When Netflix completely altered the services they provide to paying customers last year, something of a minor-to-mass exodus occurred. People weren't happy about splitting DVD rentals and streaming movies from Netflix Instant into two different options, and so, many rebelled the only way they knew how: canceling their Netflix accounts.
Now that the negativity has died down, coupled with the fact that no real successor has taken Netflix's space, and that's with no offense to Amazon's Instant Video service. The fallout of the Netflix price/service alteration, and the unfortunate idea to create the ill-fated Qwikster has been well documented. Essentially, people don't like it when you alter their service and increase prices in one swift stroke.
With that in mind, however, the numbers indicate that people are slowly returning to the online movie rental service. According to a report from Digital Trends, the service has added 1.7 million new members during the first quarter of 2012. Crediting this increase in the Netflix customer base, Digital Trends mentions the recent EPIX deal, which will bring movies like The Avengers and The Hunger Games to Netflix Streaming:
In a recent deal with EPIX, Netflix has negotiated the rights to offer both The Hunger Games and The Avengers to streaming subscribers ninety days after the films appear on EPIX. Films appear on EPIX approximately four to five months after being released on physical disc, thus Netflix will be offering the two popular blockbuster movies to streaming users seven to eight months after the DVDs and Blu-rays are released.
However, one doubts the prospect of an improved streaming inventory later on down the line is the motivating reason for the improved subscriber growth.
The fact remains, there aren't any real alternatives to Netflix. Blockbuster tried and failed, and as far as Amazon Instant Video, well, they're trying. However, Amazon's service acts more like a brick-and-mortar video store, in that consumers pay for each movie that they rent, instead of paying one monthly fee that gives you access to Netflix's entire streaming catalog.
With that in mind, it's hard not to wonder about the level of customer satisfaction for either returning or new customers. Considering the ridiculous nature of various movie studios when it comes to offering their content to Netflix, it's easy to see where the problem lies, and it's not with the company that made red envelopes a trendy item.