Monday, September 19, 2011

Netflix: A Red Silk Purse or a Sows Ear?

Today Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings sent out a second long and disturbing letter to their customers. As a big Netflix fan, and as a long time community manager, I shuddered as I read it. I knew even before I finished reading it that there was a plethora of internet backlash building.

It's obvious they're shattering off the DVD brand. I think this is a huge mistake. They're diluting their brand and they've already alienated thousands of users. They'll hemorrhage even more with what appears to be the sale of their DVD brand along with us to another entity. Changing the name to Qwikster is absurd. Qwikflix was the natural progression. Just sayin'. 

 So, since I could really use a great community manager job, I re-wrote Reed Hastings letter. This is what would actually get Netflix customer's attention, rebuild their offerings and retain and attract new customers.  That is, of course, if they even care about their customer base. It's been very evident, even admitted in this latest letter that we're not taken into consideration at all.

  Please leave comments on my blog and Reed's Netflix blog which version of reality you'd prefer, his or mine.

Dear Netflix Customer,

   We’ve listened to you and we’ve got some exciting changes ahead.

 We’re upgrading our site to better showcase and differentiate between our two great services: Netflix DVD and Netflix Streaming.

    You’ll be able to access both sides via Netflix where you can select between DVD, streaming, or both and you’ll still get just one bill a month from Netflix.

  But now, when you select both of our two great services, you get a discount for being a ‘doubly loyal customer’.

   And whether you select DVDs, streaming, or both, you’re assured you’re still a part of the Netflix family with those fun red envelopes that you’ve put your trust and entertainment dollars into for the last 10 years.

But there’s more. Besides Blu-ray and adding Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games, we’re going to start rolling out a variety of perks for your activity with us here at Netflix. Everything from popcorn perks to movie screening invites will be up for grabs. Now your movie ratings will count as well as creating lists, sharing movies, adding your friends and tweeting them out.  And, if you’d love a streaming ‘Hangout’ style viewing with your friends and family across the internet, get ready, it’s all coming soon.

  Thank you for being a part of the Netflix family. We wouldn’t be here without our loyal customers.

Anni Bricca
The Future Netflix Community Manager