back to article 'Netflix bitch': CEO of vid-streaming site taunts HBO chief over results

Over-the-top video streamer Netflix finished the year with over 43 million subscribers, almost all of whom pay, the company reported yesterday. Netflix recorded revenue of $1.1bn in Q4 2013, including its legacy DVD-by-post business, and a slender net income of $48m. It's still going for growth, though, with 10.93 million …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm one of the overseas users living in Bermuda. Netflix is a decent service I would rate as good overall. However, geolocking eliminates a lot of shows unless I use a US based VPN. Even the US shows are limited. As an example fIlm #1 and #3 of the Matrix trilogy are available, but not #2 weirdly. Same with LOTR with only film #1 available.

    If I watch shows without the VPN I get endless Spanish and Portuguese show suggestions. If I do get a movie in English, they have Spanish subtitles I cannot turn off. Seems Bermuda is classed as part of Latin America. When I travel I see the same default settings for the country I am in, but cannot turn off the idiotic subtitles, I can only change languages for them.

    They have no online forums or customer support beyond moronic FAQ's and no way to contact the company for any issues. From that perspective, they are a fail.

    1. wikkity

      > If I watch shows without the VPN

      No need to use a VPN, it's DNS based. There are plugins for firefox/chromium (e.g. MediaHint) that let you effortlessly switch between them.

      > subtitles I cannot turn off

      The settings are generally controlled by logging onto their website and going to your Account settings, phone/tablet/tivo/etc apps don't provide an interface for setting these.

      > They have no online forums or customer support

      They have an account with GetSatisfaction where they do reply. Two features I (and others) requested on there have been implemented.

      Personally my only grumble is lack of content, but to be honest there is plenty I've not watched so would just spend longer deciding what to watch. I would be happier if I could use a native linux browser rather than a firefox/wine bundle but it works without a glitch.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Joke

      As an example fIlm #1 and #3 of the Matrix trilogy are available, but not #2 weirdly.

      See? Netflix even get that right - the casual viewer will just watch the "Matrix", and since they cant watch "Reloaded" they will never have to watch "Revolutions". Kids who just have Netflix must think the Wachowskis are geniuses.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Netflix even get that right - the casual viewer will just watch the "Matrix", and since they cant watch "Reloaded" they will never have to watch "Revolutions".

        Really the only way Netflix could improve this would be to remove the first and third Matrix films as well, and point the user at any of the much better films the Warchowskis clumsily borrowed from.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great service but...

    The lack of HTML5 / Non flash player that will work on stuff such as XBMC and Linux is so annoying. The sooner they sort that out the better and they might find they get a lot more customers off the back of it

    1. Lusty

      Re: Great service but...

      NetFlix don't give a stuff about Linux users. If Linux was popular they might consider it but Linux for the average user is a complete failure so far and so 99% of their customers will watch using PC, Mac, tablet apps or some kind of proper TV box.

      I'm sure they are very impressed that you downloaded a distro and made your own set top box, but asking them to pay for changes to their service so you can use your oddball system won't happen.

      Yes, I know in the forums it appears there are a lot of you, but there are orders of magnitude more normal people out there to be catered for first.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great service but...

        I'm sure they are very impressed that you downloaded a distro and made your own set top box, but asking them to pay for changes to their service so you can use your oddball system won't happen.

        They have already proved they have a HTML5 DRM player that works with Netflix, so it is hardly a massive cost when they already have developed the technology and use it on certain systems they provide players for. It would just be nice to be able to have the HTML5 player as an option whether that be on linux or even on Windows 8 instead of having to install or use silverlight

    2. wikkity

      Re: Great service but...

      Linux support - www.compholio.com/netflix-desktop/

  3. Duke2010

    They are doing good so far

    HBO should embrace Netflix. They should team up, add their content to Netflix but charge it as an extra subscription, an HBO package. Worldwide release, decent price. That would stop most of the Game of Thrones etc piracy.

    Hopefully Netflix will one day buy the premiership rights, how great would that be, no more Sky!

    1. FartingHippo
      Stop

      Re: They are doing good so far

      Stop this common sense nonsense forthwith.

      The only way forward is for content makers to have a separate, exclusive contract with one streaming supplier, this ensuring that the customer must have subscriptions to all services or miss out on a heap of stuff.

      Regards,

      Netflix, Lovefilm, and HBO Management

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: They are doing good so far

      HBO management have clearly decided that GoT piracy is an acceptable cost in their efforts to add and keep subscribers. They're perfectly capable of reading The Oatmeal too.

      When they decide it's more profitable to make their biggest hits available through other channels, then they do so.

  4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Unhappy

    I've borrowed nearly a billion dollars of your clients' money, but don't worry! I'm down wit da kidz, and can use the word bitch - which makes me like cool innit. So of course I can pay it back. I understand my market.

    What do you mean I only make 5% of our total loan stock in profits each year? I'm a sober and serious businessman, look at my suit. And my professional manner in important business meetings...

  5. weebs

    Personally I'd prefer more back catalog programmes that I can't view on TV anymore.

    Where's the UK 90's sketch shows?!

    1. Lusty

      "Where's the UK 90's sketch shows?!"

      They are all over NetFlix here in the UK. I can't think of many that are not on the service.

  6. NotWorkAdmin

    Help

    The password didn't work - is it case sensitive?

  7. Irongut

    So how much content do they have in the States? I signed up for a free trial month in the UK recently and think I could watch it all in 2 - 3 months.

    1. Lusty

      "I signed up for a free trial month in the UK recently and think I could watch it all in 2 - 3 months."

      Not a chance. What you saw was only "level 1". It's like a computer game where you have to watch a certain amount to get to "level 2" and see the next load of content. I've had it for 3 months straight and not used normal TV in that time and I'm nowhere near finishing.

    2. Matt Piechota

      "So how much content do they have in the States? I signed up for a free trial month in the UK recently and think I could watch it all in 2 - 3 months."

      Netflix's primary use (for me) is watching American TV and some BBC stuff. Movies are hit-and-miss. There's lots of Star Trek (all the TV and most of the movies), Top Gear (seasons 2-18), Sherlock, etc., Futurama, etc.. There's a decent selection of documentaries and TED talks as well. If you approach it as "let's see if X is on Netflix", you're probably going to be disappointed. If you look at it as "I want to watch something, let's see what's on Netflix", there's probably something to look at.

    3. Florida1920 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Honestly, the U.S. content isn't that great after several months. The DVD offerings are much better, but that's another USD8 a month. If they'd put their full catalog on streaming it would be great, but there may be licensing issues as well as the lure of getting people to double up on streaming + DVD rentals. They do have the entire first two seasons of "Sherlock" on streaming here, though. Good way to refresh before the third season began last Sunday.

    4. OldBiddie

      It's difficult to compare them accurately - there are definitely more TV series such as Law and Order, for example:

      http://img42.com/S4gai

      http://img42.com/RvVwo

      http://img42.com/S77S8

      It depends how fussy you are; the UK content is starting to catch up.

  8. Mike Flugennock
    Meh

    I think this Onion article pretty much sums up Netflix...

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/netflix-instant-thinking-about-adding-good-movie,34958/

    "LOS GATOS, CA—In a swift and unexpected departure from their present business model, officials from Netflix revealed Wednesday that the company is currently considering adding a good movie to their online streaming service. “With the growing success of the streaming platform, we thought the time was right to think about possibly offering, just for the sake of variety, one film that wasn’t a total critical and commercial flop forgotten immediately after its initial theatrical release..."

  9. Killraven

    89% is over-rated

    >>> "the one that doesn't do YouTube", and hence very unattractive indeed. With 89 per cent of Americans having a choice of two broadband suppliers <<<

    That second supplier in the equation is almost always aDSL, which can't hold near the bandwidth required to stream HD, though it is slowly improving. For example, in my urban area, the majority of aDSL is still limited to a mere 1.5 Mb connection, and a small number of subscribers are starting to see upgrades to 7.5 Mb. That'll work, unless you have other people in the house also trying to stream, or playing online games.

    1. KjetilS

      Re: 89% is over-rated

      "which can't hold near the bandwidth required to stream HD"

      Someone has forgot to tell that to my connection then. I have DSL, at 17Mbps downspeed.

      1080p streaming is no problem at all.

  10. Tom 13

    Re: they have to start pleasing punters.

    You don't have to start doing something if you're already doing it.

    I have both streaming and DVD delivery (1 out at a time) and am in the US. Had it for over a year now and I'm generally happy with it. One of these days I'm likely to drop the DVD subscription because I'm just not that into most of the current Hollyweird releases, and the ones I do want to see I usually hit at the theater.

    Mostly I use it to watch reruns of tv series without the commercials. From time to time I stumble onto something I hadn't heard about before and start watching it. Currently I'm working through Chuck. One of these days I may get around to watching the BSG reboot (too realistic gritty for my taste, I prefer the old one).

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