Everything You Like About Netflix? Analysts Think That’s a Bad Idea
July 4, 2012

It doesn’t surprise me to see more evidence that, in today’s connected world, the interests of consumers and entertainment providers continue to diverge greatly. It’s just rare to see it expressed so blatantly. Techdirt wrote up a recent analyst’s report on kids’ programming on Netflix in which the conclusions were reached that

  1. parents and kids like being able to watch what they want when they want
  2. especially since there are no commercials
  3. and this is a bad thing for kids’ programming providers like Viacom and Disney
  4. so they should try to restrict this viewing in favor of their own channels

Disney on Netflix

The first two points are not at all surprising to anyone who’s tried any kind of DVR or Netflix programming. The last two may not be news, either — many observers have seen that providers hate viewers having more choice and control over what they consume, especially when it comes at lower flat rates instead of paying per movie or TV show. I’m not sure exactly how they’re supposed to restrict that behavior, though, since today’s digital world is all about providing more control to consumers, less to the traditional media giants.

What’s not realized in the advocation of this strategy for the giants is that some viewers are more loyal to the method than the content. That is, they’re more likely to stick with Netflix, watching what is available there, than follow Disney back to their walled gardens.

2 Responses  
Gedece writes:  

You are absolutely right. I have Netflix from Netflix Argentina, which offers some content that’s slightly different from other countries, and a lot that is common to all.

After some adjustments where Netflix found out most people in Argentina prefers to have the option of original audio and subtitles even for kids stuff, I subscribed.

I love being able to follow a series at my own pace, I’m currently watching lots of things I hadn’t because normal tv time sometimes collides with other things I do.

I know there are several things missing, but the stuff that’s already there is enough to keep me interested for years. So, after some thinking I arrived to the same conclusion you did.

It’s the format and freedom that I love,and I don’t watch other series on TV though I like them because my time is my own, and I don’t live according to tv timetables.

Thad writes:  

Of course, #4 relies on the typical erroneous assumption #5, “because if you remove something from Netflix, nobody will ever find it anywhere else on the Internet.”

Remember when Fox widened its air-to-Hulu gap from one day to one week? I forget what the exact increase was that the torrent trackers observed, but it was enormous.


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