What Netflix Could Have Said This Week

Matt Drance pens a “why we’re splitting in two” explanation from an alternate universe.

“Netflix Classic” is a way better name for the discs-by-mail spinoff, agreed, but I suspect one unstated reason for the split is that they’re preparing to sell one or both of the post-split companies, and thus they want to keep the existing brand entirely on the streaming side. Drance’s explanation would go over better with Netflix users, yes, but it’s not just better-written — it’s a different strategy, and one that I think is at odds with Netflix’s actual goals here.

Still, though, it’s a bit depressing to see a company that people love make decisions that people dislike. That aforelinked Oatmeal comic isn’t really a great metaphor, but it conveys the frustration users are feeling, as they look at a future where the overall discs-plus-streaming Netflix experience is both worse and more expensive.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011