Netflix announced this morning that users can no longer add DVDs to their mailing queue from devices they use to stream Netflix films.
The company offered a lame but honest explanation. “Providing the option to add a DVD to your Queue from a streaming device complicates the instant watching experience and ties up resources that are better used to improve the overall streaming functionality,” Netflix wrote on its blog (emphasis added). “This change does not impact the Netflix Web site, where most members manage their DVD Queues.”
Netflix sees streaming as its future, and is cutting back on its DVD business, despite the fact that it continues to be profitable.
This was a not so subtle hint to users with streaming capabilities that DVDs are a waste of time. The change prompted an angry backlash, with 172 comments on Netflix blog post.
“Netflix needs to proceed with great caution in how it unwinds its disc business,” writes PaidContent’s Andrew Wallenstein, “Or risk losing a chunk of the subscribers on which it built its booming business.”
Take this user comment for example. “You’re just killing off DVD subscriptions one step at a time,” wrote an angry user. “First the price hike, Blu-Ray surcharge, and now this. When optical media goes, so do I.”
Also, think of the poor postal service!
bpopper at observer dot com – @benpopper