The upcoming Netflix price increases has the Internet in an absolute tizzy. Their blog post announcing the upcoming price hikes quickly filled up with the 5000 comment limit, and although every comment wasn't sifted through, the word "backlash" is absolutely fitting. In fact, for those who don't want to see a price increase for the combination of streaming and DVD rentals, jumping ship to other services is a definite possibility.
While the management of Netflix has remained largely silent in regards to the discontent, the fires of rebellion are being stoked left and right across social networks; however, the epicenter for the anti-price hike rage is Facebook. Granted, some consider the complaints to be a classic example of First World Problems, but that hasn't stopped many Netflix users from running to Facebook to air their grievances.
For example, on Netflix's Facebook page, the post that mentions the upcoming price hikes was greeted with over 36,000 responses, and again, although this is a complete guess, I'd wager over 95% of the responses were filled with disgust.
Not only do the comments question Netflix's motivations, they also indicate a move away from Netflix maybe upcoming. Some examples of Facebook's rage against Netflix's machine, with all the [sic]s left intact:
Netflix - I am officially flixing my middle finger at you. You can shove it where sun doesn't shine. You make people get DVD's because YOU don't offer all of it via streaming. A 60% price increase? YOU ARE INSANE AND STUPID. Greediness... is going to be your downfall. I will be cancelling immediately and moving on to the multitude of other choices that I have. Asking millions of customers to bend over is pure stupidity. We are the ones that PAY YOU IDIOTS!!!!
I wouldn't have minded paying a bit more for both if a bundle was offered, but charging the default price for both services is a bit ridiculous. Looks like I'll be hitting up redbox and the library for dvd's from now on.
Netflixs took alot of jobs away. (blockbuster,Hollywood video) Thank god Blockbuster made it. Cuz we are going back.
Cancelling August 31st.
Greedy cash grab. Goodbye netflix.
The biggest danger to Netflix? Their own greed. I thought they had the market, but they just kicked themselves out!
I think my real problem with what they're doing here is that they've got two lopsided services. On one hand, you've got the physical discs which you have to wait 30 days for most new releases, don't always get the movie you want, and you c...an only get up to 10 movies a month with the single-disc-out plan assuming you have time to watch it when you get it and mail it the next day. Then you have the instant which has pretty much no new releases and is nowhere near as expansive as the disc collection. So you either pay for one crippled service or another. When it was streaming as a perk, that was amazing, when streaming cost a couple dollars extra, that was still great, when I have to choose one or the other or pay way too much for both, that is not great. That comes out to about $190 a year. Amazon Prime only costs $80 a year and is free for students and mothers.
Wall complaints on Netflix's page weren't the only actions taken by the Facebook crowd. Some Facebook users who were apparently heartbroken by the price hike news created pages, asking other Facebook users to abandon Netflix. One of them is called "1,000,000 people who will not stand for Netflix's new prices," while the another one is a little more too the point, saying, "Fuck you, Netflix."
Unfortunately for these pages, the viral effect seems to have passed them by. The 1 million people page has under 2000 members, while the more direct page has only 60 members.
The question is, with so much negativity surrounding the Netflix price hikes, is there another service ready to step and claim the disgruntled Netflix members? Considering their entire business strategy is based entirely on e-commerce, is there another company with the infrastructure in place to serve the needs of potential Netflix refugees? Will Hulu want to offer more than streaming content? Will the husk of Blockbuster -- now owned by Dish Network -- make another run at Internet rentals, or is streaming movies the wave of their future?
Or, like someone suggested on Netflix's wall, is the time ripe for a brick-and-mortar rental service to step into the widening hole that was created by Netflix's desire to make more money? Are we now entering the era of Redbox?