Friday, December 30, 2005

Netflix Return Addresses scheduled for deletion from Wikipedia

Mike posted last week about the existence of a list of Netflix Return Addresses on the Wikipedia and asked you to visit the article and contribute any missing information you can. However, now there's some discussion over at Wikipedia regarding whether the article is an appropriate entry for the online encyclopedia. The page is scheduled for deletion. You can add your two cents.

Late Fees Back at Some Blockbuster Stores

Randy Hargrove, a spokesman for Dallas-based Blockbuster Inc., said the decision to cancel the 'no late fees' policy is made by independent franchises. About 4,600 company-owned Blockbuster locations will continue the program, he said. "

When the program started in January 2005, about 550 of Blockbuster's approximately 1,060 franchisees took it up as well. About 400 franchisees continue to run the program, with about 150 dropping it.

Props to hackingnetflix

Netflix Wins First Round

Hacking NetFlix found this Reuters story about Netflix and Blockbuster trading places:
"Netflix -- which has no debt -- now worth $1.5 billion, compared with Blockbuster at $684 million and more than $1 billion in debt."


Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says Amazon is out of the fight for online DVD rental space in the U.S.

He also says Netflix's growth will cause more video stores to close, even those belonging to Blockbuster and Movie Gallery, and

that Netflix has no plans to buy any other companies.

Hastings says Netflix will have 4.1 million subscribers by year-end.

Clark Howard likes Netflix

I listen to Clark Howard's radio show about how to "save more, spend less, and avoid getting ripped off." He recommends Netflix instead of video stores in this book, Clark Howard's Big Book of Bargains.

Most of the stuff in the book is "common sense."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

PodFlix: unofficial Netflix podcast

PodFlix is
"a podcast where three guys from New Jersey wax poetic (or more often, not) about the movies they receive from Netflix. Each week, we review three movies which are bound together by a common topic. One week, we may look at spaghetti westerns, the next we might discuss James Bond movies. Except not really, because Willy has vowed never to watch a Bond film. But you get the idea.

We also discuss the latest Netflix news, and any other random stuff which is on our minds. Truth be told, we like to ramble on about useless shit more than we like discussing movies. "

More Netflix Friends available

If you would like some Netflix Friends, send an invitation to these folks:

Email Jen at jenemmanuel at hotmail dot com

Email Lisa Sue at LisaSue8781 at Yahoo dot com

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Google to start renting videos?

Garett Rogers read the new terms and conditions for the Google video upload program, and it looks like they are preparing to offer video downloads, too, since "numerous mentions of "renting" is scattered throughout the new terms which suggests that they could be getting closer to providing pay-per-view or similar service."

Via Zdnet

Netflix Picks up Award-Winning Film by Academy of Art University Motion Picture and Television School Alum, Nick Tucker

Via PRWeb:
[Fandom] is a mockumentary-styled comedy, an illustration about the mental unraveling of a young man who is a little too obsessed with Natalie Portman. The film begins as a "documentary" about fans and their objects of desire, but takes an interesting turn when one of its subjects, Gordon, comes unglued and decides to meet the actress of "Princess Amidala" fame. Faced with the prospect of meeting the person he admires most in the world, Gordon freaks out and begins to unravel. The result is a portrait of a fan who can barely function, despite having his wildest dreams come true.

Nick Tucker comments, “Cinequest is a very cool company. They've been extremely helpful in getting the film promoted and seen. They're also a film festival, and I think that this helps them find films that resonate well with an audience. They're trying out a lot of new things as a new distributor, and I think that was part of the appeal for me. Fandom is a film that tries a lot of new things, too. In many ways, it was a perfect match. Cinequest helped us get our film on Netflix, which is huge, and Netflix bought three times as many copies of Fandom than most other independent films. That's a door that I'm glad to have opened.[emphasis mine--Becky]”

Netflix causing Blockbuster stores to close?

Netflix might be responsible for driving a Blockbuster Video store out of business in Tribeca.
"Tribeca movie renters will have one less option in 2006, as Blockbuster Express prepares to close its doors in January.

“The rent is just too high, and the location has not been profitable,” said Karen Raskopf, spokesperson for Blockbuster. “That particular store did not have enough traffic to stay open.”

“We look at online renting as an opportunity for us, and a growing area, not a threat,” she said. “More than 40 percent of online renters continue to rent in-store.”

She did say some stores would close around the country and fewer new ones would open.

Blockbuster Express, located in Tribeca for just over a year, will close its doors on Sunday Jan.22.

Via Downtown Express

TriBeCa is a neighborhood in Manhattan (New York City, USA). The name stands for the "Triangle Below Canal Street." It runs roughly from Canal Street south to Park Place, and from the Hudson River east to Broadway.

AMANGO DVD Verleih, Online Videothek Internet DVD Versand: DVD-Filme leihen so viele Sie wollen!

Amango looks like a German version of Netflix. The Web site is in Deutsch.

Need a friend? Have a friend.

Heather Anne is looking for friends. She visited the Netflix group on Yahoo! to find some. You can email her at heatheranne1977 at comcast dot net.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

eBay: Netflix Subscription - 6 mo. 3 at a time (unlimited) (item 5650345591 end time Dec-30-05 09:46:12 PST)

Now is a good time to buy (or sell) those unwanted (!) Netflix gift subscriptions on eBay. I cannot imagine not having enough time to watch movies, as this seller says. I mean, where's your priorities, people?!

However, I did take a Netflix and BBO hiatus over the Christmas weekend. Family, you know.

"Notes to Netflix" has been dugg!

Miss Plum blogs:

you guys, please read this crazy thread on digg regarding our notes to netflix group on flickr. they are HILARIOUS, these people. they think we're fake and a marketing ploy and all sorts of other nonsense.

Did you get a Netflix subscription for Christmas?

Congratulations and welcome to the world's greatest online DVD rent-by-mail service! You can find out all about the company here on my blog. Check out the archives for information like distribution center locations and the best ways to use the service. Customer service information is in the sidebar on the right.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christian DVD Movie Rentals By Mail uses the Netflix business model:

2-out is $15.95, 3-out is $19.95, and 5-out is $24.95.

Fewer than 1000 titles.

• No Due Date
• No Late Fee
• Free Shipping, Inc.
PO Box 6430
Visalia, CA 93290
Toll Free: 1-888-527-2388
Direct Line: 559-651-9898
Office Hours: 9 AM to 5PM (Pacific Standard Time)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blockbuster loses most in quarterly franchise index

I guess now wouldn't be a good time to become a Blockbuster Video store franchise owner, eh?

Via Fosters:
Consumers are still eating the pizza, with Papa John's posting the second-best performance in the Rosenberg Center Franchise 50 in the third quarter of 2005 with a 29.7 percent gain, but they're more apt to rent the movie online or pay for it through an on-demand service.

Blockbuster was the biggest loser in the third quarter, with a 48.2 percent decline in market value. The Rosenberg Center Franchise 50 Index at UNH's Whittemore School of Business tracks the market performance of the top 50 U.S. public franchisors.

Read more about the Franchise 50 index

New Starz Study Shows its VOD Service Reduces DVD Sales and Rentals

Via Interactive TV Today:

Premium programmer, Starz Entertainment Group (SEG), has released a study that purports to show that 70% of customers of its subscription VOD service, Starz On Demand (offers around 100 titles at any one time), no longer rent or buy DVD's from their local retailers, and that 76% of those customers are more satisfied with their cable company because of Starz On Demand. The study, entitled the "Starz On Demand Satisfaction Tracker," polled 488 current Starz subscribers, aged 18 to 64, with the same digital cable service (Comcast's) in 10 major markets from September 26th to October 5th. The study was conducted, and its data processed, by OTX Research.

According to Starz, the study also found that 72% of Starz On Demand customers rent fewer DVD's, 60% buy fewer DVD's, 96% believe Starz On Demand is easy to use, and 81% are very satisfied with the service. "SEG has been aggressively promoting usage of Starz On Demand," Starz Entertainment Group EVP, Jerry Maglio, said in a prepared statement. "Because Starz is not ad-supported, we can do things with Starz On Demand that other networks cannot. SEG provides a separate satellite signal to cable companies that offer on-demand with messages reminding viewers that Starz On Demand comes at no additional charge and is easy to use. The company also premieres all its major theatrical movies in the on-demand format an average of 15 days before they appear on the linear services, and also includes bonus features on-demand that are not available on the linear channels."

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

eBay: Net Flix gift certificate, 3 months free membership DVD (item 5648400741 end time Jan-18-06 11:32:14 PST)

The previous seller has another Netflix sale on eBay. This one saves you about $14 (before sales tax) off the price of three months of Netflix.

UPDATED 12-27-05: eBay: NETFLIX LIMITED EDITION T-SHIRT RED XL NEW! (item 7567761072 end time Dec-28-05 17:17:01 PST)

Submit your best offer to buy this limited edition Netflix t-shirt on eBay. The "buy it now" price is $6.99 + shipping. There are only three left, so hurry!

I have no affiliation whatsoever with the seller.

UPDATE: The "buy it now" price has gone up to $12.99 (last I checked, on 12-27-05) and some more t-shirts have magically become available.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Disgruntled Netflix employee rants on LiveJournal

This really explains why your customer service experiences with Netflix can be frustrating. I found a LiveJournal post written by someone who claims to work in the customer service call center for Netflix. Read how this person's supervisor at Netflix instructs him/her to respond to an unhappy customer:

Today I had a call from (oh surprise) a very unhappy customer. The company that does our check handling had frozen his account due to "suspicious activity" and refused to elaborate to the customer even though he'd never had any problem before. He was furious that he was being treated like this. I was trying to explain, apologize and defend Netflix. Then I made the catastrophic error of actually asking Queen Bitch for advice...

...Whenever I asked her 'how was I supposed to respond when the customer asked this?', she told me to apologize. In fact, that's apparently all I can do to respond to every situation, is apologize. Not solve, not ask, not explain. Apologize.

Read more of their December 20th entry.

Report errors with Web site or movie listings to Netflix

We as customers need to hold Netflix accountable for their mistakes. If they screw up a delivery, or have wrong information on their Web site, please don't let your only response be a negative rant. Do something constructive with your anger, and give Netflix the feedback they need to improve their service. I know they read the stuff, because I've submitted corrections to them, and those corrections have shown up on the Web site soon after. You can also suggest ways they can improve their business.

David English has an issue with Netflix, which I've submitted to them as a suggestion. The more people who make a suggestion, the more likely they will implement it.

Here’s a problem I’ve noticed with Netflix. When a film is reissued in a better print, it can take a while to replace the older version with the newer version. It isn’t always clear from the website which version you’re getting, unless the box art definitely shows the newer version. I know Criterion has re-released Grand Illusion, as well as Beauty and the Beast. I’ve read online they may reissue Seven Samurai next year.

In other cases, a film moves from one distribution company to another. Shoot the Piano Player recently moved from Fox Lorber to Criterion. Netflix still shows the Fox Lober box art. I wonder if they’ll mix in the Criterion prints as replacements, and at some point, switch over to the Criterion box art.

Netflix Store Grand Opening

HackingNetflix beat me to it, but Jim at noticed that Netflix's DVD sales are out of beta and they are having a "grand opening".

Unlike their rentals, all DVDs for sale come with a case and their original artwork.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Oops! I deleted your message.

You know how it is. You get forty-two-zillion spams each day, but nestled among those ads, viruses, and trojan horses, is maybe a legitimate order confirmation or missive from one of your faithful blog readers. I know I've accidentally deleted emails from Netflix, by trashing my spam without looking at it. One of those emails was telling me that their affiliate program was changing, so I went three months without any affiliate ad dollars (I'm no longer an affiliate, by choice). The only way to be sure to get an important email from Netflix, is to add their address to your address book. My Yahoo! spam filter will not block anything from someone in my address book. Therefore, I have several addresses that end with in there. For example, problemreview at Netflix, site.errors at Netflix, info at Netflix, etc. Word to the wise.

Meanwhile, if you sent me an email in the last three or four days, I think I accidentally deleted it while cleaning out my bulk mail. I caught a quick glimpse of the subject after I clicked the "empty trash" button, so I know it has to do with Shatner's DVD club. Please re-send.

1001 movies in my queue

If you are a faithful reader or one of my Netflix Friends, you know I have an unusual queue. Everything in my queue is in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, in chronological order according to North American release date. Trying to see all the movies in this book is a fun scavenger hunt, like completing a collection. And it has greatly expanded my appreciation for all sorts of films.

When I started using this list in May 2004, I had seen about 200 of the titles in the book. Now I've seen 651. About 300 of them came from Netflix. Of the 349 left to see, 248 are in my Netflix queue. Of those, 242 have been released and 10 are "release date unknown."

I bought the 2001 edition of the book in 2004, when a couple hundred of the titles weren't on DVD, so I occasionally have go back and re-check Netflix for the ones I've had to skip over, to see if they have since been released. I start from the beginning of the book and look for every skipped title on Netflix. I discovered several that (for some unknown reason) weren't in my queue, but Netflix has them. These, for example:

In the Year of the Pig
The Sorrow and the Pity
Dersu Uzala

There are nearly 100 films I still can't find anywhere on DVD or VHS. I have used the library, Nicheflix, Facets, Greencine, and Some are out there, but too expensive to buy. I'd appreciate any suggestions you have. I don't want to buy them, if I can avoid it. If I buy them, I want to spend about the same price as a rental. I would pay $5 to rent from a bricks and mortar store whatever is not on Netflix. I pay Nicheflix and Facets about that much, plus about $3 shipping and handling. So I guess I'm willing to spend $5-10 on eBay or Amazon, for the titles on this list which I haven't seen.

The above photo is a view of the book with my 101 sticky notes indicating movies I cannot find on DVD.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Some statistics regarding TV on DVD at Netflix

TV-on-DVD releases have snowballed to fuel and capitalize on power watching. "70 percent of all TV series on disc were released in the past year," says Steve Swasey, director of corporate communications for the rental service Netflix. And they're flying out of the warehouse.

Since the first-season DVD of Lost was released in September, Netflix has shipped almost 400,000 copies to its subscribers. Customers have ordered 4.4 million copies of the first five seasons of The Sopranos, the show that launched power watching when it first started coming out on disc in 2000. TV DVDs now account for 15 percent of the million titles Netflix ships daily - 23.5 million in total since 1999, Mr. Swasey says.


What I've seen of Leonard Maltin's 100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century

I have finally seen the last movie on Leonard Maltin's 100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century. You can see the list here, or buy Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide 2005.

Peerflix holiday promo

Peerflix is having a holiday promotion, limited time offer valid from December 15 through 19 only, in which new account registrants receive a free "surprise DVD gift."

Peerflix is an online peer-to-peer DVD trading service.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Icestorm traps desperate Netflix Fan

Yes, folks, I am iced in. I can't get to work, so I'm trapped in my house, alone, with my dog, and two Netflix movies, four Nicheflix, and one Blockbuster Online. I know my suffering doesn't compare to that of others in the world, but for me, it's all I can bear.

Thank God the electricity is still on.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Lauren's mail fetish

Lauren blogs:
It's such a rush, like any good climax I suppose. The anticipation. The moment of truth. And then either the fullfillment or dissapointment. And contrary to how I usually feel about Christmas presents and sex...when it comes to the mail, it is better to receive than to give.

She's talking about Netflix, of course.

William Shatner DVD Club

Science Fiction would be my favorite movie genre, if it weren't for the fact that so much of it is crap. It looks like William Shatner has lent his name to an enterprise which is about to turn that around. He is "club curator and film expert" for the William Shatner DVD club. The great thing about this club is that it looks like Shatner is finding those rare science fiction movie treats which did not make it on the big screen, but are worth a look anyway. Sign up, and they will send you one great science fiction film per month for $48 per year, or $4.00 per month, roughly the price of an in-store rental, except the films are yours to keep. Register now and get your first film free, and you have 30 days to change your mind.

If you're interested in other genres, check out the Columbia House or Disney movie clubs.

via Film Jerk

Fine print: I do not endorse any of these clubs, and no one is paying me to mention them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Would you give your fingerprint for movie downloads?

The Digital Music Weblog writes about a technology which uses "biometrics" for protecting copyrighted material.

The pros:

”The appliance lets you search for any movie that, say, George Clooney has appeared in, and download it. You’ll have access to more movies than you get at Blockbuster, and you don’t even have to walk to the mailbox, like you do with NetFlix.”

Access to the network requires a fingerprint, which is attached to the file the user downloads and becomes the key that allows that file to be played. The fingerprint can also be used to trace unauthorized acquisition of copyrighted material.

The cons:
But, as Digital Music News analyst Richard Menta notes, “The problem is that once a fingerprint is stolen, it can’t be changed like a credit card number, and it is compromised forever. One, of course, doesn’t have to go to grotesque lengths of stealing the finger itself, just the algorithm that represents the fingerprint electronically on a device or file. Once VeriTouch records a fingerprint, the user is trusting that they will be able to protect it.”

Netflix is great for seeing Dead White Men

Mark Olsen, of WorldMagBlog, writes:

One of the great things about services like NetFlix, DVDs, and the expected arrival of the video dial tone is that for the home viewer the equivalent to the Great Works by long Dead White Men are more available than ever. Over this last weekend, I availed myself of such services and my kids and I watched High Noon directed by Fred Zinneman starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly.

Just as with books by long dead white men, e.g., Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Tolstoy and so on, is that one thing that insures that these works are worthwhile is that they have endured the test of time. High Noon is one such movie ... and actually one I've never seen either and so of course my kids hadn't either.

Good stories and great acting don't need color, pizzaz, and fancy CGI to make a great film. I intend to watch (and inflict on my kids) more of movies from the "classics" lists. Seeking those long dead b&w great movies ... that have stood the test of time. It's worth it for the same reasons as why Great Books are worthwhile.

On the other hand, if you still can, skip Gone With the Wind. The critics are right. It's a great movie ... at the same time it is also not a very [great] movie. Kind of a contradiction, a Great but bad film.

Israel has a Netflix-clone looks like an online DVD rental by mail service, but I can't be 100% positive, because the Web site is in Hebrew. The domain name suggests it's in Israel. I would think having your movies delivered would be a very attractive option in these dangerous times.

Monday, December 12, 2005

New Netflix upgrade options

Netflix has introduced a new upgrade option. Now, when you upgrade your account, you don't have to wait until your billing date to start receiving more DVDs. Netflix gives you a choice as to whether it takes effect right away or you can wait until your billing date. If you choose for it to go into effect immediately, they will ship the additional DVD(s) the next day, and charge you a prorated rental fee according to the number of days until your billing month is up.

According to this subscriber, the fee came out to about $0.83 per day for the 2-out plan. However, it's about $0.64 for me, for the 3-out. I guess it is based on your monthly rate, including taxes, divided by the number of days in the month.

I can't tell if this is a trial feature or not, since I wasn't planning to upgrade until I found this entry on The Stupid Page and just had to test it out.

As of this minute, the official Netflix site hasn't changed their FAQ to match this new feature. It still says "Any changes to your service will take effect at the start of your next billing date. Until that time, your Netflix membership will remain unchanged."

Glued to the screen

"Netflix carries 7,500 television titles and ships about 150,000 DVDs of TV shows a day, says Steve Swasey, a spokesman for the company. "

Read more about how TV shows on DVD (which you can rent from Netflix) are turning some people into crazy addicts with no social life.

Netflix has Sunday Morning Shootout

I first heard about this program from DVD Exclusive Online:

"AMC's Sunday Morning Shootout is coming to DVD designed as a "film school in a box," according to distributor Delta Entertainment.

The six-disc set of the first season of the weekly program, which focuses on the business of the entertainment industry...'The Shootout experience is a must-have resource for aspiring filmmakers and everyone who loves movies,' said Delta president Eric Diltz. He said the program 'reflects the company's commitment to supply the domestic home entertainment marketplace with quality, entertaining, viable product.'"

Netflix has it.

Q&A: Reed Hastings, Netflix

HackingNetflix found this great Q&A with Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, in Inc Magazine, via Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection blog. Here's an exerpt:
There are three types of customers at Netflix. One group likes the convenience of free home delivery, the movie buffs want access to the widest selection of, say, French New Wave or Bollywood films, and the bargain hunters want to watch 10 or more movies for 18 bucks a month. We need to keep all the audiences happy because the more someone uses Netflix, the more likely they are to stay with us.

You should Read More

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I'm happy now

On November 28, the status of the newly released Harold Lloyd Collection: Vol. 2: Disc 1 was Long Wait, which usually means a month. I had it in my #1 queue position for just 12 days when I received notice that Netflix shipped it today! I take back all those ugly things I said about Netflix. All is forgiven.

Friday, December 09, 2005

40 Things That Only Happen In Movies

Now that you've had Netflix for a while, you'll recognize the things on this list of 40 Things That Only Happen In Movies

Have you rated your genres?

Netflix gives you the ability to rate, not just movies, but your favorite genres, too. You can indicate how much you love science fiction or hate romantic comedies. If you expand each genre by clicking on the plus sign to the left, you will see a bunch of subgenres. O'Grady's review mentioned the cool genres that Greencine has, but Netflix has plenty, too. For example, here's how the Action genre breaks down:

Action Classics
Action Comedies
Comic Books and Superheroes
Crime Action
Deadly Disasters
Espionage Action
Espionage Thrillers
Foreign Action
Martial Arts
Military & War Action
Urban Action

I've discovered that rating genres has the effect of making my Netflix recommendations more accurate.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Blockbuster Online uses Mercado

Via BusinessWire:
Mercado is the leading e-commerce search & merchandising software specialist for online multi-channel retail and B2B organizations. By enabling a superior buying experience and equipping business managers with a powerful platform on which to implement merchandising strategies, retailers and businesses can constantly grow their business results. Sears, Williams-Sonoma, JCPenney, Macy's, Tower Records, Blockbuster, MSN, and OfficeMax, are some of the companies benefiting from Mercado's solutions. For more information about Mercado Software, please visit or call 888-376-1400.

In contrast, Netflix uses their own proprietary software which they have built from the ground up, which is why the Netflix site is so much faster and easier to use.

Join AFI and get to vote on the next 100

If you would like to vote on which films make it onto the list of America's 100 most inspiring films, join the American Film Institute, and vote on AFI's 100 YEARS...100 CHEERS. Entry-level membership is $50.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A different way to display ratings

I was checking out Blockbuster Online's United Kingdom site, and I looked up a couple of films to see the layout and test their selection. I really like the way they display user ratings. It takes up more screen space, but it also gives more helpful information. It may not be practical for Netflix to implement this style, because they already cram alot of information on a page, but I wish they could. It can be very good to know if people have strong "love it or hate it" reactions to a film, or if everyone is clustered around the 3-star rating, instead of a simple rating.

The above ratings apply to Tokyo Story / Late Spring.

Wouldn't it be helpful to know that people felt this way about a movie?

Very Good
Worth a Look

The movie in question is Murderball.

Top Ten ways to spell "queue"

10. queue
9. cue
8. Q
7. que
6. kew
5. cew
4. qeue
3. ku
2. qu

And the number one way to spell queue is:

1. list

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Don't Netflix these films

There are a couple of movies coming soon that you shouldn't wait to see on DVD. You should see them on the big screen. Not because they are eye-candy, which they are, but because they are both very special movies.

The first movie you absolutely MUST see on the big screen is The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which releases December 9. This is going to be a very special film, based on the first of a series of books which I read over and over as a child. I have heard great things about the movie adaptation, and I've been looking forward to this film since I was 11 years old. If it does good boxoffice, they will make more, and I would really love to see the whole series done right. I heard one guy, who saw a press preview of it, say that it left his children "giddy" with joy.

The other film is King Kong, which releases December 19. This is Peter Jackson's first movie since the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He is putting his heart and soul into this film, because it is a childhood favorite of his, the movie that made him want to be a filmmaker. Folks, Jackson is the next Spielberg.

I reluctantly supply you with the Netflix links for Narnia and if you really must wait, King Kong. Queue these up only if you would like to "vote" for the DVD.

P.S. I know this seems to contradict what I said earlier about the movie-going ordeal, but I would make an exception for these films.

O'Grady's PowerPage reviews Netflix alternative Greencine

I haven't mentioned Greencine on my blog in quite a while, probably because I haven't been a member since last Spring. For those of you who are curious about Netflix alternatives, here's the bottom line to O'Grady's review:

So I've been hooked up with GreenCine for the last month and a half and I can say that the experience has been cool. Unfortunately, they don't have the 20 gagillion distribution centers that NetFlix has so I had to wait a whole 2-days to get my title. Being a documentary-whore, I like the selection that they offer and to me the extra buck or two is worth the variety.

Since everything now-a-days has a rating system, I give GreenCine 4 out of 5 stars. GreenCine isn't trying to be the next NetFlix, they're just trying to create an "Alternate Scene".

Here are some hard facts about GreenCine:

Range of DVD's

Monthly Price
$9.95 - 1 DVD
$14.95 - 2 DVD's
$21.95 - 3 DVD's
$27.95 - 4 DVD's
$33.95 - 5 DVD's
$49.95 - 8 DVD's
$59.95 - 10 DVD's

Free Trial Period

He also mentions that Greencine claims to have about half the number of titles that Netflix has, but they do stock some rare, out of print titles that Netflix doesn't carry. Greencine ships only from California.

Netflix saves you from movie-going ordeal

via The Monitor (McAllen, TX):

"'The whole idea surrounding a movie is that it has become an experience outside what you can do at your own house,' he said. 'Going to the movies has now become such an ordeal, something you do once every couple months and with something you really want to see. Paying for popcorn and overpriced tickets, you can spend $100 or more if you have kids or need a babysitter. If it's worth $100, it can be ruined pretty quickly.'"

Do you think the movie-going experience has deteriorated lately? Is that why you switched to Netflix? You can read more about what others think here: .

Monday, December 05, 2005

Netflix better move on video

If I worked for Netflix, I'd be working on getting some online video out there to my subscribers NOW. I'm starting to feel a sense of urgency about it. I know Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said that DVDs will last another 5 years, but meanwhile, Netflix could become obsolete. People will associate it with DVDs only, and it will seem like a dinosaur. If Netflix is to be the peoples' video portal, they need to be moving on providing content now, even if they have to go to yard sales and flea markets to find it. Too many providers are jumping on the VOD bandwagon. Somebody like Yahoo or iTunes or Comcast is going to stake out the territory, and then it's going to be Netflix-who?

Do you think I'm right, or am I panicking?

Friday, December 02, 2005

"They Befriended Me From The Start..."

Jacob is looking for Netflix Friends.

Christian Science Monitor compares Netflix and Blockbuster

Via Bottom line? "Movies through the mail are here to stay, at least until the next paradigm shift - films streamed over the Internet, perhaps. Until then, Netflix and Blockbuster Online are so similar in price and delivery time that you can't go wrong with either."

The online article includes a reader poll in which respondents overwhelmingly vote for Netflix, 63.4% to 5.4% for Blockbuster. Add your vote to the mix.

Best of 2005

Fimoculous is collecting lists of the Best of 2005 in several categories, like music, books, and film. In the next couple of months, they will have hundreds of links. If you like to check out what various people and publications are saying are the best films of 2005, this is a great place to start.

Thursday, December 01, 2005 benefits from post-holiday boom in online shopping

Netflix was in the top ten retail sites visited on CyberMonday, the biggest online shopping day since Thanksgiving.

Via eCommerce Times:
"'Cyber Monday' brought a surge of traffic to many online retailers as shoppers returned to work following the holiday weekend ready to tackle their holiday gift lists," said Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings. "Heavy promotional activity will entice shoppers to take advantage of the discounts and free shipping offers that are being offered online."

Analysts are saying it's going to be a good year for retail.

Things to do in the dead of winter in Wisconsin

Chris suggests these
"9 Things to do in the dead of winter in Wisconsin:

1) Learn to bake bread
2) Check out public library
3) Up the Netflix subscription
4) Draw something
5) Shave entire body
6) Buy new super-long RPG for Playstation 2
7) Drink
8) Sleep
9) Repeat"

I could do all but #5 and #6.

The genius of Netflix


"And this brings me to the genius of NetFlix. I have been trying to figure out what's so charming about the model. (I have only been signed up for a couple of months. Thanks to Tom Guarriello for getting me started.) Partly, it is the sheer pleasure of getting a 'surprise in the mail.' Partly, it is the sheer convenience of filling the 'Q' at my leisure and having them fill orders at theirs. Partly, it's the blessing of assisted choice and those, sometimes cunning, recommendations. (Was there anything so depressing as going to a video store to stare at the containers of really bad movies in order to find the one you wanted.)

But mostly the power of Netflix comes from it's creation of 'access constrained by interval' and the recreation of a kind of scarcity (a 'managed scarcity'). With Netflix, I have access to just about all the movies in the world. But, given my subscription model, they come to me only 2 at a time.

Two movies are not a lot. In a world of nearly limitless access, this should be irksome. But it ain't, of course, because these are almost always exactly the movies that interest me. Two movies has a deeper virtue. 'Two movies' is an elimination of all the movies that might otherwise bid for my attention, damaging my sense of value and, God knows, even my identity formation. (And there's been quite enough of that, already.)

The fulfillment model is especially clever. I can speed up the interval at which I receive new movies. I do so merely by returning the old ones. This is an interval I do not choose or need to dwell upon. It is set in train naturally when I finish watching my present movies. In effect, I am setting my own wave. I am managing access. "

I stole a big chunk of the above post, but the Netflix bit is actually a small portion of the overall essay. Read more