News Of The Day 9/19/2011

Calm news day? Nope, Netflix is making things complicated. Or Qwikster is . . . er, just read on . .

Netflix:
Well, let's start at the beginning, when Reed Hastings released an explanatory/apologetic letter about changes at Netflix. He explains DVD and streaming becoming different businesses, and that now DVD's are "Qwikster."

As you can guess there's PLENTY of reaction, and you can check the Techmeme roundup here.

Me, I recommend these Ten reminders about Netflix and it's state. Most importantly is it's going international with STREAMING ONLY.

Oh and don't forget – they're going to do game rental.

I'm still a Netflix backer because they've done pretty well, despite this crazy juggling, and as a pure business decision it's understandable. Could it have been handled better? Yes – Netflix's big achilles heel seems to be poor communication.

Now what this means for Progeeks:

  • Netflix is doing well but has made itself vulnerable temporarily – someone might be able to take advantage of that.
  • Netflix and Qwikster have separate headquarters – the former in Los Gatos, the latter in San Jose. If you're thinking of relocating, remember this – even if they're not too far apart.
  • Netflix is in transition, so though we're bullish on them for employment, this is a company going through change.
  • Netflix has it's problems, but so does the competition – but Netflix's problems seem to be of their own making in too many cases. That's good in one way – but bad in another if they keep doing this.

Whew, now back at it.

Economics/Geekonomics:
Keep following political news as President Obama has plans for changes in the tax code and a jobs program.

There's also a sit-in style protest on Wall Street. It's not getting a terribly large amount of attention – yet. It's focus is on a mix of general protest and reform, and they're taking inspiration from the uprisings in the Mideast. We'll see how this one develops both in general, and in use of social media and awareness.

Mobile:
AT&T wants to sell off some of it's spectrum to get the T-Mobile deal through. This seems to undercut some of their previous defenses, but also says they want this bad. Frankly I didn't expect them to go this far, and I'm wondering where this will end now. Worth a watch to see what happens to see what AT&T thinks is worth trading off.

Net Freedom:
Canada's government comes down on Rogers over throttling game traffic. Could be precident-setting for other countries.

Publishing:
MUST READ: News Organizations are doing their own publishing which of course is ease these days – and in fact many bloggers use their work to make books (Hey, I did it in my Best Ofs). An interesting read that helps you think about what publishing and books are – and were – and aren't.

Video Games:
Not surprising: DC Universe Online goes free-to-play.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Let's get it out – Netflix, good move or not?

- Steven Savage

Steven Savage Steven Savage (2509 Posts)

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.


  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5823410970b www.genjipress.com

    A lot of people are really bitter with Netflix right now, and not because of the specific things they’ve done — it’s how they went about doing it, with little consultation or feedback from their own customers.
    In the long run, it’ll probably be better for them to split the two businesses, but right now it’s going to be painful and confusing. They’ve hinted that they have some better deals locked up with the content providers (and they better now that Starz has split on them), but one issue that isn’t getting much attention is how Netflix eats into physical media sales, which makes it reluctant for the providers to release stuff on the service before they’ve had some time to allow discs to sell through in the first place. There’s no easy answer for that one, and this change doesn’t seem to provide one either.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5823410970b www.genjipress.com

    A lot of people are really bitter with Netflix right now, and not because of the specific things they’ve done — it’s how they went about doing it, with little consultation or feedback from their own customers.
    In the long run, it’ll probably be better for them to split the two businesses, but right now it’s going to be painful and confusing. They’ve hinted that they have some better deals locked up with the content providers (and they better now that Starz has split on them), but one issue that isn’t getting much attention is how Netflix eats into physical media sales, which makes it reluctant for the providers to release stuff on the service before they’ve had some time to allow discs to sell through in the first place. There’s no easy answer for that one, and this change doesn’t seem to provide one either.

  • http://www.megamstudios.com Rob

    Flat out: I’ve cancelled my Netflix account, and it has nothing to do with the “value” or future business – that’s irrelevant to me.
    The issue I have is that once again, another promising company has let the MBAs take charge and wax pithy about projected earnings and revenue streams – yet once again, forget the customer, the whole reason why they are there.
    Could it have been handled better? Hell yes. Have they made it worse? Absolutely. Any good company should not let their dirty laundry hang out and this is a textbook case of it doing so. To split the divisions is one thing. To create two different companies, and thus add extra cost for no (immediate) increase in value is atrocious. Customers don’t care about what the company can do tomorrow – that’s a shareholder concern. They care about what the company can do TODAY.

  • Scott D.

    The CRTC might be cracking down on Bell and Rogers, but I do not trust the current government (who has a majority) to follow up on anything the Commission requires of the companies.