Netflix, and Netflix is an innovative and great company.

Anyway I second the idea of a set top box. The time has come. It should be cheap but not free. We all have DVD players already, I would rather reduce costs and have a small form factor. In fact I would say cut a deal with Apple and just use Apple TV somehow. It is a perfect STB, but since they may not want to do that or demand way too much, make a unit pretty much like that- small, versatile, and cheap.

As for Instant Watching aka VOD aka WatchNow...
Content is king- so the fight with the studios for more movie content at a decent price must continue.

Watch Now is beyond DVD so the content can come from new lower cost places; I would have much more TV pilots and shows, also a showcase of user made films and a fun contest, kind of like "on the lot" meets a higher class youtube. Go ahead and use that one Reed. ;-) Exclusive content, even amateur would bring masses on board.

I would also try to manage Wall St.'s expectations a bit better, but Netflix has shown they are not afraid to alter their course flexibly, and in my opinion there is a terrific longer term value in remaining limber despite being a very volatile stock in the short term. Noone can say if DVD will give way to VOD sooner or later, so Netflix must remain limber and flexible above all, in my humble opinion they are doing an absolutely TREMENDOUS job as it is every day.


"5. Random bonuses! Send me a 4th movie sometime, with a note saying "thanks for being a customer" and little things like that. Could be based on "good customer behavior" from Netflix-operations point of view."
Now that made me laugh- reverse throttling?

dizzney

"Netflix is an innovative and great company."

You must have never worked for them because if you had, you would hesitate to talk about how wonderful you think they are.

paving

dizzney -

it sucks to work for basically every company in the world.

dizzney

Not in my experience. I've worked for some really good companies.

Edward R Murrow

"In fact I would say cut a deal with Apple and just use Apple TV somehow."

What does Apple need from Netflix? Please don't say customer base. I would guess that virtually every Netflix customer has downloaded something from Apple. An MP3, TV show or a free Podcast which means that Apple already has the Netflix customer base.

If I ran Netflix, I would figure out how to not get squeezed between Blockbuster's online presence + brick and mortar and Apple's online content goes everywhere - iPhone, iPod, iTunes, AppleTV.

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