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Yesterday the Internet was all atwitter with the news of Netflix limiting people to one stream at a time with their Instant Watch service. While it turned out that it was just a bug in the system, and members have higher limits (at least 2), I saw at least one notice come across my stream of someone calling this the last straw for their subscription. I posted a mini-rant across a few tweets, and I’m going to repost it here:
Netflix really needs to work on their messaging. The current uproar is about them enforcing existing policies.
The policies were almost certainly contractually placed upon them by content providers, they’re probably enforcing to not risk losing more.
If Netflix were smart, they’d explain this, and say something like “write Universal [or whoever] and tell them you want multiple streams”.
I just know from my time at Zune: the service providers want to be innovative; the content providers (labels/studios/etc.) always ruin it.
I stand by this, even after we’ve seen the reaction from Netflix. Netflix generally needs to work on their messaging. They don’t address the issues like this in their public forums such as their blog or social outlets. Netflix should work on repositioning their public image as being on the side of the consumer. It’s hard to let consumers know you’re fighting for them without pissing off your partners, but if Netflix has even a fifth of the know-how in the marketing/PR space as they do in engineering and logistics, they should be able to pull it off.