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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

82

I'll Always Love You, Netflix

"The Netflix nightmare continues. Shares plunged 35% in afternoon trading Tuesday after the video service revealed it lost 800,000 subscribers in its difficult third quarter." —That's it. HANDS IN THE AIR! Get on the floor. Wallets. Netflix logins. Everyone stay cool and this'll all be over with soon.



82 Comments / Post A Comment

QuiteAmiable

I guess I don't understand the hoopla. I mean, even if you have both services, it's like $16/month, which is basically the cost of seeing ONE movie in the theater. I mean, $16 for a month's worth of tv and movies! That's a better deal than cable.

Quick Brown Fox

@QuiteAimable I was just annoyed that they raised the price but their streaming selection still sucks. So I cancelled streaming and just have the DVDs.

redheadedtwit

@Quick Brown Fox The price hike coincided with me moving in with the BF, so he kept his DVDs and I kept the streaming. We can now spend almost an entire night ignoring each other and basking in the warming glow of Netflix without paying the price hike.

wharrgarbl

@QuiteAimable I just object to the basic dickheadedness with which they handled everything. I mean, why the fuck are they paying their PR/marketing departments if they're not going to do their damned jobs?

NeenerNeener

@redheadedtwit But also you did pay the price hike.

redheadedtwit

@NeenerNeener Well, not by much, we are paying about the same each with minimally reduced service. I never remembered to watch my DVDs, so no big loss there.

NeenerNeener

@redheadedtwit I'm nit picking here - one of you could've cancelled your subscription when you moved in together and still enjoyed streaming and DVDs.

redheadedtwit

@NeenerNeener That would have sent a better message to Netflix, but neither of us wanted to give up our settings/suggested movies.

She was a retail whore

@QuiteAimable I was already on a streaming plan, and if I actually watched DVDs, I think I would have been okay with the increase in price, but what gets my goat is that they've moved a lot of their formerly streaming content to DVD only (Veronica Mars, for example). That sucks, and helps me to better understand all the ill will that Netflix has recently engendered.

leonstj

How does online streaming of movies get fixed? All I want is a spotify for movies - mostly everything, no ads. I would totally pay $25 for this each month if they could just make it work - it's more than I'm paying now, and I quit renting movies. Hell, I've mostly quit WATCHING movies, because, fuck these people. I am willing to pay for entertainment, but for jeebus' sake, MAKE IT EASY.

I know the issue is all of these long term deals movie companies make, and also that they want me to go to theatres. But this is kind of idiotic. Movie theatres have bedbugs, so fuck them. It is the 21st fucking century, we have large hadron colliders and miracle bras and can turn sunlight into electricity, is it so fucking hard to let me watch "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly" on the same day I decided I needed to see it without having to go to the last vestige of Kim's and deal with those arrogant pricks?

arizonatime

As long as Netflix stays around so that the Hairpin can continue to reference its awesomeness in 40% of its articles.

science is sexy@twitter

NeenerNeener

@science is sexy@twitter You have unlocked the power to layer over ads.

christonacracker

Wait, where are all these 800,000 people going to get their stories? I don't love netflix' choices these days but I might actually die without it. Although I considered leaving temporarily in protest when they switched Veronica Mars from instant to DVD only while I was mid-season.

Quick Brown Fox

@christonacracker Torrents!

wharrgarbl

@Quick Brown Fox Avast ye mateys! Batten down the hatches and prepare to make some scurvy dogs walk the plank! Something something mainsails!

melis

TO THE PIRATE BAY

christonacracker

@christonacracker yo ho ho and four shitty pixelated episodes of one tree hill with rum!

wharrgarbl

@christonacracker Ye be dealing' with the wrong mateys, shiver me timbers, and so forth!

science is sexy@twitter

@melis Now is as good a time as any to inform you that you have replaced Emma Koenig as my imaginary girlfriend.

melis

@science is sexy@twitter I accept. Prepare the celebratory knives!

kayjay

It's okay, Netflix. We're still good, you and me. I'd rather give my pittance to you than Time Warner. At least you bought me dinner first.

parallel-lines

I'm the asshole who's had four movies in the envelope sitting on top of her DVD player for at least six months. I had to dust them the other day.

As for Netflix streaming - used across Time Warner cable (with a blue ray) it is completely worthless--I'd get maybe 15 minutes into a movie before it conked out. Time Warner can also choke on the rainbow used yesterday on Zooey.

kayjay

@parallel-lines We were trash talking Time Warner at the same time!

parallel-lines

@kayjay TIME WARNER, YOU MADE ME WATCH THE INTRO TO THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS MOVIE FIVE TIMES! No one should ever have to suffer like that.

kayjay

@parallel-lines NOOOOOO! My condolences. But now I'm adding Garbage Pail Kids to my Instant Queue.

sarah girl

I just discovered Friday Night Lights - my Netflix subscription will be sticking around for a while, yet.

oh, disaster

@Sarah H. Same here. Watching it before bed means dreams of Tim Riggins. TEXAS FOREVER.

backstagebethy

@andrea disaster ooh I think I'll spend the rest of my workday google imaging Tim Riggins.

c8te

I'm not quitting till I finish all 59 episodes of Midsomer Murders.

micromutation

@c8te This lurker created a Hairpin log-in for the sole purpose of telling you that we are brain twins. Is there anybody even still alive in Midsomer county? Whatever, casualties for a good cause, i.e. my endless entertainment and devotion to DCI Barnaby: Dream Man.

wharrgarbl

@micromutation There isn't! Midsomer has actually complained about it! Their fake-murder rate is like five times as bad as Detroit's!

frigwiggin

@wharrgarbl And at LEAST twice as bad as Cabot Cove's.

wharrgarbl

@figwiggin Well, Cabot Cove's was only as bad as it was because all the shit that happened whenever Jessica went on vacation counted towards their total, which doesn't seem fair.

frigwiggin

@wharrgarbl Also this.

candybeans

@figwiggin Is this a good place to talk about how much I loved "murder, she wrote" as a (totally weird) kid? I just loved Jessica Fletcher. LOOOOOVED.
I suppose it goes without saying that I didn't have a drink (or a first kiss) until college, right?

wharrgarbl

@candybeans I watched a lot of "Murder, She Wrote" when I was a kid, too, though I think the lingering response was "That seems like kind of a...petty reason to poison somebody." Little did I know that I would grow into an adult suffering from the law of diminishing returns. Now I watch murder-shows and rage about the house if the murder is anything less than blowing up an entire city block to get one person for using your stapler without asking first. Office supplies cost money, Janet!

Polina

If someone with a better streaming selection comes around, I'm there. But until then I'll keep my subscription.

atipofthehat

I'm putting all my money back into Blockbuster.

melis

@atipofthehat I'm investing in BETAMAX.

foofaraw

@atipofthehat laserdiscs, my friend!

madge

hey what is everyone complaining about, the next generation is streaming! what else do you want to watch, huh?

wharrgarbl

@madge Streaming is currently being half-smothered in its crib by the last generation, though. The content-owners are like indoor-only cats who've never figured out that the bird in the yard is a decoration that you put there, it's not real and they're never going to catch it. They're fucking sure that there's some way to squeeze more money out of streaming rights, and you're not going to pry them out of their vise-like grip until they fucking figure out what it is and also how to kill that goddamned bobbing-headed bird.

At this point, the overwhelming preference seems to be for nobody to get any of the things if they can't have all the money, rather than the more sensible "some of the things for some of the money" position, and until that changes, streaming is going to be seriously hobbled. I'm hoping Amazon, motherfuckers of the apocalypse that they are, can marshal the necessary clout to make some headway with the content-providers.

dracula's ghost

@wharrgarbl PREACH!!!!!!!!! Such true words!

frigwiggin

@madge Plus, the first two seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race. What WHAT JUJUBEE

Hooplehead

@madge Streaming would be the next generation if Netflix had the bandwidth to support streaming movies and TV that people actually want to watch. Having a large selection of straight to video movies on streaming is a draw for no one.

@wharrgarbl: Netflix is hanging themselves by not having enough infrastructure to support streaming for popular content. Unless they turn it around soon, Amazon is going to eat them alive.

Ironic Hipster Meme

@madge Best explanation of studio licensing I've heard. Well done.

phenylalanine

@madge ...Wait. Did you mean "the next generation" as in metaphorically, or The Next Generation, as in Star Trek?

dracula's ghost

you guys, my old man made us switch to Hulu because he was annoyed with the bullshit marketing of the Netflix switch, which, I mean, fair enough (Qwickster? QWICKSTER???), but I really think I might HATE HULU.

Hulu has ADVERTISEMENTS that you have to watch, just like regular TV, EVEN IF YOU PAY FOR A FANCY SUBSCRIPTION. Hulu has almost no movies--I have literally never searched for a movie I wanted to watch on there and actually found it. They have better TV than Netflix streaming (available the day after it airs, instead of having to wait for whole season to come out DVD-style) but seriously.

I really miss my Netflix streaming. I think we should go back to Just Streaming (ie not Qwickster) and then patronize our local Videorama, which is what we do anyway because Hulu has no movies except Starship Troopers, and, honestly, there's only so many times you can watch that movie.

Polina

@dracula's ghost Thankfully the Qwikster thing was killed off. That had me super angry, the idea of managing two queues. I didn't want to have to check and see if something on my DVD queue was on instant on a completely different website.

wharrgarbl

@dracula's ghost Hulu+ makes you watch ads? Motherfucker. My husband wanted to get a membership just to check it out, and I was assured we would not have to watch ads if we gave them money in exchange for, you know, not having to watch ads.

Lucienne

@dracula's ghost Oh no, doesn't Hulu+ have all the Criterion movies? I thought that was supposed to be the big draw. It's ridiculous that you have to watch ads anyway, though.

the angry little raincloud

@dracula's ghost
Hulu even puts ads in the middle-- in very awkward spots-- of yoga videos. (Yes, I'm freaking doing Yoga Works PM Rest & Relax before going to bed). OK, granted, I don't pay for Hulu, but it's irritating nonetheless. It's super awesomely fun to be in the middle of Warrior II-- or something, my knowledge of yoga is limited--when it cuts out to an ad for the Chevy Volt. Do I hold the pose that long? Putter about? What do I do?

cosmia

THAT'S WHAT YOU GET, NETFLIX. BE BETTER IN CANADA PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

cosmia

Also, megavideo. LetMeWatchThis. Sidereel. C'mon, guys.

melis

@cosmia Dude, no. Torrents!

laurel

@melis: OK, sure, torrents, but why would I want huge files clogging up my hardrive when I could let the internets store them for me? Other than avoiding crappy looking streamed video, I mean.

cosmia

@melis Torrents too! But sometimes I feel like watching a certain movie RIGHT NOW and don't want to wait for it to download, like when everyone was quoting Moonstruck the other week and I REALLY REALLY needed to watch Moonstruck.

melis

@cosmia That is totally fair.

@laurel Delete them when you're done, except for the totally amazing ones you know you'll watch forever. Problem solved!

candybeans

@melis ugh but torrents are so COMPLICATED. I'm too old a lady to learn how to do that shit. i downloaded one once and just double-clicked it as though it were a file in my itunes account, expecting it to, i don't know, PLAY? and it just... sat there.
am i missing the "slightly ADD and old lady's guide to torrents" that's on the internet somewhere? Is it easier than I think?

cosmia

@candybeans I am not an old lady but I am computerally-challenged! Here is my easy torrenting process:

-Download and install the program Vuze from vuze.com
-When this is installed, you can begin downloading torrents!
-Go to thepiratebay.org
-Search for torrents
-When you find one you want, click the "Download this torrent" link
-Click "Open with Vuze"
-Wait until torrent is done. There will be a handy downloading bar that will tell you how many hours/minutes til it's over!
-Torrent is done. Yay! Open up that file in the folder (usually it saves to a "My Vuze Downloads" folder in "My Documents") and play that shit!

candybeans

@cosmia Three cheers for Cosmia!! "thepiratebay" is an uncomfortable reminder of the fact that the shows are **thefted** but i can surely justify it with a little self-talk about how 1 old-at-heart lady's borrowing of gossip girl episodes can't possibly hurt anyone, Blake Lively is rich and schtupping Ryan Reynolds, et c.

charizard

"Netflix lost 3% of its customers on a 60% price hike. Trying to understand why everyone thinks that is a disaster." (from here)

wharrgarbl

@charizard 60% rate hike? When did that happen?

NeenerNeener

@charizard Purely speculation, because I am not looking into it, but I wonder if a lot of people were like me. I changed my service to streaming only since I never used the mail DVDs anyway (so I wasn't costing them anything for postage) and now my monthly fee is almost $3 less. I win.

charizard

@NeenerNeener I did the same. Netflix seems to be winnowing out its physical DVD customers by "transitioning" them (read: forcing them) to streaming-only. There is no future - only increasing costs - to physical media rental anymore.

charizard

@wharrgarbl DVDs + streaming for a flat rate has now changed to DVDs at one flat rate and streaming at one separate flat rate. I guess keeping the same services after the transition means the total price of both services rises by 60%. I haven't run the numbers, mind; I'm doing the rational thing and basing this completely on a stranger's tweet.

wharrgarbl

@charizard Looking at the pricing schema again, I can see where they're getting it. My personal Netflix hike was like 15%. But if you were previously getting just enough DVDs to be entitled to streaming, you'd have seen a much more substantial percentage increase. People who have the much more substantial plans (ie, the How Do You Watch So Many Fucking Movies What Are You The Duggars? plans) saw an even smaller percentage increase than I did. So the tweet is true for some customers but misleading for their overall consumer base.

charizard

@wharrgarbl Thanks, I appreciate the context! (Personally, I am one of the "I'm so childless that this copy of The English Patient has been sitting on my shelf for 7 months" customers).

candybeans

@charizard I'm totally with you that they're forcing a transition to streaming-only, but I just assumed that that transition would be accompanied by a dramatic uptick in quality in the streaming selection, and while there has definitely been an improvement over the 2 years I've had it, it's certainly not dramatic. When does THAT transition happen, to all things streaming all the time always?

Tropical Iceland

The real drawback of streaming is that you don't get DVD bonus features. Having Mad Men on streaming is great, but I'm still gonna buy the DVDs just for the commentary. Or am I the only one who listens to those? Because I listen to all of them.

charizard

@Tropical Iceland Half the time, I didn't get the bonus features on rental DVDs either. It fucking infuriated me when I got Scott Pilgrim on DVD and went to watch the special features only to be told that it was a rental DVD so they were unavailable.

Bittersweet

On a separate but kind of related topic, do anyone else's Comcast DVR recordings get screwed up? And then there's a little 'static' and volume loss just when Ron Swanson is saying something awesome? And is there any way to fix that, short of calling up Comcast and yelling at them? (Too tired.)

dragoness

An anecdote: my mom became one of those unsubscribers after experiencing some really poor customer service.
Personally, I have a soft spot for Netflix, though, since they always believed me when I said movies never arrived, or cases came empty (I mean, it was true! But you feel like businesses just want to money-grub).

Diana

I was so under the spell of Netflix for so many years that I was stunned this year after stumbling into a local, independently owned video store when I realized that it was cheaper and easier to just rent movies from them the old-fashioned way. I kept my streaming account so I can watch Parks and Recreation all the livelong day as God intended, but I didn't realize how much I enjoyed going to a video store and just browsing until I found something that struck my mood and then watching it immediately while it still held my attention. The Netflix model doesn't work for me when it comes to DVDs - by the time they arrive I just groan and ask myself, "Why did I want to watch Die Hard again? I want to watch something French and arty./Why did I want to watch this French arty crap? I just want to watch Die Hard again." And then the DVD sits on top of the TV for months. Plus with local video stores I can get real recommendations from real people and discover really amazing stuff.

wharrgarbl

@Diana I take great satisfaction in screwing with my Netflix queue pretty much any time I send something back. (No dice with local rentals. They either went under for various reasons or switched half their stock to the ever-profitable money-fountain that is porn.) I still haven't really gotten over the idea that being able to wave my hand at a little box of light and make some clicky noises and thereby cause precisely the movie I want to appear at my house a few days later makes me a wizard.

Diana

@wharrgarbl

Yeah, I know I'm blessed to actually HAVE any local video stores around me. All I was saying in my comment was that I realized some people have rental habits that are well-suited to Netflix, but I have rental habits that are better served by local bricks and mortar shops.

foofaraw

Discovering that Netflix has ever episode of Mission: Impossible AND Law & Order pretty much means they have a hold on my wallet for the foreseeable future.

as_pdx

I don't understand why people are so upset. Netflix basically gave us all free streaming for however long it was (a year?) to let us all see how it worked and how awesome it is. And now we're all upset because we have to pay for it? What am I missing - please explain to me why I should be upset...

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