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[INFORMATION] Netflix is Winning the War
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[INFORMATION] Netflix is Winning the War

February 25th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Two movie related posts in a row - I must have been brainwashed by the Oscars on Sunday…

There are times in life when you are subconciously aware of a fact, but take solace in the fact that there is no way to really know the true value of that fact and therefore continue about your day. Much in the same way that people who can’t see the current level of the plaque build-up in their arteries keep double-fisting Big Macs, I was content to leave my Netflix movies peacefully collecting dust on my counter unknowing of their true cost to me….until now.

Enter a new service called FeedFlix with their slogan urging you to “Get Your Money’s Worth Out of Netflix”. FeedFlix is a beautifully simple illustration of the power of visualizing data. You simply type in your Netflix account information and they look at your entire rental history and return rate to spit out some shocking data about your usage. My $17.99 per month subscription is averaging out to me paying $8.49 per rental. Ouch.

This is the genius of Netflix - and also where they might be ahead of other movie services such as Chicago based phenom RedBox. While RedBox maxes out your “late fee” penalty at $25 and effectively gives you ownership of the movie in your possession, Netflix is content with quietly continuing to bill you monthly for your membership and has no late fees. I’m sure there are some savvy folks crunching numbers behind the scenes of both of these operations and they have undoubtedly optimized their billing schemes - but it seems to me that Netflix would win in the long run. Seeing that $1/day pop up on your bank statement for 25 days would raise some red flags and probably get you to return your movie more promptly. If anyone has data to the contrary, please let me know.

…I digress…Arguing the merits of business models aside, FeedFlix is a great tool to help you visualize your spending with a cold, objective slap to the face that dispels the myth of Netflix offering such a value…”You only have to rent 4 movies a month and you come out ahead!”….easier said than done. You win this round, Netflix.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Raghu Srinivasan // Feb 26, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Thanks for writing about FeedFlix. I am the founder of the site. One way that we’ve seen users improve their cost/movie is to see a ton of Instant Watch titles - in fact we’ve users who see about 5 times as many movies online than they do DVDs. Agreed the selection is not huge… yet but there’s enough to keep most people busy for at least a few months. Be sure to sign up for email alerts from FeedFlix and you’ll start to get better immediately!
    Best,
    Raghu

  • 2 Phoebe // Feb 26, 2009 at 6:30 am

    Aside from their monthly-subscription no-late-fees model, I’d say Netflix is also winning by offering an API that leads to services like Feedflix - I expect these new services benefit Netflix in the long run.

  • 3 DK // Mar 2, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Raghu - Thanks for stopping by to comment. I just recently acquired a wifi adapter for the xBox 360. I’m hoping to jump on the Netflix Instant Watch bandwagon via that route so I can actually watch the titles on my TV.

    Phoebe - You are probably correct in that Netflix is the only service allowing access to their data to developers, but I’m not sure how many other services I’ve seen other than Feedflix. Does the xBox 360 implementation count?

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