While the future of Netflix may be cloudy, it's clear the service is still on the lists of consumers as many are adapting from DVD rentals to streaming content, which was Netflix' goal to begin with.
In fact, one could argue the oft-discussed price changes were done in order for Netflix to transition to streaming-only company, and while the Qwikster development proves people still want DVD rentals, something Netflix is still willing to cater to, the fact that they split the services into two different entities demonstrates where the intentions lie. Netflix is by far the more popular, more well known brand, and by only offering streaming content at its flagship website, it's clear where the company feels its future lies.
With that in mind, what should we make of the acknowledgement that, when it comes to the type of content being streamed, Netflix members prefer the archive of television shows to the inventory of digital movies. At the Mipcom conference, the chief content officer for Netflix, Ted Sarandos, revealed over half of the streams being consumed are of the television variety, and not movies.
"50 percent and sometimes 60 percent of viewing is TV episodes now," offered Sarandos during his keynote speech.
Considering the quality of Netflix's streaming movie content has long been a point of contention, perhaps the revelation should come as no surprise. But then again, if Netflix could ever work out its distribution issues, especially for new releases of popular movies, the balance could easily shift.
Too bad the Netflix board of directors doesn't see it that way:
"Not many people are coming to Netflix for new releases since they can get them elsewhere," company spokesperson Steve Swasey says. Instead, he says consumers are going to kiosks, retail stores and retaining their pay per view -- in essence, going elsewhere to find a service that Netflix feels isn't crucial to provide.
Apparently, the complaints concerning the lack of new releases on Netflix has fallen on deaf ears. Or do they really think an inventory of newly-released movies would just sit there, with none of its members watching them? Or are they simply trying to explain away their distinct lack of new releases?
I mean, do they actually think losing customers to Red Box is good business? Surely not.
With that in mind, as long as they continue to pump up their television content, while only worrying about catalog movies instead of new releases, don't expect a shift in viewer habits to change anytime soon. This also means if a service like Blockbuster or Amazon somehow managed to secure streams of new releases as soon as they hit the shelves, Netflix would be ripe for another sustained mass exodus.
Or are people willing to continue their membership as long as the television inventory remains strong? Let us know what you think.