Netflix: Down but not out

netflixUsers and industry analysts have had some less than flattering things to say about Netflix since the streaming service announced its price hike and subsequent announcement of Qwikster. The company has been painted as possibly having jumped the proverbial shark, and its plummeting market value doesn’t exactly argue otherwise.

Bloomberg reports that Netflix has lost some $9 billion in market value since this past July, as well as more than a half-million subscribers. And this is making it a very attractive takeover target. It’s a company that still has obvious inherent value and provides a service that more customers than many distributors have are willing to pay for. That, coupled with its decreasing value, means that there are potentially some interested buyers out there considering acquiring Netflix.

Even still, Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph doesn’t think so. Public opinion may say Netflix has shot itself in the foot, but he understands the decision. In a blog post, Randolph explains: “Not only am I completely in support of what Netflix is doing, but I think it is one of the smartest, most disciplined and bravest moves I’ve ever seen.”

The entrepreneur goes on to say that the complications of running the DVD rental and streaming sales through one platform were incredibly divisive — and something the company experienced back when it also sold DVDs. This was profitable and good business, but executives knew everyone was about to begin selling DVDs, giving them more competition. That and “trying to run a business that did two things well” meant making unsavory comprises. So they walked away from that money and stopped selling DVDs.

And it wasn’t easy. “But wow – for a young CEO like myself – turning away from the source of 95-percent of our revenue was just about the hardest thing I had ever done. Needless to say, it worked.” The rest is history and Netflix went on to see big money from its rental service, and then streaming.

Randolph says history is repeating itself now, and Netflix has been stuck managing physical rentals and streaming business models. Some of the problems he believes were impetus for splitting the two are: Managing pricing for multiple use cases, determining language that “embraces two different ways to receive movies,” managing content availability differences, down to landing page complications. In short, there were technical difficulties in combining such different distribution schemes.

Whether or not Randolph’s right and Netflix’s recent troubles can be blamed on growing pains as it attempts to keep up with technology and consumer demands, the fact remains that its actions have contributed to its falling market value. Maybe Netflix has the foresight to know it must plummet in order to rise, but digital media trends are anything but predictable.

One thing is sure to come of Netflix shedding physical DVD rentals, and that’s Facebook integration. By getting rid of discs, the company won’t be burdened by the Video Protection Privacy Act and will be able to work with Facebook on a streaming application.

Pair this with new partnerships that are making Netflix a force to be reckoned with – user outrage or no user outrage – and the company is looking like a phoenix ready to rise from the ashes of its much-mocked recent corporate decisions.

We’re uncertain how long it will take for Netflix to reclaim its prestige, but the potential routes it’s setting up for its future means it’s anything but dead in the water.

Movies & TV

Now that Game of Thrones is over, here’s what GoT fans should watch next

Now that HBO brought its hit series Game of Thrones to a conclusion, audiences are going to have a Westeros-sized space open up in their regular viewing schedule. These series are a good place to start finding your next TV obsession.
Movies & TV

Prime-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Game of Thrones finale, Veep, and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Game of Thrones, Veep, Fleabag, and Easy all come to their ends.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now (May 2019)

Amazon Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be a major undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

The Iron Throne deserved better: Who should have been ruler of Westeros

Who should have sat on the Iron Throne? A look at some of the people who could have been the best ruler to sit on the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones, and what they would have brought — or in one case, will bring — to their kingdom.
Movies & TV

Now that Game of Thrones is over, which fan theories came true?

We finally know who won the Game of Thrones, but the ruler's identity is just the beginning. Here's our list of the fan theories that came true, the ones that didn't, and the ones we're still not sure about.
Movies & TV

Coffee cups and plot holes: Game of Thrones got lazy as it raced to the finish

In its final seasons, Game of Thrones was afflicted by pacing issues, nonsensical character developments, and a few out-of-place beverage containers. It's a surprisingly lazy ending to a show that once prided itself on its thoughtfulness.

PlayStation Productions is taking inspiration from Disney’s Marvel films

Sony announced PlayStation Productions, a studio dedicated to bringing the gaming properties to film and television. The new studio is aiming to model things after Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Movies & TV

The best, most brutal, and most memorable Game of Thrones episodes

Game of Thrones might be over, but go ahead and watch it again. Revisit all of the nefarious plots, horrifying monsters, and brutal murders with favorite episodes of HBO's epic fantasy series.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video and what’s leaving in June 2019

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all of the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in May and June, from new original series to classic films.
Home Theater

Vizio’s new TVs and soundbars go on sale today. Here’s where and for how much

Vizio announced pricing and specs for all of its latest TV and soundbar models, offering a wide range of awesome choices for your home theater upgrade, with upcoming support for Apple Airplay 2 and HomeKit.
Movies & TV

Charles Manson arrives in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's second trailer

Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, uses the infamous 1969 Manson Family murders as a backdrop to tell a story set in bohemian Los Angeles. Here's everything we know so far.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater, from Gravity to Logan

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

The 7 best TV episodes you can watch on YouTube for free

TV networks have made a habit of putting episodes from popular series on YouTube for free. From premium platforms like Showtime to experimental newcomers like Viceland, we compiled a few of the best episodes available on YouTube.