What’s Really Behind the Netflix/Qwikster Split?

Doug Mataconis makes the case that the Netflix/Qwikster split was caused by our outdated copyright system:

This is the point where Netflix tried to argue that you should only count users that actually connect digitally and actually watch a film. While they originally offered digital streaming bundled with DVD rental, many of the rural customers likely never actually “connect” to the digital product. This argument may have worked for a while, but eventually Hollywood said, “No way. Here is how it is going to work. You will pay us a $/user/month for anyone that has the ‘right’ to connect to our content — regardless of whether they view it or not.” This was the term that changed Netflix pricing.

With the discs-by-mail business, they never needed permission from the movie studios. With streaming, they do.

Monday, 26 September 2011