back to article Netflix's $1.81 billion Q1 disappoints markets

Netflix is pleased with its first quarter results, but has warned it will face headwinds in Q2. Its first quarter 2016 results (PDF) showed revenue at US$1.81 billion, strongly ahead of last year's $1.4 billion first quarter. That result fell short of the $1.97 billion analysts had expected, and its forecast of $1.96 billion …

  1. glen waverley
    Pint

    Money isn't easy, but by, /By the time it's come by...

    Tip of the hat to the sub for the oblique reference in the subhead to Spectrum's* "I'll be gone".

    Given the nature of the IT world perhaps the rest of the second line might be also be relevant "By the time it's come by I'll be gone"

    * That would be the 70s Aussie band Spectrum not the 80s pommy computer.

  2. Mikel

    they'll be fine

    No text

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Want my money? Stop the geoblocks

    I was a netflix customer for more than five years and kept it while moving to a different country (and a continent). Until this past March that is, when their crusade to enforce the geoblocks finally caught up with my VPN provider. The VPN wasn't a perfect solution for me, since I wasn't just watching the US content: some of the content I was interested in was only available in US; some only in Canada; some only in UK; and some only in Germany - so I had to flip those region settings like crazy. Nonetheless, I was happy to pay for the content I wanted to receive - and I guess Netflix was happy to get my money (although you never know with large corporations, or with bees).

    Now that they've killed my VPN, I am stuck with the Netflix content for my geographic region - most of which I can also get (although less conveniently) through Amazon Prime or from the publicly-funded local broadcasters. Because Netflix also keeps dropping older movies, which are actually what I'd like to watch, what they have to offer me is no longer worth the price they ask - as low as it is.

    If they were to drop they geoblock enforcement (and unless the EU steps in they probably won't), I might reconsider.

    In the meantime, I just thank the deity of the day that my VPN still works with iplayer ...

    1. Patrician

      Re: Want my money? Stop the geoblocks

      Want my money? Stop the geoblocks

      https://www.unblock-us.com/

      Still working perfectly ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Want my money? Stop the geoblocks

        Not for me. Plus, all their netflix-specific support pages have disappeared over the last couple of months (a sueball from netflix?). Plus, they have a spot of trouble with their payment processor.

        I am beginning to wonder whether unblock-us is going to be with us for much longer ...

    2. localzuk

      Re: Want my money? Stop the geoblocks

      Geo-blocking is enforced by the licensing agencies and rights holders. As you have pointed out, it can actually make money for Netflix to allow VPN access. But it means that the need for regional or country by country licensing agreements is weakened, which is bad for the licensing agencies in those countries.

      So, shout at them, not Netflix.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Want my money? Stop the geoblocks

        So, shout at them, not Netflix.

        Not likely to work: the local licensing bodies are bound to lose money by doing what I (and probably most other "content consumers" want). On the other hand, Netflix has a direct incentive (and the resources) to lobby on our behalf, provided that enough people attract their attention by applying a kick to their wallet.

      2. Vimes

        Re: Want my money? Stop the geoblocks @localzuk

        Any agreement by its very nature include more than one party, and these are licencing agreements that Netflix have agreed to. Netflix are at the very least partially responsible when they choose to play ball like that and accept terms that are unreasonable.

        It's no coincidence that the VPN block started at roughly the same time that Netflix finally got a worldwide audience and they suddenly realised that this sort of region-hopping could affect their own programming too (House of Cards isn't universally available for example).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Want my money? Stop the geoblocks

        "So, shout at them, not Netflix."

        Not going to work, they won't talk to the mere mortals who pay for their stuff.

        [Thinking back on it, it's probably about ten years ago that I dealt with the video performance licensing people , and I remember asking back then about file sharing, being told it wouldn't be an issue because they'd sue the telcos for "choosing to allow it" - it's the phrase that stuck in my mind - even then, they didn't have a clue].

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How is this any different from ...

    ... a giant Ponzi scheme ?

  5. Bad Beaver

    Netflix is a sad excuse

    for a video-shack. They could be such a cool place, a candyland for movie-buffs. Instead they don't even have a proper classics-section, plus if you happen not live in the US, you are expected to be happy with of last years' (if you're lucky) seasons of a very limited selection popular shows. For example, they sold out House of Cards, THE NETFLIX SHOW!, to some other service in Germany (sky?), so you do not get to see the latest episodes first on Netflix itself. It's pathetic.

  6. David Lawton

    I love the concept of Netflix and did subscribe for a year in the UK. But i noticed TV shows would just disappear or seasons within a show. It also annoyed me how much better the US version was content wise and so cancelled in the end.

    So for me until TV rights are overhauled so that Netflix could show the same shows in all countries and keep them on their service forever its a no from me. I will stick with my private Plex box .

    1. Vimes

      People in the UK pay roughly the same as those in the US, but only get access to about 38% of the programs.

      A rip off, pure and simple...

      https://www.finder.com/netflix-usa-vs-world-content

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd love to have Netflix ...

    But as things stand, it's easier to subscribe to a binary newsgroup archive, and use NZBs (and the occasional torrent) to feed my viewing habits. Because:

    1) NO ADVERTS (am I alone in being amazed that people who pay for Sky, Virgin etc don't get aggrieved that they are PAYING to receive ADVERTS ???). Yes you can fast forward them, and skip them. Just like I don't have to with a nicely packaged download.

    2) Always there to watch. For various personal reasons, our household was unable to watch "The Night Manager" as it played. When we did get time, we discovered that only episodes 5&6 were available on iPlayer. So not much use then. Luckily a quick fiddle in NZB land, and we had all 6 episodes in HD. Forever.

    3) No geoblocks.

    4) Single point of access.

    It's point 4 which is my biggest bugbear. I would be OVERJOYED to pay someone, somewhere for all my content, if it were a SINGLE MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION. I suspect that I am not alone, and a lot of "freetards" would actually agree.

    It seems all the technological advances of the past 30 years have done, is demonstrate how incredibly broken "the market" is.

    I expect a flurry of downvotes, but this isn't a bragging post - I WANT TO PAY !!!!!

    1. Zakhar

      Re: I'd love to have Netflix ...

      You can summarize: DRM

      And add to the list:

      5) due to stupid DRM, it does NOT work on my choice O.S. (Linux) and I do not wish to change my O.S. to use any sort of streaming service. The service has to adapt to the customer, not conversely.

      (Whereas the solution you suggest DO work also on Linux... or on any decent O.S. you would like to run)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd love to have Netflix ...

        Actually, Netflix works just fine in Chrome on Linux. Worked for the past two years, as a matter of fact.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd love to have Netflix ...

          It's nice to have that option, but I'd rather not use Chrome. That's one of the many problems with DRM: arbitrarily limited choices.

  8. JimS

    Just unsubbed

    Not enough new content for my tastes, I'm not one of those people that can watch things over and over again. If I've watched it once, I already know what the outcome is. The film catalogue is pretty dire.

    Add in the VPN blocks, the area specific content and it just doesn't do it for me any more.

    Currently buying Now TV boxes with 6 months subs in them for £20 whenever I can find them. Remove voucher, throw / sell Now TV box, use voucher, TWD / GoT for £3.33 per month (and that's about what it's worth to me). Doubt that will last for long.

    Not that I'm watching much of it at the moment, most of it really is rubbish, watch something maybe once or twice a week.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Certainly not Blockbuster

    Netflix was the best option to get western content when I lived in China (although playing cat and mouse with the Great Fire Wall with HMA VPN) and in then in the US, where at least it was better than Hulu Plus. Back now in Blighty and I don't know if its just me, but Netflix movie content is now shite. I think the studios hate subscription streaming and want pay per view - and that's where the good movie titles goes. Netflix Originals are good, but so are Amazon's and there are other players that can commission good content. I think it is landing that if your want original TV content and box sets then you will get it through subscription, but good movies will be pay per view - like Blockbuster but without the smell, stale chocolate and surly staff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: Certainly not Blockbuster

      Netflix selection is shit in the US too. Some of last year's TV series and B movies galore. The classics you see while browsing are teasers; that's all the good stuff there is. Search for anything you actually want to see, 99% chance it's not there. Netflix is on-demand ad-free BASIC CABLE.

      Amazon wants you to pay $99/year for access to a slightly better selection, but it's like pay-per-view cable, except even crap TV series cost $2 per episode. O_o

      I don't believe there's ANY paid-for video streaming service worth paying for.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huge Bandwidth Hog

    "The report also notes that this quarter, Netflix introduced a new codec which it says delivers either improved quality or a 20 per cent reduction in data volumes (depending on whether the subscriber is “bandwidth-limited”)"

    The one thing which nearly made me cancel the service months after first subscribing, is that Netflix app on our Samsung TV streams in something called "Super HD", which is an enormous bandwidth hog.

    There is no setting in the app to specify quality - and therefore bandwidth consumption. I was finding that we were regularly maxing out my extremely generous 300GB fibre-to-the-cabinet subscription due to this, due to the combination of our kids watching their shows, my wife watching House of Cards and The Good Wife, and myself watching the occasional movie. Ok ok, and I did end up getting temporarily obsessed with seeing how Breaking Bad turned out ... but I'm over that now.

    Good point well made by an earlier AC - I absolutely loathe Sky for charging me for an expensive subscription and then ramming all of the content full of advertising.

    On a tangential issue ... I am also baffled why I have to pay for a TV license on top of Sky, when all of the BBC content which the license suposedly covers is included in the Sky subscription...

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Huge Bandwidth Hog

      all of the BBC content which the license suposedly covers is included in the Sky subscription

      None of the BBC content is included in the Sky subscritpion, that would violate the terms of the BBC charter which forbids it to charge UK viewers for content.

      The BBC broadcasts free-to-air from a satellite that's in the same place in orbit as the ones used by Sky, so a Sky receiver can pick them up. So can any subscription-free digital satellite receiver.

      The Sky programme guide carries info on BBC programmes for convenience, that's part of a separate deal between the BBC and Sky.

    2. KroSha

      Re: Huge Bandwidth Hog

      "There is no setting in the app to specify quality - and therefore bandwidth consumption."

      Sign in to the website. My Account >> Playback settings.

      I have mine set to Medium; 0.7GB/h and that looks good on a tablet.

  11. nuclearstar

    Smartflix

    So I use smartflix to watch worldwide content on Netflix.

    They are about to introduce their paid for service $3.99 a month or $39 a year(free beta is about to end). It has its own interface(better than netflix imo) and active developers working to counter any geoblocking that Netflix enforce.

    The only issue for me is it is built on chrome which netflix only allows 720p instead of Edge's 1080p

    But I think I am going to go for the Smartflix paid for service. If I didnt, then i would cancel my netflix too.

  12. NBCanuck
    Unhappy

    Issue with Content (or lack thereof)

    I have been with Netflix for about a year. There just isn't enough content (Canada). Selection is limited, new arrivals are few and far between, and if I am going to check out a TV series I do want to start watching at Season 1, not 3, 4, 5 or later. Maybe I'll give them anther try next year, spend a month watching the new releases and repeat the cycle until they up their catalog.

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