The once unstoppable corporation of Netflix may have met its match. Its match does not come in the form of another corporation, or even the government. Netflix’s imminent downfall will come at the hands of its once loyal, but now depleting, consumers. I predict that unless Netflix makes some significant cost reductions or revamps their business plan, Netflix will, over the next few years, dwindle down, leading to its eventual downfall.
I am a steady user of Netflix. In fact, I am watching Netflix as I sit and write this. I watch shows from the first episode to the last with my roommates. It brings people together and gives us something to do. I would hate to ever give up my Netflix account, and I would be extremely sad if the company itself went bankrupt. But to be blunt, Netflix has made some terrible mistakes in recent weeks. These mistakes have caused them both a loss in customer base and in overall revenue. Not only have they increased their fees, they have lost 10 percent of their best content.
Netflix announced recently that they had lost the right to use shows and movies from the STARZ network in their online streaming library. This collection takes up 10 percent of their streaming library. I myself love the STARZ lineup and find myself watching more of their shows and movies rather than anything else. Seeing this great part of the lineup disappear is very saddening, and at the same time greatly harms the reputation of Netflix always increasing their library.
Netflix boasted in their most recent press release that during the past few weeks they have added 3,500 new titles. Many of these titles are great, but it does not fully make up for the loss of the STARZ segment.
One of the main reasons I believe Netflix needs to revamp their business plan is because they have way too many old shows and not enough new material. Do not get me wrong, I love the classics as much as the next person. However, the vast majority of Netflix users want the newest material.
Most people who use Netflix cannot afford the extra money a month to have their DVDs mailed to them and are forced to settle for the limited streaming database. This database consists of thousands of movies, but it just is not enough. You would be amazed at how quickly you can watch all the shows that seem interesting to you and get bored of Netflix for awhile.
Luckily for us users who have the attention span of a goldfish, there are other companies that make up for the areas that Netflix lacks.
First off there is Redbox — a company I am positive you have all heard of and used. It is where I go to get a movie that I cannot find on Netflix. However, Redbox has a very limited selection and can add up to be a pain in your wallet. Each movie costs a dollar a night to rent. This price seemed low until I started using eBay and buying DVDs for $3 a piece. The main advantage of Redbox is its timeliness. You can go get the movie whenever you want, whereas at Netflix you have to wait two days for it to be mailed to you.
Then there is Hulu. Oh, how we love our Hulu. If you missed an episode of your favorite show one night, odds are by the next morning it is on Hulu. Not only is Hulu a great way to catch up on your shows, it is also free. The freedom only goes so far, as you have to pay extra to access the whole database.
If both companies did not have to worry about government regulation, I would propose Hulu and Netflix form a merger to offer the best of both worlds to their customers under one simple account. This hypothetical merger could work as long as it does not involve any more price hikes. Price hikes, an ever-so-common trend in today’s economy, could very well be the death of Netflix.