Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year.

What follows are the observations of a Netflix subscriber of 7 years, who has been an employee for 2. Me. I don’t know what “the company” is going to do about this situation, but I do know that lots of people up and down the ranks have been following your comments and petition with sincere interest, (also watching carefully the internal data we have about the use patterns surrounding these pages) and that it really wouldn’t surprise me if something changed on the site vis a vis this issue, but I really wouldn’t know what, or when, or even if it would be satisfactory.

At the risk of oversimplification, I will offer the following notes.

(1) A lot of people are unhappy with the loss of the Releasing This Week page. For a number of people it was one cornerstone of your Netflix site experience, and the loss of this page is serious and for many, painful.
(2) Netflix has very good data that shows that regardless of what you might believe to the contrary, the majority of members do not like to add movies to their Queues that cannot be shipped out immediately. “Short wait” or even “Long Wait” is bound to happen once in a while to everyone, but the more it happens, the worse we know it is. Internally, Netflix measures our success in terms of the percentage of members who get the first movie in their Queue in one day. This is our goal.
(3) It goes without saying that Netflix could up the supply of movies in demand so that waits were shorter (or non-existent). But doing so would require spending more on movies, which might result at some point in higher prices – and we work very hard to find the right balance to keep prices fair and inventory good. I believe Netflix does a remarkable job at this, but that is neither here nor there. The fact is that we buy what we buy, and there will always be discrepancies between supply and demand for individual movies from time to time.

When Netflix presents movies on the pages of the site, these are by definition customized for each individual member, based on our best guess about the kinds of movies you watch and enjoy. We won’t promote a movie that we cannot deliver. This is, however, a generalization.

There are many pages on the site where we have no option but to show you a movie whether it is available or not. Search results, for instance. You want to find movie A, and we present it with no regard to its availability. You look up a director and want to see their filmography. Ditto.

These are cases that are clear, but still somewhat challenging: but we feel that a member’s desire to find what they are looking for outweighs our knowledge that it might bum them out by not having it in stock tonight.

Which brings us to the old New Release pages. They were fundamentally like Search pages – just lists of movies. Certainly very convenient for people who come to the site often. Not pretty but understandably efficient.

For those of you who are upset (which I guess is most of you), the loss of this very efficient page would seem pretty moronic. But we know that some of the titles on this page each week are not deliverable right away. And while many clearly miss the page, when it was online this aspect was upsetting many people and therefore causing us a problem.

In testing (which was done on lots of people with a range of use habits), the sliders were really appreciated. All the movies presented are immediately available, and for people who were not addicted to the old page, it was (and continues to be) a very satisfying way to find movies. The number of movies added to member’s Queues from this new page truly exceeds the old page--ie., more people are adding more movies from this new page. And since everything on it is available now, it works nicely for us too. In theory this is a win-win.

Of course, you understand the problem: the old page was great for you. And the new page utterly fails to replace it for you.

Now I am not here to convince you that you should love the new page. I miss the old page too. But I would like you to see that the change was not capricious, nor the product of meddling by designers, or product managers who are brainless (this last point just hurts). But that also doesn’t excuse us for messing up your previously pleasant use of the site.

I have no idea if this short essay helps, nor if the somewhat simplified explanation does the complexity justice, but I thought I’d give it a shot. I know from personal experience that when I’m super angry there is little that can be said that will provide solace short of giving in to my demands. And if that is the case, so be it.

But, as I said earlier: this is a first step. And your feedback is helping us iterate on the work as well as to try to construct other alternatives that balance members' somewhat mutually exclusive desires. We are exploring a range of possibilities, and as I can talk about them (or if I need to make corrections to my explanation) I’ll keep you posted.

1,406 comments:

  1. There is nothing wrong with "trying" to improve the site. There is something wrong with being too stubborn to find middle ground. The idea that it is better to tick everyone off by removing the new releases page is somehow better than disappointing some subscribers who can't get their first choice movies right away doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    Keep the new pages if that is what your marketing "gurus" want, but at least keep a small link at the bottom for all the actual users of the former page.

    Frankly, removing it altogether is just bad business to me. Other competitors are already capitalizing on your goof.

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  2. That's great and all, so... where's the Releasing This Week Page? My DVD's continue to come in 3-4 days. I've called and called to find out if there is anything I can do. I got a few bucks off my account for a month. I don't care that I can't get a movie right away, I just want This Week's releases in my queue so I don't forget about or miss them. Blockbuster has this feature. I've been going there to see what I should put on my Netflix queue. Maybe I just need to stay there.

    Same goes for Watch Now on Mac. What's the deal? Are Window's users paying more than me? I might be wrong but I think that most times, when someone offers a subscription package everyone gets the same features for the same price (when there is no obligation to buy hardware or software). I'd like a discount for not being able to use my full subscription.

    Loved Netflix, lately more the idea of it. Hopefully these items will be addressed soon. Thanks for reading my rant.

    Jason

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  3. My read of this posting is exactly the opposite of anon: removing the page isn't ticking off everyone, it's ticking off some subscribers. And it's not some subscribers who are disappointed by not getting their first choice movies, it's most subscribers.

    I think Netflix is trying to find middle ground, for what its worth.

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  4. Thank you for posting this. Sad as I am about losing the RTW page, at least I've heard it "from the horse's mouth" so to speak.

    As the comments were being piled on in the other thread, I was getting more and more convinced that the old RTW page was never coming back. Perhaps I'm reading something more than what you've written but I understand your post to mean that the old RTW page will never return. That's a shame.

    Netflix has very good data that shows that regardless of what you might believe to the contrary, the majority of members do not like to add movies to their Queues that cannot be shipped out immediately.

    How did you gather this data? Was there a poll somewhere that people who were disgruntled about the long wait could send in their comments? Did these members take the aforementioned Long Wait movies off their queue which is how you know members do not like the long wait? I'm curious to know how this data was gathered.

    And while many clearly miss the page, when it was online this aspect was upsetting many people and therefore causing us a problem.

    How did you know people were getting upset? Did they call and complain about the long wait? Was there a petition asking Netflix to shorten the wait? Were there more people calling about how upset they are about the wait than there were about people who were upset about the loss of RTW page?

    In testing (which was done on lots of people with a range of use habits), the sliders were really appreciated.

    Again, I hate to sound like a broken record but how do you know this? Was it because people were clicking on the sliders? Is it possible that the people were using the sliders because that's all you offer? Put a man in the middle of a desert with nothing more to drink than muddy water and he will drink it. Does that mean he likes it? Give him ice cold water side by side with muddy water. Which do you think will be taken?

    I have no idea if this short essay helps, nor if the somewhat simplified explanation does the complexity justice, but I thought I’d give it a shot.

    Once again, I'd like to thank you for posting this. I was already pretty convinced that the RTW page was never coming back and finally getting a semi-official response is the best I could ask for. The essay does help.

    I know from personal experience that when I’m super angry there is little that can be said that will provide solace short of giving in to my demands.

    I'm way past angry. Now I'm just sad. Unlike some, I won't pretend to go to Blockbuster and quit Netflix over this. I've been, for the most part, very happy with Netflix. I'm just sad that I can't access it with as much ease as I used to. Life goes on. I'll adjust and I assume others will too.

    If anything is to be learned from this whole fiasco, I just wish that The Powers that Be would establish a better line of communication. I fully understand now why the RTW page was removed. Had this been posted a couple weeks ago, perhaps all this drama could have been avoided. But then again, I think the regulars of this blog kinda liked the added excitement. :)

    Thank you again Michael for giving us this forum to speak. And thank you again for keeping us informed.

    AlanInSB

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  5. Why can't you offer both pages?

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  6. Thanks for providing the rational, hard as it is for some of us to understand that so many would be happy to be spoon-fed movies from a horizontal pez dispenser when they already have plenty of offerings in 'movies you'll heart.' But moving on...

    Maybe those manning (personning?) the barricades could be sent the link for each week's new releases in return for signing a notarized promise not to bitch if we have to wait for a movie? ;-)

    But Derek has it right : let's have both, thus keeping everyone happy except those in the purchasing dept - only a statistically meaningless handful of people, surely?

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  7. This is still unacceptable to me...I pay just as much to be a member as someone who is impatient and can't wait. I ONLY added off the RTW page and am very pissed that it is gone. I came to Netflix because Blockbuster lost my business, now it looks like Netfix has done the same. I'm giving it a few more weeks to be resolved, if it isn't, you have lost me as a customer

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  8. Why not maintain both pages? Keep the new one and add a link to the old page on the new one. Is it really that difficult?

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  9. I just found my way here after searching all over this site for a place to complain about the RTW page. Netflix doesn't do much to hear from customers, so I don't know where all this sensitivity about people complaining is coming from.

    I'm very disappointed about losing the RTW page. As others have said, it doesn't matter to me at all if the movies aren't available right away; I just want to order them as they come out so I won't forget about them. Please restore that page.

    And like jamo who posted earlier, I'm VERY upset about the availability of Watch Now on PC and not on Mac. It does seem very much as if I am valued less, as a customer.

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  10. I learned a very long time ago that the best way for me, and I emphasize the "for me" part, to find new releases was to do so on another site. So, losing that page on NF hasn't hurt me in the slightest. It's just part of my routine, and frankly it's more fun for me to do it that way. But I'm an internet pig with nothing but time to do such things. Not everyone is in my position, so I understand their frustration as well. At any rate, I've been confident since the beginning of this adventure that NF will come through this with a satisfactory solution for everyone. Everyone just needs to show a little faith and a little patience.

    On to my second point. You mention supply and demand. While I respect and understand your point about it being a balancing act, sometimes I also feel like NF purposely, and inexplicably, buys too few copies. An example. Blade Runner: Final Cut. This is on Very Long Wait for literally everyone. Why? Because it's a cult classic that everyone loves. Therefor, everyone wants to see it, and more importantly, everyone is always going to want to see it. So, the theory that too few copies today will transform into too many copies tomorrow because of instant demand fading in time, well, that doesn't work in this instance. What I'd like to know is why NF chose to buy so few copies of one of the most revered movies in the history of filmmaking? In addition, NF should have also taken into consideration theft. Blade Runner: Final Cut is going to be stolen much more than any other DVD you carry. This will of course further limit your inventory. So, why so few to begin with?

    Please address this if you can. Thank you.

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  11. "Same goes for Watch Now on Mac. What's the deal? " Seriously, this is a big issue. At this point, between the mail-in time and the inability to use a major function, it will be more economical to just start downloading specific movies and cutting the subscription.

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  12. Michael, I'm sorry about the lenght of this comment, but your post just brought up a lot of issues for me. I'm not as passionate about them as I may sound, but your post disappoints me. Let me explain:

    Michael, from Netflix said:
    It goes without saying that Netflix could up the supply of movies in demand so that waits were shorter (or non-existent). But doing so would require spending more on movies, which might result at some point in higher prices – and we work very hard to find the right balance to keep prices fair and inventory good.

    Nobody expects Netflix to buy 6 million copies of every movie that's released for its 6 million members. Nor does anyone expect Netflix to be able to deliver a copy of the latest blockbuster on the first day of release to every member that wants it, that would be ridiculous. And, if you read the majority of the comments, that is not the issue at stake here for Netflix members. It's the removal on previously available information. Interestingly, a lot of people complain about not being able to find the "slim" movies any longer, the foreign and independent movies that'll never have a "short wait" (let alone a long one). Nobody needs RTW to know when "Resident Evil: Extinction" comes out (sigh), but we do need it to know when "Hemlock" does.

    Michael, from Netflix said:
    In testing (which was done on lots of people with a range of use habits), the sliders were really appreciated. All the movies presented are immediately available, and for people who were not addicted to the old page, it was (and continues to be) a very satisfying way to find movies.

    Of course all these movies are immediately available, Netflix has specifically chosen to only present available movies! And that's where the second part of the most common complaint comes in, the "new" movies are not new! Movies that have been released more than 6 months ago can hardly be called new (unless you're a struggling little indie mom-and-pop video store, and that's not what I percieve Netflix to be).

    What good is it to be free to choose from A, B and C, if Netflix will only tell me about A and B? Now, I have to specifically ask for C before you'll admit to having it or not. I can go elsewhere and find out whether or not there's a C on the market, so it's not like you can keep it secret from your members, you're just making it more difficult for us to add C to our queues. Why?

    The removal of the RTW page also gives people a feeling that Netflix is trying to hide something (just look at all those conspiracy theories that suddenly showed up), and now you're basically confirming that, saying "there's not enough copies to go round anyway, so you're not missing out if we're not telling you about them". Sorry, Michael, I don't think that kind of attitude will go down well with people.

    Here's how it should work: You tell me what's coming out, I pick the movies I want, you send them to me as they become available, I pay you a monthly fee. It's really quite simple.

    Here's what you're now trying to do: You tell me what you think I might like to know is coming out or has come out within the last year and which is available right now (i.e. when everyone else is done seeing the movie) and then I get to pick the movies I want... See the difference? It reeks of dishonesty and that's upsetting. It may not be your intention, but that's how it comes across. I'll happily wait for the movies that are in high demand, but I really dislike being told that "these are your options" when I know it's not true.

    As I wrote earlier, I'm not addicted to the old page, but I'm definitely not a fan of the new sliders, nor of their content.

    I understand that this is not your department and that you're not responsible for what goes on, but you've been very non-committal and cautious about all of this. I'm starting to get the impression that you guys at Netflix don't even realize what people are upset about, it's as if this is a complete and total surprise to you. Are you really that clueless?

    From your other posts and comments, I noted that you've been very careful not to promise that RTW will be back, only that what is there will change (and that can hardly be surprise anyone who has seen what's being offered up right now). The question is, will the new "look" and the new content make up for the loss of the old page? I don't think you have all that long to come up with the answer.

    I was among those who was sure the old page would come back (maybe with a new look, but basically the same content), but after reading your guarded posts and comments, I now realize I thought wrong. I'm sorry, I just can't make sense of this whole decision, in any way. Netflix is obviously angering quite a few costumers, who are now looking for alternatives, where they weren't before.

    I wonder how it'll look when people come back from the holidays...

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  13. So instead of just removing the RTW page, why not instead add a small indicator next to the movie titles on that page (or any page on your site for that matter) letting people know if the movie is available now, or if there is a short or long wait. That information obviously already exists in your system since you display it for us in our queues. Why throw out the baby with the bathwater when you don't have to? Why remove this page from your website, when instead it could have easily been made more useful and more functional? People would be able to see with one glance if the movie is available right away or not. Let us decide for ourselves if a movie is worth waiting for or not.

    If making that page readily available is truly causing such a huge strain and drain on Netflix's ability to keep up with supply and demand, than how about just making it a little less easy to get to, but still there so that those who really want it can still access it? Those folks who are after the latest blockbusters and who have no issue with being recommended "new releases" that came out months ago will be mesermized by the awful slider pages and Netflix will have happily manipulated those people into renting what you want them to see. The rest of us who want access to the information and functionality we have come to expect from Netflix won't mind having to make an extra click or two in order to get to the page we need and actually want to see.

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  14. If in fact this move was designed simply to avoid having people add movies to their queue which are not immediately available, than I'm confused.

    If Netflix doesn't want people having movies in their queues which aren't available this very moment, than why not just change the "Save" button to reflect the status? What I mean is, if a movie is a Long Wait, instead of having the button display "Save," have it display "Long Wait", with a corresponding color if need be. The button would still add the movie to the queue, but at least we'd know beforehand. That way those people who don't like having movies with a wait status in their queue, well, they simply won't put that movie in there in the first place because they will already know that it's not available.

    A solution simple enough that a 2-year-old could have come up with it. *shrug*

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  15. Oh, and one more thing:

    Michael, from Netflix said:
    There are many pages on the site where we have no option but to show you a movie whether it is available or not. Search results, for instance. You want to find movie A, and we present it with no regard to its availability. You look up a director and want to see their filmography. Ditto.

    Not long ago, I would have expected this to be so obvious that it didn't need addressing: RTW is also a "search results" page, it displays movies by their release date.

    Now that you've decided to "edit" the list of new releases, can we expect to get edited results for the other search pages at some point? "Selected Filmographies" or "Popular movies with A in the title" that display which movies fulfill the search criteria and are currently available?

    That would make it even easier for Netflix to make the waits shorter, we wouldn't have to wait long for "Ratatouille" because we wouldn't be able to search for it.

    And everybody would be happy, no?

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  16. To be honest, I haven't used the "Releasing This Week" feature in quite some time. I used to visit it often, but I've since found a nice RSS feed that compiles all that info and it's just easier to browse the movies in my Google Reader. I've always viewed Netflix as more democratic and open in their business practices and offerings than other, lesser movie distribution/rental companies, and I believe that philosophy should direct the addition/removal of features as well. Perhaps your conversion rate may go up for the new page, but browsing time may go down...you won't know the true cost of the redesign for a while yet.

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  17. So from what I gather Netflix has removed the Releasing this Week page basically because their internal metrics for success are being held back because people are adding too many new releases...(I actually had no issue with long/short waits on the latest releases...it happens I get it)

    I know threats are lame but I will stay subscribed to Netflix for January. If the page is not added back I will become a Blockbuster Online member and tell both services exactly why I switched.

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  18. excuses, excuses. just bring the page back.

    it was the only page on netflix i visited on a regular basis. now i'll be looking at imdb's list and jumping back and forth which is a pain in the ass... way to go netflix.

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  19. The new "New Releases" page should be called something else if it contains only releases available for immediate rental. Calling it "New Releases" is misleading, so I suggest "Available New Releases" or "New Releases Available to You (you reprobate over-renter)".

    The new page makes Netflix's customers less aware of "long waits" only by leaving them ignorant of what new DVDs are actually available (eventually). It's quite a despicable and underhanded plan.

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  20. Nice essay. Maybe you could write another explaining why Netflix cannot enable the queue drag/drop feature for my profile?

    Please discuss why it's enabled for my wife's profile, but not mine. Same account. Same computer. Same browser. Same browser session. IE or Firefox.

    Customer service says there's nothing they can do. You have to wait they say, it will eventually be rolled out to everyone.

    Will it happen sometime in 2008? Maybe by July? Can I pay more per month to get this feature now?

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  21. How about giving us back the page and just adding a little disclaimer/explanation that not all of the movies releasing this week will necessarily be immediately available. And then, if a surprising number of members add a title to their queues anyway, perhaps the buyers could get a copy or two. We can wait. We have other movies to watch in the meantime.

    I wonder whether Netflix sees the value of its database as a reference source. Many people go to it simply for information, as a shorthand imdb. This RTW debate is partly about that. I'd hate for the site to become just a pretty page to push blockbusters.

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  22. I am not surprised the average Netflix member finds the sliders and “available now” functions much more useful than the old functional New Releases page. And as a business it behooves you to serve the vast majority of your customers. But we precious few “power users”...

    (You remember us? We are the ones who get throttled. We are the ones who clog the internet moaning and complaining to anyone who will listen. We are the ones who feel betrayed after getting all our friends and relatives to join Netflix. Yeah, I thought you might remember.)

    Monday was my day for “New Releases” perusing. It was perfect for those odd films, Documentaries and re-releases that have no advertising. Oh, well.

    A few other remarks:

    "Netflix measures our success in terms of the percentage of members who get the first movie in their Queue in one day. This is our goal."

    Then my queue is dragging down you percentages. I add titles as I discover them, and months later when they are released and immediately become Very Long Wait, they slowly percolate to the top of my queue where they stay for months until you send them to me.

    "When Netflix presents movies on the pages of the site, these are by definition customized for each individual member, based on our best guess about the kinds of movies you watch and enjoy."

    But why continue to use this failed “best guess” system? It never has worked. Isn’t that why there’s a million dollar prize out there?

    Anyway, my thoughts for today. I want to add my own personal thanks to you, Michael, for all the garbage you put up with to keep us in the loop.

    Happy New Year!

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  23. knaldskalle
    but I really dislike being told that "these are your options" when I know it's not true.You're missing it knald - As Michael so eloquently pointed out, the majority of people get ticked off when they are offered movies that are not available. And most of the movies listed in the RTW page were not available. Plus, DVDs releasing this week is not a Netflix "thing." They are are industry knowledge that can be obtained almost anywhere. All the complaints here are only about making it easy for you, not about Netflix dishonesty. You can find out about new releases anywhere. Plus, I don't want there to be an RTW page, because that allows everyone to fill up their queues with new releases making them harder for me to get. I actually benefits you for the new releases to not be offered so readily. Get it?

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  24. The removal of the RTW page also gives people a feeling that Netflix is trying to hide something, and now you're basically confirming that, saying "there's not enough copies to go round anywayThe fact that Netflix can't buy enough copies of every movie for every user is not secret knowledge. EVERYONE has known that for a LONG time. It's IMPOSSIBLE to buy enough copies of every movie for every user!!! Now that we understand that, how would YOU recommend that Netflix more easily spread the demand? Don't you think a good place to start would be to not offer a page that allows users to load up their queues with movies that they can't distribute?

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  25. Just bring back the RTW page with a disclaimer that all titles may not be available to ship immediately due to high demand. Put some indication by the title if it has a wait period.

    I agree with the other members who are very concerned that we will miss those odd little independent and foreign movies that aren't advertised if we don't have the RTW page. That is why I have Netflix. I see new movies in theatres.

    It isn't the high usage member being penalized by this trickery.

    I also agree that those horrendous sliders should be renamed to something like - Movies We Want You To Rent - Available Now. To call that a New Release page is incorrect. If we walked into Blockbuster and movies from last year were prominently displayed as New Releases on the New Release wall and the real new DVDs were hidden under the counter do you think we would feel tricked? Happy?

    It's just difficult for me to believe that those customers who complained about having to wait for new releases will be happy now that they can't find them.

    But I have a Blockbuster account now thanks to Netflix. And BTW anyone can create an account with BB and go look at their Releasing the Week page without actually signing up. Theirs is updated on Tuesday morning and easy to find. I'm sure I'm missing some films I'd like to see though even with both accounts because I believe Netflix buys more of the films I like to see but NF doesn't tell me what they have purchased unless it's available to ship now and I'm sure a lot of people have had them in their queues as Saves for months.

    Oh well, next week I plan to upgrade from the BB free trial I'm on now and in 2 weeks downgrade my Netflix account.

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  26. But why continue to use this failed “best guess” system? It never has worked. Isn’t that why there’s a million dollar prize out there?
    That's an arrogant statement. Actually it works very well for many users. It's quite conceited to think that just because it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for anyone else. The Netflix movie recommendation model is one of the best out there. That's why they know they can offer up a million dollars with confidence that no one can top it.

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  27. I agree with the other members who are very concerned that we will miss those odd little independent and foreign movies that aren't advertised if we don't have the RTW page.
    There are many, many, many, many places that are better than Netflix at denoting the new release of Indies and foreigns. Relying on Netlfix for that information was not a good idea even when the RTW page was up and running.

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  28. Have two pages. The old one and the new one. Keep them separate. That's not so hard to do, especially considering one page is just showing movies from a year ago, so no one is actually having to work on it or update it.

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  29. I don't care that I can't get a movie right away, I just want This Week's releases in my queue so I don't forget about or miss them.
    But that's just it. Other users don't want you hogging all the new releases. If you don't know where else to get the list, then more are available for users like me.

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  30. I am not surprised the average Netflix member finds the sliders and “available now” functions much more useful than the old functional New Releases page. And as a business it behooves you to serve the vast majority of your customers.
    Then you certainly understand why they removed the RTW page - to satisfy the masses. Not to cowtow to the few who miss it.

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  31. Same goes for Watch Now on Mac. What's the deal?
    We already know what the deal is with that. We're waiting for Apple to provide the availability to Netflix.

    Are Window's users paying more than me?
    No actually Windows users are getting a bonus.

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  32. But I have a Blockbuster account now thanks to Netflix. And BTW anyone can create an account with BB and go look at their Releasing the Week page without actually signing up.
    There's the solution (Although I'm hesitant to point this out for fear that there will be fewer new releases for Netflix users) Create a Blcokbuster account, look at the new releases, add them to your Netflix queue. Done! Or better yet, just add them to your BB account and wait for them to arrive in the mail.

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  33. Frankly, removing it altogether is just bad business to me. probably why you are not Reed Hastings

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  34. I subscribe to NetFlix instead of Blockbuster for one reason: HD DVD. I am extremely grateful and pleased that NetFlix provides HD DVD rentals.

    However, the availability of new titles in the HD DVD format has been EXTREMELY POOR recently and very frustrating. I think demand for HD DVD and NetFlix's supply are not aligned and need to be examined.

    I am actually willing to pay more for renting HD DVDs as long as the supply side is adequate.

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  35. it was the only page on netflix i visited on a regular basis. now i'll be looking at imdb's list and jumping back and forth which is a pain in the ass... way to go netflix.
    because going from one page to another is so difficult? Did you know Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers allow you to open two browser windows at the same time?

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  36. @Jamo
    I'd like a discount for not being able to use my full subscription. You said earlier in your post that you already got a discount. You want even more?

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  37. I think you missed the point, in removing this page ... it serves a mark segment, in my case I use it because it is a garden hose of information, a chunk of rational size and simple format that I can digest this week, and not spend endless time walking the corridors thinking.

    please bring the releasing this week back.

    thank you

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  38. Dear Netflix,

    1. PLEASE bring back the Releasing This Week link.

    2. PLEASE make it possibly to Mac users to Watch Now!

    3. I don't care if there is a wait for some movies, there are still plenty of others to watch while I am waiting.

    thankyouverymuch!!!!

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  39. please bring the releasing this week back.
    Please mark my vote as not wanting it back. More new releases are available for me this new way

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  40. I don't care if there is a wait for some movies, there are still plenty of others to watch while I am waiting. But others do care. The long waits are horrible. If removing the RTW page helps with the long waits, then I'm all for removing the page.

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  41. the availability of new titles in the HD DVD format has been EXTREMELY POOR recently and very frustrating
    You think the availability is poor now, just wait until they add a Releasing This Week in HD-DVD page.

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  42. PLEASE make it possibly to Mac users to Watch Now!
    They're just waiting for Apple to provide this functionality. (hint: it might be a while because Apple offers its own movie download service.)

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  43. It wasn't easy to find my way here to comment - I was looking all over the 'help' category trying to find a way to leave feedack. Was removing that a part of recent changes? Anyway, since this is my first post here, I'll bring up a bunch of topics that have been building up.

    1. Give me 'Now On DVD' back. Yes, I want 'Releasing This Week' too. Those two lists were really helpful to me and a regular part of my visits here to update my queue. I don't much like the sliders for the new releases, but if your focus group folks liked'em, then fine, keep'em. Just give me a little link to the useful lists you took away.

    2. Once a movie gets to "Very Long Wait" status, that's got to be a wakeup call to your purchasing staff to bring in more copies. It means "oops, we underestimated demand.".

    3. I would much rather see a movie on wait status than have you ship it in from another warehouse. When you ship from a different warehouse, I typically suffer an extra delay of 3-4 business days during which there is no movie at the house. Instead of doing this, you should ship the next movie down on my queue, and do any between-warehouse shipments behind the scenes.

    Example: Normally I mail back on Tuesday, you receive my return on Wednesday, ship out on Wednesday, new movie arrives Thursday. Other warehouse: I mail back on Tuesday, you receive my return on Wednesday, ship from other warehouse following day on Thursday, new movie arrives Saturday (if lucky) but more likely Monday. If you'd shipped the next available movie from my queue, I wouldn't have to wait from Thursday to Monday to have the next movie in hand. Do regular cross-warehous shipments (cheap!) to handle warehouse imbalances.

    4. Does Netflix have a preference for handling two returns on the same day? I can either put each in its own envelope, or two in one envelope. I can see that doing two in one would save on postage, but risk increased breakage and higher processing errors.

    5. Give me a local drop box for returns. I'm not very far at all from your local shipping facility. If I finish watching a movie Saturday afternoon - after the last postal pickup - I could drop off the movie on Sunday, and you'd ship the next one on Monday. Otherwise USPS won't pickup until Monday, and you'd receive and ship on Tuesday. Also, you'd save the return mail cost, which would quickly outweigh the cost of installing and servicing the box.

    Netflix needs to put as much attention into reducing delivery time for Next Available Movie as they do for top movie in queue

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  44. 1) We seem to have two opinions about which films were listed on the old page. Most assumed that they were the videos newly available on Netflix even if it was an old release. Others have implied that they were the same releases that are available elsewhere. Which is it?

    2) Howzabout a link on the new page to the old page; hide it like you hide the Community Blog link; then add a large disclaimer about availibilty?

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  45. Anon said There are many, many, many, many places that are better than Netflix at denoting the new release of Indies and foreigns. Relying on Netlfix for that information was not a good idea even when the RTW page was up and running.

    Yes, there are many sites that show what DVDs are being released but there was only one site that showed what Netflix had purchased. Now there is No Site that shows which new releases Netflix has purchased. That was the site that mattered to me. I don't like to put movies in the Save section and I dont' want to special request that NF buy movies I want to see. Some customers depended on that new release page.

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  46. Others have implied that they were the same releases that are available elsewhere.

    They are the industry New Releases. New DVDs come out on Tuesdays of every week.

    Howzabout a link on the new page to the old page; hide it like you hide the Community Blog link; then add a large disclaimer about availibilty?
    I won't be satisfied with this solution. That would still provide an option for users to hog up all the new releases. I like it how it is now.

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  47. Sorry NetFlix but I just don't buy it. I now get that you just wanted to cover those that complained about waiting but ewhat it reaklly boils down to is trying o make it easier for you, not for your customers. That just might eventually turn into a fatal error. Here;s hoping someone sees the light long before that !! - Bill in Pa.

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  48. I disagree with some of your assumptions. I understand that you want to minimize any wait time in the queue but alot of the time the estimate is overstated. I have had several movies in "Long wait" status but I have received them two days later anyway.

    More importantly, hiding (or not showing) new releases that may be in stock is NOT a solution to the problem. I'd rather a movie be in the top of my queue in wait status knowing that the next availble copy will be shipped to me rather than checking the site every day to see if the movie I want pops up. That is annoying!!! If I wanted to check-in everyday to see if a movie is availible I should just leave and go to the movie store.

    However, I don't beleive that purchasing more copies of a movie is a good solution either. As you said, the membership prices may go up to handle the costs. Possibly if a highly demanded movie is kept in the hands of a customer for longer than expected, netflix may have to purchase more movies to handle the demand. This will fulfill your promise to never charge late fees while minimizing the costs of movie purchases.

    What ever the issues are, ordering movies through Netflix online is still better than runnig to the local movie rental store and waiting in line just to find out that the person in front of you took the last copy of Die Hard.

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  49. Don't bother flaming me because I still think folks are way over reacting, but then I know someone will anyway…

    1.) Whoever is in charge of managing this blog needs to disable anonymous posting, trolling is still happening.

    2.) Regardless of the "Very Few" complaints the percentages do not lie, less then .009% (counting all posts) its just a complete NON ISSUE, get over it!

    3.) NF clearly states that View now is a new service and is currently available to PC users. It is MAC (APPLES) failure to write current comparable keys so that Mac users can access the new digital right protected videos.

    4.) Time to move one, get over it and give NF time to finalize their plans.

    5.) Not happy? Then stop your threats, save our ears and move to Blockbuster, those of us who are true power users have and will continue to figure it out already!

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  50. @ndfspod01
    alot of the time the estimate is overstated. I have had several movies in "Long wait" status but I have received them two days later anyway.
    Consider yourself special, many of us wait many, many days (even weeks) for new releases.

    checking the site every day to see if the movie I want pops up.
    Just do a search. (the search box is in the upper right corner of every page). New releases are still available to you, they're just not advertised and promoted on a "new Releases" page. I get angry when they are promoted on a RTW page when in fact they are not available.

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  51. Without that "releasing this week" page,netflix is worthless to me. Blockbuster here I come.

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  52. what it really boils down to is trying o make it easier for you, not for your customers.

    Obviously some still don't get it. Actually they ARE making it easier for the users. If they don't promote the new releases, more are available on shorter wait times.

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  53. I've read all these comments now and here is an expansion on what I've had to say - about being ready to leave netflix.

    I signed up with netflix when I got my first DVD player... The player included "The spy who shagged me" in the box, and a coupon for free rentals from Netflix. Yes. A long time ago.

    Since then, every sunday the ritual was to add movies from the "releasing this week" page to my queue. The ONLY modification to that page that I ever suggested / wanted was the ability to remove categories - Early in Netflix's history you would get a TON of Indian movies (Taj Mahal indian, not american...), and, being the old American that I am, I want movies in English...

    The comment about not putting things on the "new releases" page that Michael posted is crap. When I first discovered the disaster that the NEW RELEASES page became, I scrolled through EVERY choice and movie it would display, and, lo and behold, it would not show any of the movies that were coming out on the forthcoming tuesday... Rushour 3 for example.

    So, netflix is doing us a huge dis-service. I called their customer care number and they suggested that I use another site to find out what the releases were going to be and then search them by title directly to add them to my queue. Am I paying netflix to make me work through 3 sites to find movies?? Nope.

    This is a HUGE mistake, Netflix. I'm posting to the web wherever I can so that you get as much bad publicity about this as possible. You can couch it however you want - but what you're trying to do is reduce costs by reducing immediate demand for new release movies through obfuscation and misdirection. Such action by a company that is taking my money to provide me a service is not acceptable.

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  54. It seems that lately the Netflix mantra has been to design your pages with the least web-savvy customer in mind.

    My question is, who is really using your service? I'm guessing most folks who use Netflix already had a PC or Mac prior to signing up. I just can't see anyone going out and buying a new computer just to rent movies online. Having said that, certain basic fundamentals should be expected. 1.) The customer knows how to turn on a PC and type in a web address. 2.) The customer has reasonable web experience, i.e. they understand what hyperlinks are, and are comfortable using a mouse and keyboard to navigate a webpage.

    Where am I going with this? Designing your site for my grandmother is pointless. Why? Because she won't even turn the computer on, much less use your service. There needs to be a balance between usability and function. Don't dumb-down your site to the point of being a glorified kiosk just because your R&D department says some pages are "confusing" to the technically challenged.

    If you want to simplify the process for the masses by adding the sliders, fine. But like many others have mentioned, don't neuter the site for the power users, regardless of how small our group may be. Keep in mind, we're the group that is most likely to pitch your service to friends and family.

    ...and to every poster that is saying "just go to another site for your list"...that is just plain silly. There isn't a company in existence, online or otherwise, that would actively encourage a customer to go to some competing service to get information. It's not about "hiding" new releases so the resourceful among us have shorter wait times, it's about offering an honest service that caters to the masses while at the same time not alienating its core power users

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  55. Am I paying netflix to make me work through 3 sites to find movies?? Nope.

    You are correct you are not paying them to make you work through 3 sites to find movies. You are paying them to deliver movies to your house as quickly as possible. They have determined that they are able to get movies to your house more quickly if they don't advertise and promote movies that are in high demand.

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  56. There isn't a company in existence, online or otherwise, that would actively encourage a customer to go to some competing service to get information.
    Netflix is not in the business of offering up lists of new releases, nor are they in the business of offering every little piece of minutiae about a movie. They are in the bsuiness of getting you a movie in the shortest amount of time possible.

    It's not about "hiding" new releases so the resourceful among us have shorter wait times, it's about offering an honest service that caters to the masses
    Actually it IS about making shorter wait times.

    while at the same time not alienating its core power users
    Actually the core users are the masses, not the computer power users. They want to make it easy for the masses, cuz the minority of power computer users know how to get the information they need elsewhere.

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  57. Check this site out

    http://www.netflix.com/AllNewReleases?lnkctr=NavAllNewReleases

    The back door approach to get your new releases. I guess it's netflix's way to say we only want the really dedicated users to have access to this site. Also, I hope they don't take this down anytime soon.

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  58. The back door approach to get your new releases. I guess it's netflix's way to say we only want the really dedicated users to have access to this site. Also, I hope they don't take this down anytime soon.
    That page may or may not be up permanently however.

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  59. Netflix is not in the business of offering up lists of new releases, nor are they in the business of offering every little piece of minutiae about a movie. They are in the bsuiness of getting you a movie in the shortest amount of time possible.

    So let me get this straight...it's in Netflix's best interest as a company to encourage their customers to look to other services like BBO to get information that they themselves once provided but now do not?

    Actually it IS about making shorter wait times.

    Again, you miss the point of almost every poster in this thread. We don't care about wait times! We'll live with the fact that the new releases don't show up right away! I think what most people are asking for is some type of compromise, wherein the masses get the fancy sliders front and center, and some small link to RTW is available at the bottom of the page.

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  60. We don't care about wait times! We'll live with the fact that the new releases don't show up right away!
    Yes you minority who like the RTW page don't care about long waits. But 6 million others do. As Michael said, Netflix grades their service in terms of the percentage of members who get the first movie in their Queue in one day. And that is a good evaluator. One of the biggest complaints of on-line rental services (movies, games, etc.) is delays in getting titles. If not promoting unavailable titles helps speed up movies, then... good move Netflix.

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  61. trolls are people too.
    i demand respect.
    waggawaggawoowoo.

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  62. I loved RTW page. Taking it down was a dumb move by netflix. Thank you netflix for taking care of your customers. Im going to look for another movie renting site now.

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  63. Yes you minority who like the RTW page don't care about long waits. But 6 million others do. As Michael said, Netflix grades their service in terms of the percentage of members who get the first movie in their Queue in one day. And that is a good evaluator. One of the biggest complaints of on-line rental services (movies, games, etc.) is delays in getting titles. If not promoting unavailable titles helps speed up movies, then... good move Netflix.

    The practice of encouraging customers to go elsewhere aside, what then is wrong with promoting available movies with nice big cover art in the slide bars across the top of the page, and then having a small RTW link at the bottom? The issue is that people who want to add new releases regardless of availability are going to do so anyway, so why make it more difficult for them? Those that don't care, that just want a movie (any movie) that is available can use the sliders. How does this hurt anyone?

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  64. All of these arguments about wait times are garbage.

    On Sunday, when the NEW THIS WEEK page was updated, ALL those movies were "available". Because not a single copy had been shipped. It was a list of what the movie industry would have on the shelves at your local Best Buy, Wallymart, or Che'Target on tuesday...

    Now, with the revised list, NONE of those new movies seem to show up, except the "foreign films" and the grade B titles that nobody really wants.

    I guess NETFLIX could say "we just want our audience to broaden their minds..." but again, that's crap. If I want to watch some love story about two poor Sikhs in India, I'll find it on my own. Don't tell me it's a NEW RELEASE if it's been on the shelf at Best Buy so long that it's 9.99 now.

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  65. I will be switching to Blockbuster if this page doesn't return. Absolutely a moronic decision.

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  66. EVERYONE please e-mail Netflix and tell them to bring back the "releasing this week" feature in new releases. They cannot ignore that. The new system is time consuming and not productive. Let's see some of that famous customer service they brag about put into practice.
    John-NYC/Nashville

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  67. I too will be switching to Blockbuster if this link doesn't return pronto.

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  68. I hate the new "New Releases" page and I am seriously thinking of changing to Blockbuster online just for that reason. You don't know everything I am looking for. I don't always want to know what is the most popular new release and I like to able to browse what just came out. To remove the most useful page on the website and then only allow phone calls and blogs as an outlet to our complaints was bad customer service. Don't be like the cable companies and forget who you serve. This needs to be fixed!

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  69. it doesn't matter to me that the page was taken away

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  70. I for one don't care if I can't get the movie right away. I just want to know what movies are releasing that upcoming week so that i can add them and whenever they get to me is fine. I just want the releasing this week page back since it is my primary usage on this site.

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  71. This needs to be fixed!
    Actually what needs to be fixed is a way to decrease those long wait times

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  72. Don't EMAIL netflix.

    Call them.

    Use the contact us links to get a phone number and CALL them.

    Call them DAILY if you must, to let them know that the site is still not working to your expectation. They log every call. And they PAY for them too...

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  73. Hello Michael,
    thanks for this. I appreciate this blog very much , and getting direct communication with the PM. My own Netflix usage is not likely "typical," and I find that many of the improvements do not solve problems I have (and I have very few problems with Netflix). I do miss the "releasing this week" page, though, and I thought I would tell you why, without name-calling or suspicion. You deserve better than that.
    I have a 300+ movie queue and a 4/mth plan. What drew me to Netflix and keeps me there is the breadth and depth of your library. I am rarely concerned with the blockbuster New Releases, or getting to see things "first." I dig deep into the library and spread myself across many genres. "Releasing this week" gave me a newsletter view that I could read on one screen, and add movies directly to queue. In fact, I would be happy to get that list by email, esp if I could add from there, like I do with a movie note. the "this week" page was new each week, and I could recognize right away if I had already read it.
    The new version does not feel like browsing; it feels like work. I am seeing things I have seen and rejected before. I don't like having to select each genre, then slide. I do like that it remembers what genre I was on, and I like knowing that these movies are available "now." But they are going to position 304, so it doesn't matter.
    My life has not stopped because of the release page change. I enjoy Netflix no less without it. Like many areas of the site, this page can become one I do not concern myself with. I did not sign the petition. But if there is any discussion about providing the old view in another way, I would take it.
    thanks for your openness and tough skin. Netflix is a great product and you should be proud of your work.
    ~~Sit10
    Massachusetts

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  74. And don't forget the silent majority. If so many people were using the new release page that it caused all the wait, then all those people are still sitting out there and are not very happy, also. Some will just slide off into the sunset and you'll never know the real reason why.

    I am with netflix because the turnover time was so much better than blockbusters. I have been happy with netflix on all aspects. I understand the wait, but at least I don't forget about a movie I wanted to watch. If I don't get that option back, I will look into blockbuster and see if they have gotten their turnaround straightened out. And then I will tell all my family and friends that have come to netflix where they can also find a new release page.

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  75. Please bring back the "New Releases" and "New on DVD" pages. Please don't reduce the quality and integrity of the Netflix experience to please what you perceive to be "the masses". I'm sure the number individual users, who enjoy discovering hidden gems of cinema, rather than being spoon fed "Hollywood Blockbusters", equal or exceed your customer base of less discriminating viewers.

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  76. I am again, a long-time Netflix customer, and am extremely unhappy with the removal of the "Releasing This Week" Page. While I understand Netflix's wanting to improve the site overall, and while I don't completely object to the sliders (even though it's actually rather annoying), to remove the "Releasing This Week" page completely is unacceptable. I religiously went to that page every week to add movies I wanted to see and saved them so I didn't forget about them. I generally clicked over the other old New Releases page to get to the "This Week" page, because the "This Week" page was much easier to read and follow and was sorted properly all on one page, and wasn't tremendously long. As it is right now, with the slider format, I can spend a tremendously long time to sort through each genre to find the movies I want to add to my list. I don't have that kind of time. With the old format on the "This Week" list, I could spend less than 5 minutes to find the movies I want to add to my list and then get on with the rest of my day. This new format is painstakingly slow and difficult.

    If you actually used testers or focus groups for this process, you need to go find some new ones, because they weren't very good.

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  77. Please don't reduce the quality and integrity of the Netflix experience to please what you perceive to be "the masses
    The "masses" want their 1st movie in their queue. that's not a perception. It's reality. Long waits kill on-line rental services.

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  78. I religiously went to that page every week to add movies I wanted to see and saved them so I didn't forget about them.
    yet more proof that offering that page enabled people to hog all the new releases.

    I can spend a tremendously long time to sort through each genre to find the movies I want to add to my list. I don't have that kind of time.
    A better solution is to find a source of new releases, then add them to your Netflix queue. Very quick and painless.

    If you actually used testers or focus groups for this process, you need to go find some new ones, because they weren't very good.
    Or it could just be that your desires (easy access to listing of new releases) are in the minority to others' (get movies quicker.)

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  79. Hey, Mr. Anonymous, instead of spouting out about how others "hog" new releases, why don't you actually give yourself a name, so we can actually identify you?

    And the reality is I personally don't hog up the "New Release" list, because I don't move mine directly to the top. So, I don't get added to that list until it actually reaches the top of my list, thank you very much. So, unless you know the circumstances about my situation, I suggest you keep your trap shut. Thanks.

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  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  81. In regard to wait times being one of the reasons for your so called improvements and deletion of an obviously important feature of your website, I'm not buying it. The movies in my queue that have very long or long wait times are almost always the big films that everyone knows about anyway. The RTW page was more a way to find the little known or advertised films and add them to my queue easily and quickly. Not everyone has hours each week to research films online at other sites. Perhaps Netflix doesn't want subscribers to learn about these films because then they will have to have them in their inventory if there is a demand. Maybe the time spent on creating alternatives to things that are already working for most of your customers could be spent figuring out how to reduce the long waits and processing time. No matter how quickly I return my movies it always seems that I only receive 3 movies a week. I believe it is done intentionally to limit the number of movies a subscriber receives in a time frame. But I digress! If I didn't have to travel so far to a Blockbuster store, I would probably cancel my longtime Netflix subscription, but Netflix still offers the best by mail program even with it's faults. Hopefully you will do the right thing and bring back the RTW page soon.

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  82. Please figure out a way for those of us who use the "releasing this week" page to have access to it. Obviously, the information is in the system, so that's not the problem...

    Look, this is the first time I've searched out the blog and/or posted a comment - that may give you a clue as to how irked I was to find an important part of my Netflix experience "gone with the Schwinn."

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  83. While the RTW page is functional but not pretty (who cares?), the new page is pretty but not very functional and honestly feels manipulative.

    Regardless of the data, if good and dedicated customers are inconvenienced, pissed and thinking about taking their business elsewhere, why not (as Derek as suggested) keep both pages? What's the big deal?

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  84. I haven't read all 82 comments, so if this is redundant, sorry.

    The issue seems to be, to me, that there is not one type of user. There's no middle ground to be had for features like this. There are, in this case, at least two:
    1) The user with practically nothing in the queue, who uses NF like their video store. When they want something, very often new releases, they want to add it and get it in the mail as soon as possible.

    2) The user with a regularly populated queue. They don't (usually) care if the movie is available NOW, and just want to be able to add it to the queue for later on, as a wish list, almost.


    Since I hear that user 1 is by far the most common, I understand that you'd tend to design and test to that persona. But if you already have code around (the old page) that appeals to user 2, why not make it optional? There are plenty of settings already.

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  85. I can see how some people want to have a movie right away. so by removing the new release page you are essentially taking away movies that are not readily available. Which makes sense in some sort of way I guess. I like the slider page and I like knowing what movies are available to me right now, but that is what my queue is for. If a movie is not available, then Netflix will choose the next movie down the list that is available.

    The releasing this week page for me was not a way to get movies "NOW", but a way for me to find the not so marketable DVD's. Take for example Special interest DVD's, Documentries, and espeially Anime. Sure I can search them out the hard way, but in the releasing this week page, I can find out what is coming out now, put it in my queue and have it delivered when it is "READY" to be delivered.

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  86. Michael wrote:
    Internally, Netflix measures our success in terms of the percentage of members who get the first movie in their Queue in one day. This is our goal.

    I understand that other customers (quite different from those commenting here) give Netflix grief when there are waits on the top movies in their queue. They sorely wish they wouldn't have to pay more to see the most popular new releases post haste. But those of us living in the real world have experienced waits on new releases at brick-and-mortar video stores as well, and can accept it as a fact of life, a manifestation of market forces.

    So I want to point out that the wait on the first movie in my queue is much too simplistic as a metric of my satisfaction. For some time now I have had "Sicko" at the top of my queue not because I strongly want to see it ASAP, but because I'm strategically standing in line so that when it becomes available I will have as much chance as other members to see it relatively soon thereafter. If I had cared to see it immediately, I would rather have gone to the theater than to have paid a premium to you every month to enable your buying superfluously many copies of similar new releases with short-lived popularity. When I see long waits, I don't feel out of the loop, I feel part of the community.

    You obviously get more input from the members who bellyache about not getting instant gratification when blockbusters are released. But they will never be totally satisfied at this price point. Sure, they are more vocal and put pressure on your customer service people. But they will face as much market frustration when they look elsewhere to fulfill their needs.

    Michael wrote:
    There are many pages on the site where we have no option but to show you a movie whether it is available or not.

    That should go without saying. For the realists among your members, standing in line for a recent release is acceptable, but your manipulating our search information so that we can only see movies for which there is not currently a competitive audience just reeks of a hard sell.

    Maybe you could somehow flag the movies with probable waits before people are trying to queue them, as a warning, so that the impatient customers don't fly off the handle, and the rest of us can still see accurate information about what's available and what we might like to see as it becomes available.

    As a consumer, what I think I'm buying in Netflix is convenient access to a diverse and prudently stocked DVD library and, what's more valuable, a powerful and accurate search database catering to my unique tastes and interests. I don't think an on-line DVD rental service could possibly excel at being the latest and greatest providing what's hot today and not tomorrow. It baffles me why you guys are aiming for the semblance of that instead of what you do best.

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  87. why don't you actually give yourself a name, so we can actually identify you?
    because naming myself Swede7001 tells you who I am?

    I personally don't hog up the "New Release" listActually... adding new releases from the RTW page does create a high demand on new release

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  88. Bring back the "Releasing This Week" page! As mentioned in another comment, RTW is a specific search for dvd titles that are releasing this week.

    I am more interested in WHAT is being released than WHEN I can get it.
    Also, the RTW page was grouped by category. If I was rushed, I could scan my favorite catagories, if I had more time, I could look at all the titles. I found several excellent movies that way, titles that were totally outside my normal viewing range.
    By the way, I just took all of my movies with lead times and moved the to the top of my que.

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  89. Daniel & LindaJanuary 2, 2008 at 10:12 AM

    If the "Releasing this week" page with a caveat of "New Releases May Have A Longer Wait Time" is not put back by January 7th I will be reducing my account from 4 at a time to 2 at a time, if the page isn't back by Feb. 7th I will be cancelling my account. My billing date is the 8th this is why I've chosen the 7th as my action days.

    I totally understand that movies, especially new movies, will have a longer wait time, I can deal with that. What I cannot deal with is not being able to see a listing of the new releases, even if the slow and inefficient slider at least listed the NEW Releases, not releases up to a year old I could deal with that as well. What I cannot deal with is a company that is willing to hide product from me, a company that is willing to remove useful features when all they had to do was add the warning "New Releases May Have Longer Wait Times". And it's not just new releases, I have quite a few older releases on my list that have been long wait for months, this hasn't upset me, what has upset me is the removal of a feature I used daily. I would prefer not to go to the trouble of cancelling my account here and creating a new one elsewhere but I will. The only thing large corporations seem to understand is money lost. Please do not lose my patronage, please listen to the hundreds of customers that are practically begging you to include the old way of doing things. The more customers you lose, the less profit, less profit means less movies, less movies mean longer wait times, longer wait times (as you have stated) equal less customers. You are close to a death spiral, don't sink!

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  90. In other words, Netflix took away one of the most useful features on the site just so the higher ups can pat each other on the back and boast that their site has the shortest wait for movies in the queues? That's got to be the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard.

    Newsflash -- People are still looking up the new releases and still adding them to their queues and still have waiting times.

    Any rational customer knows they will have to wait for a movie at some point, especially if they want a highly demanded new release. I waited weeks for "We Are Marshall" but, during that time, simply rented something else I wanted to see until "WAM" was available.

    The loss of the RTW page is just sending your customers to other sites--like Blockbuster--to find the new releases. And it's only a matter of time before this customer will find it more convenient to go with their service instead.

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  91. I still don't understand. So what if the movie has a long wait? I still want to know if it's being released this week so I can add it to my queue for later viewing. Please please stop being stubborn, admit you goofed, and bring back the old page. I know the new page looks shiny and colorful, but what members want is an efficient page.

    Also, please don't make your best guess at what I'd like. You're always wrong. Just show me available movies and let me make up my own mind.

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  92. What I cannot deal with is not being able to see a listing of the new releases
    Lists of new releases of DVDs are available all over the net.

    What I cannot deal with is a company that is willing to hide product from me
    They are not hiding product. They have just chosen to not promote product that they don't have available.

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  93. This is the perfect example of cutting off your nose to spite your face. It seems that the Releasing This Week feature was deemed too successful and causing lines. How many people do you honestly believe were leaving because a movie was in demand? Now, how many will you lose by cutting useful features?

    Besides my movie queue, the RTW feature was the only page on your site that listed useful information in a straight-forward manner. It was perfect in its simplicity. You could view the cover art and average stars by mousing over, view all listings on a single page, and titles were broken up by genre. This page was the only thing on your site that needed no re-working. The new side-scrolling recommendation thing looks pretty, but is way over-engineered. I am already recommended movies on every other page on the site, when I click on "New Releases" I expect to be taken to just that, not further recommendations.

    Does Netflix want me to go to other sites to find new releases in a straight forward manner?

    Actually, I find some of what you said kind of scary and makes me concerned for the future of the site. "There are many pages on the site where we have no option but to show you a movie...". What I find scary is that you feel the need to point out that there is no option but to display accurate search results. Of course there is "no other option". Should I be grateful that when I search for "E.T." I'm not taken to "Mac and Me" because only that is available at the moment?

    Here's an idea, why not make your site almost completely unusable. Get rid of some servers, translate text to pig-latin and change customers passwords without telling them. That way, we can't add new movies to our queue - it completely solves the problem of long waits!

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  94. boast that their site has the shortest wait for movies in the queues? That's got to be the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard.
    since long waits and unavailable titles are the number 1 complaint, they have to consider it very important.

    People are still looking up the new releases and still adding them to their queues and still have waiting times.
    yet Netflix is no longer advertising or promoting product it doesn't have available.

    Any rational customer knows they will have to wait for a movie at some point
    yet long waits still tick people off and are the most commonly complained about shorcoming.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Now, how many will you lose by cutting useful features?
    4 or 5 hundred. Yet they might gain many more customers who hate Blockbuster's ridiculously long waits.

    ReplyDelete
  96. I still want to know if it's being released this week so I can add it to my queue for later viewing
    Here's a link for that:
    http://www.videoeta.com

    admit you goofed, and bring back the old page
    So choosing to stop promoting product they don't have is a goof?

    ReplyDelete
  97. Those who're gonna leave Netflix for BB will just do it. Those who like to stomp their feet like children will come on here and tell others that they're gonna leave.

    ReplyDelete
  98. So in a nutshell what you are saying is this: IN ORDER TO CUT DOWN WAIT TIMES WE ARE TRYING TO HIDE ALL THE NEW RELEASES FROM OUR CUSTOMERS SO THEY DON'T PUT THEM IN THEIR QUEUE.
    Is that it? And I know a lot of ignorant people will say to just put the movie title in the search box and queue it up that way, which is a brilliant idea, however can someone please explain to me HOW THE HELL I'M SUPPOSED TO PUT SAID NEW RELEASE IN MY QUEUE WHEN I DON'T EVEN KNOW IT EXISTS!?!?!?! 95 percent of the new releases i queue up i've never heard of before! And now that the page is gone, i'll never know about them. Most of the new releases are very obscure titles and without that page, we'll never know about these movies. Not only is this a blow to the netflix PAYING customer, it's a blow to obscure, lower budget, independent filmmakers the world over.

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  99. IN ORDER TO CUT DOWN WAIT TIMES WE ARE TRYING TO HIDE ALL THE NEW RELEASES FROM OUR CUSTOMERS SO THEY DON'T PUT THEM IN THEIR QUEUE.
    No, rather Netflix has chosen to not promote titles they don't have available.

    HOW THE HELL I'M SUPPOSED TO PUT SAID NEW RELEASE IN MY QUEUE WHEN I DON'T EVEN KNOW IT EXISTS!?!?!?!
    Go here:http://videoeta.com or here:
    http://www.hackingnetflix.com All new DVD releases are listed there.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Let me make sure I understand this--because some subscribers are impatient, you are taking away a feature that many of us appreciate. Your solution is to have fewer subscribers aware of the movies you have acquired?

    My guess is that most of us who use the releasing this week page, use it to find small movies and hidden gems that would otherwise be burried in the netflix library. We don't need the releasing this week page to find out about the latest blockbuster release, and those are usually the movies with waits.

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  101. What's sad and rather ironic is that it took 6 months of painstaking back-and-forth to set up this whole Faves/Fans' machinery to help us find those 'hidden gems' that would otherwise languish on Netflix' shelves, and now, with one stroke of the keyboard we've lost easy access to a valuable and replenishing source of those little unknown beauties. Most of us bemoaners couldn't give a hoot about 'hogging' all that movieplex pablum from our nasty, sophomoric little friend : the Unknown Sniper.

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  102. because some subscribers are impatient
    Not some, actually millions. Does no one remember the lengthy discussions and complaints about throttling? Throttling is what happens when there are not enough copies of a movie. WAY more people complain about not having movies than they do about a missing web page.

    My guess is that most of us who use the releasing this week page, use it to find small movies and hidden gems
    An incorrect assumption. Most users used the RTW page as a reminder or checklist to add new releases (especially blockbusters) to their queue, creating high demand for titles Netflix doesn't have enough copies of.

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  103. Netflix has chosen to not promote titles they don't have available.

    Informing the customer what has become available is hardly promoting. Did Best Buy run around its stores ripping down Wii advertisements when they sold out? Were customers mad at Best Buy?

    Go here:http://videoeta.com or here:
    http://www.hackingnetflix.com All new DVD releases are listed there.


    Again, why does Netflix want customers leaving its site to find this out? This shouldn't be secret. Don't you recognize that you are sending people to a site called "Hacking Netflix"? Why should the site need to be hacked to work properly?

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  104. While I can understand what was written here, the section:
    "Netflix has very good data that shows that regardless of what you might believe to the contrary, the majority of members do not like to add movies to their Queues that cannot be shipped out immediately" doesn't make a lot of sense to base the change on. If I was polled on this of course I would say that I would prefer to receive movies right away and not wait...who wouldn't?

    I still add the "big" releases of the week to my Q and still wait for them to arrive. I used the RTW page a way to not only add these "big" releases but to find the releases that I did not know were even coming out. I have found so many movies this way that I otherwise would not have and isn't that one thing that Netflix prides itself on?

    I was a former Blockbuster Online subscriber and when I switched to Netflix about 2 years ago it was a revelation on how much better the site/experience was on Netflix. My Q more than doubled based on the ease of finding/adding movies when I switched. The RTW page was a huge part of this. If it does not return in some form I will have to check out Blockbuster Online again based on some of the positive things I have heard about them recently.

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  105. with one stroke of the keyboard we've lost easy access to a valuable and replenishing source of those little unknown beauties
    Actually the community section (that helped you find hidden gems) is still there. The tool that people used to add high demand first releases (that Netflix didn't have enough copies of) has been changed.

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  106. I used the RTW page a way to not only add these "big" releases
    And so did millions of others thereby creating an undeliverable demand for these "big" releases. So they quit promoting those undeliverables.

    I will have to check out Blockbuster Online again based on some of the positive things I have heard about them recently.
    What...like their recent price increases and long wait times?

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  107. Please stop feeding the troll. Maybe if he feels starved for attention long enough he'll go away and start spouting off on someone elses blog for a while.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Again, why does Netflix want customers leaving its site to find this out?
    They don't. They just want to level the demand of new "big" releases so that more are available for more people. It makes millions of people angry when they click on a movie to add it to their queue, only to see a long wait for the copy. This has been a long runnign complaint for Netflix as well as any other on-line rental service.

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  109. "No, rather Netflix has chosen to not promote titles they don't have available......"

    BY HIDING THEM!!!

    "Go here:http://videoeta.com or here:
    http://www.hackingnetflix.com All new DVD releases are listed there....."

    I'VE BEEN THERE! THEY DON'T HAVE THEIR MOVIES LISTED BY GENRE. IT WOULD TAKE ABOUT 3 HOURS OF TIME I DON'T HAVE TO BROWSE THROUGH THEM. THE PAGE NETFLIX HAD I COULD LOOK OVER IN ABOUT 10 MINUTES.

    I NOTICE YOU DIDN'T COMMENT ON HOW THIS IS GOING TO HURT INDIE FILMMAKERS, WHOSE FILMS WILL NOW NEVER BE KNOWN TO EXIST BY MOST PEOPLE.

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  110. I didn't even think about how it would effect independent filmmakers. I would imagine most people only hear of their films when they are listed on the Releasing This Week page.

    That sucks. I've found a lot of low budget movies i've loved on that page that i would have never heard anywhere else.

    Yeah, i never thought about it that way. That really sucks for them. And us.

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  111. I NOTICE YOU DIDN'T COMMENT ON HOW THIS IS GOING TO HURT INDIE FILMMAKERS, WHOSE FILMS WILL NOW NEVER BE KNOWN TO EXIST BY MOST PEOPLE.
    because Netflix is the only place that lists movies by indie filmmakers? Besides, tons and tons of these indie gems turn up in the community section.

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  112. BY HIDING THEM!!!
    Well, actually by removing them. They don't want to promote titles they don't have.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Apples and oranges. I make my own choices. Don't want Netflix "deciding" for me. Immediate availability has nothing to do with information about upcoming new releases. I want to know what is Releasing This Week. Period. I don't want your suggestions, which are simply generated by a computer anyway. I want to know what's available and I'll make my own choices, thank you very much.

    Again, immediate availability has nothing to do with knowing what's releasing this week.

    I hate this. It's a deal-breaker for sure.

    Stop trying to justify this and just bring it back. We all make mistakes. Look at New Coke.

    --Joanna

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  114. I make my own choices. Don't want Netflix "deciding" for me.
    that's a very selfish statement. Many people like the recommendations.

    I want to know what is Releasing This Week.
    Go here: http://www.videoeta.com They list all new releases.

    I don't want your suggestions, which are simply generated by a computer anywayThen ignore them.

    I want to know what's available and I'll make my own choices
    That's the point. Most of the new releases on the RTW page were not avaialble.

    Again, immediate availability has nothing to do with knowing what's releasing this week.
    huh?

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  115. As others have pointed out, the Releasing This Week page IS a search result - a list of all the movie titles that Netflix is adding to their library this week. A list of new releases is a convenience I expect from any video rental store, and my expectation from NF are just as high.

    The suggestion I like best is to show the availability of a title on the Add button. If someone knows there is a long wait for a title before they add it to their queue and add it anyway, then there is no excuse for a complaint.

    Also to echo others, removing the RTW page is not going to stop me from adding upcoming major releases to my queue. This will have absolutely no impact on the wait time of the big-name movies. It will, however, have an effect of the number of obscure and specialty titles I add to my queue (which might actually work to INCREASE the wait time of the major titles).

    Oh, and if my adding a title with a long wait to my queue causes some whinny thirteen year-old to throw a tantrum about his wait time, well ... (let me get out my violin) ... boo hoo. If I have to wait for that title, then so do you.

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  116. ".....because Netflix is the only place that lists movies by indie filmmakers?"

    YES! EXACTLY! NETFLIX IS THE ONLY SITE THAT OFFERS MANY OF THESE INDIE MOVIES. LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN, MANY ARE ONLY AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX! BY NOT HAVING A NEW RELEASE PAGE TO LET PEOPLE KNOW THEY ARE OUT THERE, HOW ARE PEOPLE TO KNOW? TELL ME THAT PLEASE!

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  117. No matter what the brain trust at NF does, eventually customers are going to find a work around that corks for them. Many have already commented that they find the new release list elsewhere then add the movies to their queues. Or they do a search for a DVD they know has just been released, and then add it to their queues. So even if you don't bring it back, those of us who used to add from the list will still "behave" as if it did exist.

    When enough work arounds happen, and they will, NF will be back to their same old problem -- high demand and long waits. What this will also do for those who love the slide feature (I can't believe they really exist, but...) is keep showing the same old "new" releases and fewer actually new releases. Their frustration will increase.

    This is a temporary solution at best, and hardly a solution at all. You may see some initial favorable results in your internal metric on the number of times the first movie in queue was recieved one day after shipping, but you won't see a sustainable trend.

    Are there really that many NF users where everything in quese has a wait time? In my queue, I have a wiat time on about five releases. That leaves plenty more that are available now. Like several others have commented, I used the RTW page to make sure I didn't miss out on something. I don't care when I see it, but I do care about being able to make sure I see it at some point. Isn't that a major reason for a queue in the first place?

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  118. NETFLIX IS THE ONLY SITE THAT OFFERS MANY OF THESE INDIE MOVIES.
    Not correct. Almost any indie title you can think of will be listed on every "new release" site on the web. In fact, most will list more indie titles than Netflix ever did.

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  119. @anonymous:
    I used the RTW page a way to not only add these "big" releases
    And so did millions of others thereby creating an undeliverable demand for these "big" releases. So they quit promoting those undeliverables.

    Wait, so millions of other people used RTW??? Wow, that makes it even more stupid to remove it. The fact is that the big movies will be waitlisted no matter what (you can remove any reference to "Live Free or Die Hard" and it'll be waitlisted, everyone knows it's coming out because of the advertising on TV), but now the Netflix members have been deprived of a chance to see which other movies are coming out.

    This will not only make it harder for people to find "quirky" movies, it may even lead them to just queue the movies that they know are coming out. Movies such as... "Live Free or Die Hard", because that's a movie everyone knows is coming out. So, through the strange workings of human behavior, it may actually end up causing an even bigger run on the blockbusters. Ever given that any thought, huh, anon?

    And if you read this blog (other than this issue), you'll note a lot has been written about how Netflix wants to make things easier for its members (friends, faves and fans, recent reviews and so on) but removing this feature does not make it easier for its members to find new movies, quite the opposite. It's counterproductive!

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  120. I make my own choices. Don't want Netflix "deciding" for me.
    that's a very selfish statement. Many people like the recommendations.


    You're right, it's very selfish of me to decide what I want to rent, but that's the point. The computer generated recommendations are just that, "recommendations", not "computer generated forced selections". Otherwise, why have a queue? I am still allowed to decide what I want to rent, right?

    Most of the new releases on the RTW page were not avaialble.

    I don't want to speak for everyone, but I don't care if it's not immediately available. I like knowing what's out and when. What about me? Yes, I'm being selfish, but last I checked I'm paying for this service.

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  121. Funny, but when I goto bricks n' mortar retail stores, I never think that goods featured in displays are being "pushed" at me against my will. The store has them, and makes them look attractive I suppose, and I can check them out or not. No harm in that. And if something sells out, I not only expect them to remove the display (because there is nothing worse than seeing a dress on a manequen that they no longer carry!) but I would never suggest they are HIDING product from me because it was unavailable. Now if I ask if they carry something, I also expect to be told honestly if they have it or when they'll get it, but this isn't subterfuge. It's just retail.

    And I promise you, when I'm in Blockbuster, I HATE seeing a wall of boxes for some release, and having to flip through them all trying to find ONE with a disk.. and then learning they don't have ANY left. All I think to myself is "Why the hell did they leave that huge display there when they didn't have any disks left?"

    Netflix should put the page back, of course. But it sounds like few here understand anything about running a business.

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  122. "Are there really that many NF users where everything in quese has a wait time? In my queue, I have a wiat time on about five releases. That leaves plenty more that are available now."

    Have you seen all of the netflix throttling discussions that fill web discussion forums. How many people have left Netflix because new titles weren't available? if you can trust what people post, then TENS of millions. Many of us posting here are certainly unique, because BY FAR, THE number 1 complaint about Netflix has been not enough copies of new releases. It's impossible to buy enough. Now that they are trying to do something about it (in fact, I'll bet part of the reason Michael was hired), we still rip them?

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  123. "Almost any indie title you can think of will be listed on every "new release" site on the web. In fact, most will list more indie titles than Netflix ever did......"

    SIMPLY NOT TRUE - THERE ARE MANY LOW BUDGET INDIE FILMS THAT ARE ONLY AVAILABLE FOR RENT ON NETFLIX. PERIOD.

    Also, i notice you keep giving everyone videoeta's website as an alternative to the RTW feature Netlix USED to have. But you've conveniently side stepped the fact that THOSE OTHER SITES ARE A NIGHTMARE TO NAVIGATE AND DO NOT LIST BY GENRE AND TAKE 3 HOURS TO LOOK THROUGH.....sorry buddy boy, but most of us don't have those 3 hours of extra time in our day.

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  124. This blog is getting hilarious! Now Netflix employees are anonymously blogging trying to convince us all what a "great" idea it was to get rid of the RTW page.

    If it's not back the way it was by April, I'm gone. I was thinking of canceling, anyway. This just firms up my plans.

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  125. Anonymous troll said: That's the point. Most of the new releases on the RTW page were not avaialble.

    Ok Troll, how exactly do you know this?

    Why do you keep posting replies here as if you actually have inside information from Netflix when you clearly don't? You're basically just talking out of your a** in order to play the annoying devil's advocate.

    I've never had any problems getting movies that I add to my queue from the RTW page, most of the time, they arrive immediately. Sometimes they even are shipped to me on the Monday before the scheduled Tuesday release date. I'm not talking about big releases like Transformers (though I've had good luck with timely delivery of big movies like that from Netflix as well), I'm talking about the lesser known independents, documentaries, foreign films and re-issues that most of us here have already made it clear are what we use that page to find out about.

    So please Anonymous Troll, even though I doubt you'll go away any time soon, at least get your facts right and stop pretending like you actually know any more about Netflix's motivations or their internal statistics than you really do.

    The RTW page wasn't used to promote or advertise new releases as you keep trying to phrase it. It was simply a list of everything new being added to the Netflix library for that week, period. That information is not available anywhere else, regardless of how many other new release websites you so generously give us links to. We are not asking Netflix to promote or advertise anything, we are simple asking for continued access to the information that they have supplied us with all along so that we can make informed choices about the movies we want to see. It's our choice if we want to wait for a movie or not. I'd rather have the choice to wait for a film than to never have known that Netflix now carries it.

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  126. I was one who would view this page regularly and knew as this was posted as an upcoming release that it was not immediately available. What I liked about this page is the fact that I could have a chance to see this film as soon as it was available. That is what our Queue is all about. There is plenty of information in that queue to let us know approximate availability.

    The new page is pretty useless as it doesn't show anything. Only a few underlined movies that were seen of the many that were actually seen and rated.

    New page - Thumbs Down
    Old page - Thumbs Up and I hope it comes back.

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  127. Tangental, but I'm peeved today.
    The movie at the top of my queue "Ghost in the Shell" had been skipped four times. That's cool. First skip it was "short wait", next three "long wait." Tell me what's up and I'm OK. On Monday, Ghost switches to "now" and I have three films on the way to Netflix. Three films selected by Netflix to send today and Ghost is still #1, and still "now."

    If the masses are upset by having films noted "wait" skipped, how do they feel about those noted "now" skipped.

    Hmm, at least #2, 3 & 4 are coming.

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  128. And if you read this blog (other than this issue), you'll note a lot has been written about how Netflix wants to make things easier for its members (friends, faves and fans, recent reviews and so on)
    Actually this blog is connected to the "Community" section of Netflix as Michael has stated. And as Michael has also stated, the community section was developed to make it easier for people to find lesser known (i.e less demanded) titles. If you're looking for lesser known titles go to the community section.

    but removing this feature does not make it easier for its members to find new movies, quite the opposite. It's counterproductive!
    They realize you'll already know about the new "big" releases so they don't want to serve up product they don't have. They want you to use the community section to find new "lesser demanded" films.

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  129. So some of you honestly feel that more people are happy about the removal of the RTW page than are mad about it?

    Have you guys not read these responses?

    Are you that blind?

    Geez, i hope you guys don't reflect the attitude of most Netflix Employees!

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  130. Ok Troll, how exactly do you know this?
    Umm...1) common knowledge, 2) from looking at my queue and 3)because Michael told us on his blog posting. Anything else?

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  131. Most users used the RTW page as a reminder or checklist to add new releases (especially blockbusters) to their queue, creating high demand for titles Netflix doesn't have enough copies of.

    And just how did you arrive at that conclusion? From the posts here, the VAST majority of RTW page users are saying the exact opposite.

    Which brings up an interesting observation. It is easy to spout off an assumption as though it were fact. It is also easy to simply make statement up and try to pass them off as fact. Michael (or his colleague) mentions an abundance of data and results from test groups as reasoning for the change (and deletion) of the RTW page. Where is that data? Is it available for review? What about the demographic make up of these test groups. How many were NF employees or had connections to NF? Is that documented somewhere? Are the tests and their results posted on a website somewhere?

    I hate to be so cynical, but if living in the USA through these last seven years has taught me anything, it is to never take someone at their word.

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  132. If Netflix is so concerned with shipping available movies to customers on the same business day that a return is received, why do they have this delaying practice of shipping a movie from another distribution facility on the next business day?

    I don't see a valid logistical reason why it would take an entire 24 hours to ship from another distribution center. I understand that sometimes a movie I have requested is not available in my local distribution center and therefore has to be shipped from further away, and I accept this. It makes no rational sense that it will take an entire day to fulfill that request.

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  133. So some of you honestly feel that more people are happy about the removal of the RTW page than are mad about it?

    Have you guys not read these responses?


    Well, according to these responses (which you refer to) they amount to about what, 1000? What is 1000 as a percent of 6 million. And also assume that many are reposts by the same person.

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  134. I swear, a lot of these netflix apologists must really be blockbuster employees.

    I say that because every time i read a post where these people actually defend this idiotic move by netflix to remove the RTW page, it makes me want to drop netflix and join blockbuster that much more!

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  135. Where is that data? Is it available for review? What about the demographic make up of these test groups. How many were NF employees or had connections to NF? Is that documented somewhere? Are the tests and their results posted on a website somewhere?
    You are asking for access to proprietary information? Netflix has access to the queue habits of over 6 million subscribers. That is data that comes from real activity. Not from polls or questionnaires.

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  136. If Netflix is so concerned with shipping available movies to customers on the same business day that a return is received, why do they have this delaying practice of shipping a movie from another distribution facility on the next business day?
    this has been covered before on this very blog. If a title is not available at your nearest distribution center, it is sent from the closest one that has that title avaialable.

    t makes no rational sense that it will take an entire day to fulfill that request.
    Are you complaining about the US postal service delivery times?

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  137. Anon at 12:48 posted: Many of us posting here are certainly unique, because BY FAR, THE number 1 complaint about Netflix has been not enough copies of new releases. It's impossible to buy enough. Now that they are trying to do something about it (in fact, I'll bet part of the reason Michael was hired), we still rip them?

    But what NF is doing is not a solution. It does nothing regarding the number of new releases available. All it does is upset customers, make them take extra steps to put a new release in queue, and - ultimately - will have no lasting effect.

    This "solution" does not increase supply. And it will only temporarily decrease demand until enough customers find a work around.

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  138. how much energy does it take to plug in the handful of new releases?

    I need to start carrying around paper and pens to write down movies out in the theatres now that I won't get to see to keep track.

    Sucks losing this feature but to find out it's gone because you want to spend more time on other things is ridiculous.

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  139. Netflix has access to the queue habits of over 6 million subscribers. That is data that comes from real activity. Not from polls or questionnaires.

    So, this was a good decision? Then why leave up the page (http://www.netflix.com/AllNewReleases)? Why provide a RSS feed? If this really was the only right decision based on hard data, why have an employee address it on a blog and say that our feedback is being looked at?

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  140. Anonymous said:

    this has been covered before on this very blog. If a title is not available at your nearest distribution center, it is sent from the closest one that has that title avaialable.

    I already said that I understand they send from another place because it is not available in my local distribution center. My point is they don't ship it today from that center, they always ship it the next business day. That is when Netflix puts it in the hands of USPS; I'm not making any comment on how long it takes USPS to ship that movie to me from "Lakeland, FL", as is the case of the most recent movie to be shipped to me.

    ReplyDelete
  141. I always assumed you would take a good feature like a list of new releases and improve it, make the list on whats new this week, last week and next week. Instead you took the page away completely, forcing me to go elsewhere to find out whats new. The new page may be prettier, but telling me what movies you want me to see rather than me telling you what I want see is exactly the opposite of what it seems like you should be doing. Bring back the old page, even if its just a small link at the bottom of the new one.

    Netflix took a big step backwards this time...

    ReplyDelete
  142. It does nothing regarding the number of new releases available... This "solution" does not increase supply.
    As Michael said "buying more copies would require spending more on movies, which might result at some point in higher prices – and we work very hard to find the right balance to keep prices fair and inventory good. The fact is that we buy what we buy."

    it's impossible to buy enough copies to satisfy demand.

    And it will only temporarily decrease demand until enough customers find a work around.That may be the case, but also as Michael stated, it's not a perfect solution and we should trust that they'll work towards rectifying it. They always do.

    ReplyDelete
  143. I appreciate someone (Michael) trying to explain the destruction of the webpage. It is hard for me to comprehend that a customer would actually prefer a slidebar of 4 movies at a time to a comprehensive weekly list of releases. In addition, it does not explain why we can not have both options. I think I am smart enough to figure out what I want to watch, and I am smart enough to know that if it is popular I will have to wait. I can't imagine the frustration if you had to use a dial-up service with the slide bar system. Evidently people have a lot more free time than I do that they want to waste searching for movies at Netflix. I don't know about anyone else, but when I went to the video store I first checked out the new releases. I did not go in looking for movies that were 4 or 5 months old. I expected the video store to show me what was new, and I didn't expect to have to search for it. The "releasing this week page" served the same funtion. It is a shame that it was removed. As with most things, I suspect the motivation was mostly financial. In removing a quick and easy way to add popular movies to your queue, it will be easier to ship and meet demand. Let's be honest, they do not care about the people who keep their queue full and send back movies quickly. The people they want to make happy are the one's with a 3 at a time program that watch 2 or 3movies a month. It is likely that it was getting harder and harder to continue to fill the new customer and infrequent users order ASAP. Thus, we have changes. I may be wrong, but I suspect I'm somewhere close.

    ReplyDelete
  144. why have an employee address it on a blog and say that our feedback is being looked at?
    From the sound of Michael's post, Netflix did not "have" him post the commentary on his blog. Sounds like he took a bit of a risk in doing so.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Thank you, Michael, for reminding me how happy I am that I've retired from writing commercial software for the masses.

    No matter how carefully or tactfully you explain a feature change there are a handful of customers that are too dense or too selfish to get it.

    Yes, they are in the minority but it takes a lot of joy out of the effort you put in to give the majority the best you can at the lowest price.

    It certainly is no surprise that there are few blogs like this for such popular services. It takes incredible patience to put up with this kind of abuse and hold your tongue.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Let's be honest, they do not care about the people who keep their queue full and send back movies quickly.it's not that they don't care, it's that it's impossible to satisfy everybody.

    The people they want to make happy are the one's with a 3 at a time program that watch 2 or 3movies a month.
    That's mostly true. The power users are the drain on the system. They want the new subscriber to be the happiest (that's why throttling favors the new subscribers). They know (or are betting on anyway) that long time users will continue to use the service.

    They won't like to hear this but the most effective recourse is to effect change with your pocketbook.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Thank you, Michael, for reminding me how happy I am that I've retired from writing commercial software for the masses.

    No matter how carefully or tactfully you explain a feature change there are a handful of customers that are too dense or too selfish to get it.

    Yes, they are in the minority but it takes a lot of joy out of the effort you put in to give the majority the best you can at the lowest price.

    It certainly is no surprise that there are few blogs like this for such popular services. It takes incredible patience to put up with this kind of abuse and hold your tongue.


    I don't think anyone here is directly attacking Michael. A lot of posts have actually thanked him for his efforts and stated that their beef is not with him personally, but rather decisions by the company he works for. What blog are you reading?

    ReplyDelete
  148. I am considering terminating a long standing membership for a more important service reason than "Lists"
    or "delay"
    Over the past month we have received 4 damaged/unplayable films.
    We use Netflix for "Oldies but Goodies" If there is no system to
    deliver a readable product what is the point of the 90,000 films
    SB Scheinman

    ReplyDelete
  149. and I am smart enough to know that if it is popular I will have to wait
    yet people still keep "availability of titles" at the top of the complaint heap.

    I expected the video store to show me what was new, and I didn't expect to have to search for it.Yet, Blockbuster stores continue to get ripped for shortage of copies and continue to invent ways for more "new releases" to become avaialbale to more people.

    In removing a quick and easy way to add popular movies to your queue, it will be easier to ship and meet demand.
    then you understand the conundrum.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Over the past month we have received 4 damaged/unplayable films.
    Sounds like your postal delivery person is manhandling the wares. Netflix used to ship DVDs in cardboard cases (back in the day), but it became too expensive. Netlfix couldn't offer the service at a financially viable cost for the consumer.

    ReplyDelete
  151. {yet people still keep "availability of titles" at the top of the complaint heap.}
    What else exactly is there to complain about with an online movie delivery company? Not much. Price?, Selection?, Delivery?. A pretty short list to be at the top of.
    {Yet, Blockbuster stores continue to get ripped for shortage of copies and continue to invent ways for more "new releases" to become avaialbale to more people.}
    Again, what would we expect people to complain about when they go to a video store? Would I rather complain about it not being in stock or complain about not being able to find it? I'd rather at least know they had it.

    {then you understand the conundrum.}
    Unfortunately, so.

    ReplyDelete
  152. What else exactly is there to complain about with an online movie delivery company?
    Apparently that they removed a page from their website.

    'd rather at least know they had it.
    You can always find out if Netflix has a title avaialable by doing a search from the search engine in the upper right corner of each page.

    ReplyDelete
  153. I am very sad that my NetFlix days are VERY numbered. Way to go Netflix and I am sure I am not the only one. I am not going to pay almost $30 a month and have to do double work to find out when a movie is coming out. Thanks, you just saved me money in the new year.

    ReplyDelete
  154. I don't think anyone here is directly attacking Michael. A lot of posts have actually thanked him for his efforts and stated that their beef is not with him personally, but rather decisions by the company he works for. What blog are you reading?

    Come on, just about every other post is insulting the company, their developers/designers, or Michael as their pleasant, but dim-witted stooge.

    Perhaps you don't take insults about the company you work for seriously or personally, but I did, and when I eventually didn't care anymore I knew it was time to find a new job.

    The number of complaints that are respectful and understanding are in the minority (i.e. along the vein of "I really loved the old page and the new one is useless to me. Period.")

    The majority waver between indirectly accusing Netlfix (and Michael) of being evil or complete morons.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Availability of a title is not what I was looking for on the old "releasing this week" page. Sure, if it was a much anticipated release, I'd bump it up my queue. Most films, though, were added to my queue for one reason... SO I WOULDN'T MISS THEM! The sliders are neat and all, but they are filled with films that simply are not "new". The also take time to manipulate, and do not cover all categories previously available. Please, please... If you want to solve the issue... offer BOTH the new page and the "classic" version. I've been able to add very few films to my queue in the past couple weeks, and it seriously upsets me. I'm left thinking some new documentary may have been released and I'll not know about. Or maybe it's a comedy... or an indy film... You see?

    ReplyDelete
  156. Uhhh.... this lengthy post in no way explains to me why we can't have the releasing this week page.

    I can not fathom why someone would want something immediately instead of waiting for something they actually want to see.

    Further, this was the first page both my wife and I would go to on Netflix. It was the equivelant of the new release wall at a video store... without this page we're forced to search (via other sites) what is actually coming out that we would like to see. That is ridiculous.

    The slidebars are retarded and take way too much time to cycle through... PLUS they don't even show all the movies being released. I'm a grown up... I can decide for myself what I want to watch... and further, I have this amazing little gift called patience. So, if there is a wait... fine. But at least give me the option.

    And if we want to talk about wait lists... and the purpose of this slide bar is to relieve the stress put on new releases then I would like to point the jury to the following films:

    Sicko, Nanny Diaries, Bourne Ultimatum, Pirates: World's End, Faerie Tale Theatre: Cinderella, Ratatouille, Lady Chatterly, Factory Girl, Midnight Clear, Underdog, Eastern Promises, Your Mommy Kills Animals.

    Every single one of the above movies have been either long waited or very long waited for over a month. Most of these films are blockbusters and/or critical darlings from last year which Netflix had to have known would have a great demand. If the slide bar is supposed to be making more films available I would say it is an abysmal failure.

    So, now we have an annoying feature that also doesn't work and forces customers to add an extra step to do the exact service which Netflix is supposed to be providing. Great. As opposed to the simple user friendly page from before...

    I implore the gods of netflix to bring back the RTW page. If only as an option... it's one of the pillars of Netflix... and is sorely missed.

    And if it helps, I'll throw some weight around.... I am in fact in the top five reviewers on the site. I frequent the site often. I really enjoy it and use all of the features. I am frankly shocked that this page has been taken away for so long.

    And I don't understand statements such as this, "For those of you who are upset (which I guess is most of you), the loss of this very efficient page would seem pretty moronic." Well, if most of your customers want a certain product... isn't it common sense to give it to them?

    And your research is wrong... I imagine that the questions were something along the lines of:

    1. Would you prefer to only list movies that are available to ship right away?

    2. Do you like when films are wait listed?

    3. Would you like to see box covers of films that are available to rent?

    Now while the answer to all three of these questions for most would be yes... and from that one could determine that people would prefer the slide bar nonsense... I would bet that if you asked a question like:

    Would you prefer to have a complete and clear listing of movies being released to DVD every week?

    The answers would also be yes.

    And if you ask a question like, "Would you rather know all the films being released each week or only be told of those that are actually available?" The answer would be for the releasing this week page.

    I love netflix... I'm a top five reviewer. Please take it from someone who's on the site way more than he should be... bring back the RTW.

    Thanks for listening.

    ReplyDelete
  157. The majority waver between indirectly accusing Netlfix (and Michael) of being evil or complete morons.

    Patrick recommends (choose one):
    - Netflix is evil
    - Run by complete morons

    ReplyDelete
  158. I understand not wanting to put movies on the list that are not currently available for immediate shipping and making the site more user friendly is always welcome. However, as a user I accept that the more popular movies may not be available ASAP. The issue I have is that a movie may come out that I didn't even realize was out on DVD yet and now you have no way of knowing that and adding it unless it can be shipped right away. Maybe a complete “Releasing this week” list should be available with a disclaimer next to some of the more popular titles that are not available for immediate shipping.

    ReplyDelete
  159. this lengthy post in no way explains to me why we can't have the releasing this week page
    Some people still don't get it.

    I can not fathom why someone would want something immediately instead of waiting for something they actually want to see i guess people are just curious that way.

    The slidebars are retarded
    Ummm...don't worry about offending anyone

    I have this amazing little gift called patience
    That's the point...5,999,999 other users who hit the new releases hard don't have patience, thereby ruing it for you and me.

    forces customers to add an extra step to do the exact service which Netflix is supposed to be providing
    Where does it say that Netflix is supposed to offer a New Releases page?

    I am in fact in the top five reviewers on the sitePerhaps now we know who's been putting all the pressure on the new big releases.

    And your research is wrong
    Because the user habit data of 6 million users can't be right now can it?

    ReplyDelete
  160. The issue I have is that a movie may come out that I didn't even realize was out on DVD yet and now you have no way of knowing that
    Actually that information is available here:
    http://www.videoeta.com or at http://www.hackingnetflix.com

    ReplyDelete
  161. Maybe a complete “Releasing this week” list should be available with a disclaimer next to some of the more popular titles that are not available for immediate shipping.
    Netflix knows that everyone understands and realizes that the new releases will be delayed. But it's the action of people's queue habits that still continue to put high demand on the big new releases anyway. Netflix wants to scatter some of the demand out to its less popular titles.

    ReplyDelete
  162. So basicallt it's 'get over it' when it comes to the new release page right?
    The slider option is fine, but some of those movies aren't the newest titles. i.e. "The Hoax."
    Really doesn't make much sense. Thanks for disappointing nearly all of your customers...awesome

    ReplyDelete
  163. I, too, don't understand why Netflix feels that it must be "one size fits all". Why not provide the new, supposedly popular, interface by default, and still allow the other interface to exist? It can't possibly be that much additional maintenance work.

    Personally, I did not use the "Releasing this week" page because it did not include the star bar and I had to open each movie in a new window to click "not interested".

    It was never clear to me what the criteria were between "New Releases", "Releasing this week", and "Now on DVD".

    I'd like all three of these pages back, and "Releasing this week" to include star bars.

    It's apparent that NOD is for older titles that are just now being released in DVD format, but I'd like to know what the actual criteria are for inclusion in RTW vs. NR are.

    In fact, I'd like to see a real search page that let you specify a boolean search phrase with field names and values, like "DVD_release_date >= '2007-01-01' AND year >= 1970 AND language = 'English' AND genre NOT LIKE 'Anime%' AND Rating != 0"

    ReplyDelete
  164. ... and I'm in the camp that doesn't care about when the movie will be available - I just don't want to miss it altogether.

    ReplyDelete
  165. @anonymous: As long as you hide behind your anonymity I'm not really going to take your comments that seriously.

    For me the issue is loss of functionality on the site and (now, more importantly) the underhanded way Netflix is going about it.

    Note, I didn't make much of the change initially, only when it became clear why these changes were being implemented did I really react. I don't like what's being done and I especially don't like the way it's being done - and the reasons for doing it. It smacks of "corporate thinking" of the worst kind, not the Netflix I've come to really appreciate and have recommended to other people.

    If Netflix is really that concerned about the run on big titles, why not "freeze" the queues, so you can only get to watch movies in the order you add them? Only a small "loss of functionality", and much shorter waits for all of us (hooray!).
    If you want to move a movie up to the top of the queue, all you have to do is delete the other movies in your queue and then add them again later. It's no big deal. It's not that different fom hiding titles from Netflix members. It would probably also solve the "problem" of the queue limit!

    You could also eliminate the ability to "save" movies that have yet to be released. That would force people to have to remember which movies are out now, and not just have them in the bottom part of the queue. Less run on big titles? I doubt it, since big titles will be what people can think of when searching.

    Or better yet, why not bring the RTW page back, but without the blockbuster titles? We already know from theater ticket sales which ones are going to be popular, so why not just eliminate those, and let the rest of the movies be listed? Or would that make it too obvious what's going on, if Netflix no longer lists "Resident Evil: Extinction" as a new release?

    That way we can all be happy! Netflix can ship out the top queue movie every day and I can eagerly await of arrival of the "Popular New Release" The Postman. Right?

    This, Michael, may only be a first step, but it's a first step in the wrong direction.

    (And to the people who compare the thousand comments on the blog to the 6 million customers, that's not really fair in any way. Compare it to the previous traffic here on the blog. The most contentious issue before RTW-elimination were privacy concerns, and that yielded 113 commments to a post. A thousand comments IS a big reaction, no matter what your standpoint is.)

    ReplyDelete
  166. As long as you hide behind your anonymity I'm not really going to take your comments that seriously
    OK Knaldskalle. What goofy nickname would you like me to use...knaldskalle? Would that give me more credibility?

    It smacks of "corporate thinking" of the worst kind,
    perhaps that's why Netflix is so successful

    why not "freeze" the queues, so you can only get to watch movies in the order you add them,
    And you thought removing the RTW page ticked people off!

    privacy concerns, and that yielded 113 comments to a postand all those privacy fears proved unfounded didn't they. How about let's just wait and see where this thing goes.

    You could also eliminate the ability to "save" movies that have yet to be released. That would force people to have to remember which movies are out now
    and you thought removing the RTW page caused an uproar!!

    ReplyDelete
  167. Some people still don't get it.
    -- No, I don't understand why something so easy is made so complicated.

    i guess people are just curious that way.
    -- Yeah, well I don't want their foolishness to affect me.

    Ummm...don't worry about offending anyone
    -- How is that offensive? Do you know the definition of that word?

    Retarded (adj.): backward, dull, simple.

    I think all those apply to this slidebar.

    5,999,999 other users who hit the new releases hard don't have patience, thereby ruing it for you and me.
    -- I question this number... but agree with your point.

    Where does it say that Netflix is supposed to offer a New Releases page?
    -- I would say an easy experience to rent films that your customers want to see should be Netflix's general motto. That being said, I would argue that a RTW page is essential in obtaining that goal.

    Perhaps now we know who's been putting all the pressure on the new big releases.
    -- As if anyone besides the reviewers actually care about these ranks. It's merely a fun way to waste time... mostly to me because I'm a dork.

    Because the user habit data of 6 million users can't be right now can it?
    -- User habit data still needs to be analyzed and assesed by someone... and that's where the problem lies.

    ReplyDelete
  168. Why not provide the new, supposedly popular, interface by default, and still allow the other interface to exist? It can't possibly be that much additional maintenance work.
    it's not a matter of extra work. Continuing with the listing of the new "big" releases means Netflix is promoting a product that they can't deliver.

    Personally, I did not use the "Releasing this week" page
    Then you should not be that disappointed.

    I'd like all three of these pages back, and "Releasing this week" to include star bars.
    And here we have a demand to not only bring the RTW page back, but to enhance it.


    In fact, I'd like to see a real search page that let you specify a boolean search phrase with field names and values
    I'm sure the search engine team is happy to receive your feedback

    ReplyDelete
  169. I honestly don't care if the movie is available NOW, or in 2 months. For the majority of the movies that I added off of the Releasing This Week, I just let them sit at the bottom of my que until the worked up. By the time they get to the top, after 100 or so movies ahead of them, they're more than likely available now.
    I don't care WHEN I get a movie that's just been released, I just want to make sure that I add it when it's released, so I don't forget that it exists and is available on DVD. That's the whole point of a que, it's a line of things.

    ReplyDelete
  170. And if I could respond to you further Anonymous...

    1.) I notice you neither commented on the fact that a good chunk of films that were guaranteed to be popular still aren't available despite the slider system.... AND the fact that sliders don't even bring up new releases... Flicka was a choice for me. Flicka.

    2.) I find your position of take or leave it strange... why shouldn't we give netflix our feedback? In the end, they're working for us anyway...

    ReplyDelete
  171. People here don't seem to want to think critically about NF's decision.

    Let's all just consider something for a moment. This is the holiday season when Netflix generally gets a rush of new membership. Is it a coincidence then that this is the time that they decided to limit the promotion of high demand movies? Of course not. They are trying to satisfy as many people as possible. Not satisfy 10 or 20 or even 30% of their customers, but as many as humanly possible. New customers instinctively flock to new releases, and yet NF wants to make a good first impression on those new customers. Why would they actively promote unavailable movies to brand spanking new customers?

    You all also need to realize that NF has a target customer base of 20 million in the next 2 - 5 years. That's right, 20 million! If you look at their "Jobs" pages on their own site, you'll find that in the "The Position" section of their listings they mention this figure quite proudly. (http://jobs.netflix.com/DetailFlix.asp?flix1722)

    Netflix is all about expansion right now. Yes, they want to keep your business too, but they are really trying hard to bring in more customers.

    New customers signing up today don't know about the old New Release Page. They see what they see and adapt accordingly. If NF is targeting 20 million, that's 14 million new people that will have never known about the old New Release Page.

    That page isn't coming back people. Accept it. Adapt. Move on if necessary. But that's the reality here.

    ReplyDelete
  172. cumulomongouslycrumpldumpish trollJanuary 2, 2008 at 3:49 PM

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    ReplyDelete
  173. Let's all just consider something for a moment. This is the holiday season when Netflix generally gets a rush of new membership. Is it a coincidence then that this is the time that they decided to limit the promotion of high demand movies? Of course not. They are trying to satisfy as many people as possible. Not satisfy 10 or 20 or even 30% of their customers, but as many as humanly possible. New customers instinctively flock to new releases, and yet NF wants to make a good first impression on those new customers. Why would they actively promote unavailable movies to brand spanking new customers?

    --- Fine, I'll think critically about this decision.

    1.) I'm a new customer... I show up and go to the new release page... shockingly, I don't find the blockbuster of the week listed.

    Do I?

    A.) Assume netflix doesn't really have the selection it describes and stop my membership.

    B.) Search for the film... find it... and wonder why there isn't a new release page that lists all the films that came out this week...

    2.) As a netflix stock owner... do I want to grow business? Yes. Do I want to continue making my current customer base happy? Bigger yes. Why? Because they are the people who have stuck with me... and so I should want to keep those people... because not only are they my most loyal customers... they are also my biggest asset in recruiting new subscribers.

    And yes, I own stock in Netflix.

    ReplyDelete
  174. I will leave NF if the old RTW page is not made available to me, why can you not have both pages available so that your customers can use the page they like. Everyone is Happy and NF looks like they really care about their customers.

    ReplyDelete
  175. I honestly don't care if the movie is available NOW, or in 2 months.

    Based on this and many, many other responses like it I've come up with the perfect solution. Replace the "Released this Week" page with the "Released 6 Months Ago" page.

    It looks and acts exactly like the old page did, but it will give you the releases of the week 6 months later. Then you are free to add them and even move them to the top of your queue without experiencing or causing any delays.

    Of course, it would sound ludicrous to any new user so that wouldn't be the default view, but it satisfies the listed complaint of the vast majority of users here, so I'm sure everyone here will be fine with it.

    Go ahead Netflix, there's no charge for this brilliant idea. The first one is always free.

    ReplyDelete
  176. Michael, the comments are appreciated, and I can sort of see the thinking of Netflix on this and other issues now. I know many people with Netflix and I have never heard of anyone that worries that much about "when" they get a movie as long as they know it's in their queue. Netflix promotes building a larger queue just in case a movie is not available immediately, which everyone I know does, yet now you say that the need for a movie "right now" is the most important issue.

    Maybe Netflix should change their thinking a tad and instead of trying to only show movies that are available right this second, show all the movies with a current wait time next to them. That is an honest way to present it, and would solve the dilemma of not wanting to promote a movie that you can't deliver. Then people could add it to their queue and wait for it, or pick something that has no wait time. Wouldn't that be better than putting up an arrow list of titles that have released over the last few months minus the movies not immediately available for shipping? I am surprised that Netflix management didn't see how frustrating that would be for anyone who actively uses this service, and builds up their queue as suggested.

    I think that little fix could solve the "releasing this week" problem of which I am also very disappointed with. We should be able to see every movie that is coming out in the current week on dvd, in an easy to scan single page, plain and simple. If it is going to be a long wait, so be it, but we won't miss getting a good release into our queues. Maybe put the wait times in the mouseover under the star rating.

    Anyhow, I thought I would at least throw out a suggestion as to one possible way to make the Netflix experience efficient and thorough instead of frustrating, when it comes to simply trying to see what is releasing this week on dvd. I think being straight up honest about wait times along with everything that is actually releasing weekly might take care of more than just this RTW problem. It could at the very least clear up the phone lines at customer service having to explain to people why some movies take so long to get.

    Sorry so long winded, but I do like Netflix and I would really rather not switch to another service just to get simple functionality.

    Blurr

    ReplyDelete
  177. why can you not have both pages available so that your customers can use the page they like
    because the old page promoted titles they don't have enough copies of

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  178. I am wondering if this change is a really excellent way to purge some of their high use/high cost customers. If these "power users" cost the company so much money, is this not the perfect way to alienate them enough to leave, but to do so in a way that looks like it was just a usability upgrade? I would not doubt that they average person complaining about the RTW page being gone has over 300 movies in their queue, myself included.

    I too am very frustrated that this feature has been removed and cannot understand why the simple solution, to provide a small link at the bottom of the current version to the old version is so impossible to implement. This solution, in addition to being essentially free of developmental costs, would instantly make all these complaints go away and would assure that the vast majority of Netflix users interact with only the new page. Could Michael at Netflix please please please explain why this is not a viable solution? It seems to me that the simplest solution is usually the right one.

    Thanks,

    JD, and I do respect Michael for at least trying to explain why the decision was made.

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  179. 1.) I'm a new customer... I show up and go to the new release page... shockingly, I don't find the blockbuster of the week listed.

    Do I?

    A.) Assume netflix doesn't really have the selection it describes and stop my membership.

    B.) Search for the film... find it... and wonder why there isn't a new release page that lists all the films that came out this week...


    Ok, if you're a new customer, sure, I accept that you'd wonder why there isn't a comprehensive new release section. But being a new customer, I would never have known that there once was a new release section, and in the end wouldn't consider it to be a deal breaker. I would simply adapt accordingly.

    NF's will always consider this a trade-off situation. They are trading their comprehensive new release page in exchange for the possibility that this will free up inventory. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. Nobody here can honestly make a claim one way or another. But if NF is looking at 6+ million customers today, 2.5 million of whom will want I Am Legend in a few months, these sorts of tweaks to the system are necessary. They either buy 1 million copies of I Am Legend in May to satisfy initial demand, or they buy 500k and stop promoting it on their site. 500K copies of a single title represents a huge dollar amount. Imagine what it will be like when there are 20 million customers and a silly blockbuster like I Am Legend is released. (Other than the 6+ million and the 20 million, these are arbitrary figures of course).

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  180. I didn't read all the comments so my opinion may be the same as others:

    - Netflix has replaced most of my movie-going experience, especially since it's difficult to get to specialty theaters showing indie and foreign films.

    - Instead of scouring lots of papers and sites for movie showtimes, I use(d) the Releasing This Week page to find out what is new on DVD.

    - I love(d) adding new releases from that page to my queue, knowing that I wouldn't have to worry about missing lots of cool films. Now I worry about all these cool DVDs slipping by my attention.

    - I don't care if a new release can't get to me immediately. They are actually usually sent to me quicker than I expect anyway.

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  181. To lighten the load on "anonymous", I'll take this one.

    I notice you neither commented on the fact that a good chunk of films that were guaranteed to be popular still aren't available despite the slider system.... AND the fact that sliders don't even bring up new releases... Flicka was a choice for me. Flicka.

    What's to comment on? Do you have any data other than your idle speculation? Do you know how many new customers they have this year vs. last, how many new releases they bought in the same period, or any idea of the relative percentage of users who have experienced delays? I didn't think so.

    But guess what, they do and they are in a far better position to know whether their redesign have shortened waits and/or lowered costs.

    What's wrong with Flicka? I don't know exactly what criteria they use to populate the list, but Flicka is less than a year old and maybe you seem to have a preference for dog movies. If you think you have a better algorithm for recommendations then go to it, there's big bucks to be had.

    (By the way, I score this one under "Netflix" employees are morons.)

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  182. The "new releases" is showing items that were released months ago!

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  183. Mark said:
    That page isn't coming back people. Accept it. Adapt. Move on if necessary. But that's the reality here.

    Really? So what's the purpose of this blog? What's up with Michael asking for feedback, if nothing's going to change?

    20 million is a nice target, they just can't expect to keep 20 million paying customers if they continue down this path of deception.

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  184. Instead of scouring lots of papers and sites for movie showtimes, I use(d) the Releasing This Week page to find out what is new on DVD.
    Here...this site will be helpful then:
    http://www.videoeta.com

    I love(d) adding new releases from that page to my queue, knowing that I wouldn't have to worry about missing lots of cool films. Now I worry about all these cool DVDs slipping by my attention.
    You still don't have to worry about missign those titles. Just visit the above page. Also the community section is a great resource for cooler, more lesser known titles.

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  185. Sign the petition if you want to let NF know that you are unhappy with the disappearance of the RTW page.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/netflix


    Lynda

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  186. Really? So what's the purpose of this blog? What's up with Michael asking for feedback, if nothing's going to change?

    20 million is a nice target, they just can't expect to keep 20 million paying customers if they continue down this path of deception.


    I didn't say that they don't care or aren't taking into consideration what everyone has to say. Just that when you consider all the facts in play here, and what their objective is, there's no point in holding out hope that your old page is going to return. It isn't, but perhaps a compromise will be made. So it's more important for them to hear your suggestions on how the new system can be improved, rather than just stating "I want that page back."

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  187. Bring back the old "Releasing this week" option. This was a weekly destination for me. I was an easy place to find all new releases on one simple page. Why not have both, for those that loved and used the old method?

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  188. Fine, I'll think critically about this decision...

    It's just simple business sense to try harder to get and keep new customers than old customers. Finding the right balance, as Mike mentioned, is the key to a successful business.

    Most new customers will have so many choices of good movies that they will not even think to look at the small subset that was the "Released this Week" page.

    Can you tell me which movie this week is the "blockbuster of the week"? You really think they're going to get excited over the choice between a crappy Jet Li movie and 15 Mayo Clinic specials? (This week's selection.) No, they're going to find a dozen movies in the redesigned "New Releases" page that they haven't seen and they are excited about.

    If there is a "blockbuster" that they need to have they will use the very handy search feature to find it. And sadly for the chronic complainers out there, they will get it before you, the loyal customer, do. Sorry if that hurts your feelings. It's just business.

    Why are they not so worried about the "loyal" customers bailing? Because they know that a minor glitch or change you are unhappy with is unlikely to cause you to leave. But they only have a month or two to win over a new subscriber. Is that evil or even cynical, I don't think so.

    And frankly, you're overestimating the worth of the average loyal subscriber to their bottom line. Maybe you've recruited friends in the past, but it's unlikely you're going to be adding many in the future. Whereas a happy new subscriber will be a much better advocate.

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  189. I would like to say that I also am upset by the fact that I cannot watch movies on my Mac. I have called about this and was told it would be fixed soon...that was 3 months ago. I pay the same price as the people that have PC's but dont get all the services.

    I guess by taking off the New Releases Page you are really saving yourself a lot of money because you dont have to buy any of those obscure movies anymore because nobody will be able to even see that they came out.

    I would rather at least know what is coming out and get it in my Que. By taking away the New Releases Page you will have to increase your amount of movies anyway to keep up with the demand because everyone knows about the big movies coming out it was the other titles that you were doing such a good job carrying that we are all going to miss.

    You have made it so I have to go to the video store to get the movies releasing book and set down and put them all in my Que. If everyone does this you will really be having long waits because they dont have a choice but what they can find available.

    If you insist on keeping the new page that shows 3 movies at a time that are available (which my Que shows that they are available or not also) then at least make it so we can see a dozen icons at once so we dont have to keep scrolling to look through them.

    Oh and just in case I made any spelling errors Netflix Junkie I'm sure that since you dont have a life you will be happy to point them out to me like I see you do for everyone else.

    Thanks for listening

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  190. Mark said:
    It isn't, but perhaps a compromise will be made. So it's more important for them to hear your suggestions on how the new system can be improved, rather than just stating "I want that page back."

    I have a hard time seeing how a compromise can be reached. Either Netflix presents the new releases this week or they don't, there's not that much middle ground. Either the information's there or it's not. And let me also refer you to my earlier comments (#12 and 15 I think), where I elaborated a bit more on my opinion.

    I didn't expect the "old" page to return, but the old content in a new form, perhaps, until Michael wrote this current post, which, frankly, infuriated me: I don't pay them to withhold movie titles from me.

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  191. Scotstoy said:
    By taking away the New Releases Page you will have to increase your amount of movies anyway to keep up with the demand because everyone knows about the big movies coming out it was the other titles that you were doing such a good job carrying that we are all going to miss.

    SPOT ON!

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  192. Really? So what's the purpose of this blog? What's up with Michael asking for feedback, if nothing's going to change?

    I'm sure they are listening to feedback, but it's very difficult to gather useful feedback from users (especially over the internet). Anyone who thinks they'll let a vote or even petitions decide the matter for them is dreaming. They'll weigh the responses with the mountain of data and the many hours/days of design and discussions they've already had, but they're not going to let a bunch of random yahoos with no experience or inside knowledge decide such an important feature. They can't say that, but I don't work for them so I can.

    I personally think they will keep the RTW page as a hidden link for at least a few months to a year. Not because it's the right thing to do, just because they don't need the hassle. In 6 months the percentage of users using it will be even more negligible than it is now, so they can get rid of it with less fuss.

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  193. And frankly, you're overestimating the worth of the average loyal subscriber to their bottom line. Maybe you've recruited friends in the past, but it's unlikely you're going to be adding many in the future. Whereas a happy new subscriber will be a much better advocate.

    --- Here's something I know for sure. I've sung the praises of Netflix to my friends and family... and many have joined. I also have given gift certificates to others... some of whom have kept the service.

    If the RTW feature doesn't come back... I simply won't do that anymore. And I don't think I'm alone.

    That will be the fall out to this silly action.

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  194. jd said I am wondering if this change is a really excellent way to purge some of their high use/high cost customers. If these "power users" cost the company so much money, is this not the perfect way to alienate them enough to leave, but to do so in a way that looks like it was just a usability upgrade? I would not doubt that they average person complaining about the RTW page being gone has over 300 movies in their queue, myself included.

    This came to my mind too. Especially since NF received 3 movies from me on Monday and shipped 1 and said 2 would be sent from 2 different shipping locations the next business day. Interestingly, the 1 that shipped was a new release. The 2 from other distribution centers are older - the kind NF is encouraging us to rent.

    I, like another blogger questioned, wonder why the NF policy would be to wait 1 business day to ship from a different location. They sent me the notice 6 hours before the close of business in those other cities. Surely in 6 hours those DVDs could have been sent. Throttling?

    Until my next billing date, I'm on the 4 out at a time plan. If I'm lucky, I'll get 4 this week. One DVD is suppoed to be delivered on Saturday and sometimes those don't make it.

    Today, I did receive 2 DVDs in the mail but 1 of them is in a blue envelope and I'll return that one to Blockbuster tonight and get another one.

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  195. And this is what people should really do:

    Call 1-888-638-3549

    Tell them your account number and how your upset that RTW is gone.

    Keep doing it.

    It will eventually come back.

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  196. By taking away the New Releases Page you will have to increase your amount of movies anyway to keep up with the demand because everyone knows about the big movies coming out it was the other titles that you were doing such a good job carrying that we are all going to miss.

    Yet another random yahoo with no data who seems to know Netflix's purchasing algorithms and their customers' viewing habits.

    One way you can identify the random yahoos is that they can't even all agree on the same "obvious" conclusions. E.g. is it that "everyone knows about the big movies" and thus will queue them in the same quantity, or is it that you need the old RTW page or you won't be able to find the big new releases and they will be forever lost to you?

    BTW, it's not just the "big" releases that are in high demand. All new releases are in high demand, if they weren't then Netflix would order fewer of them (in which case they would be in high demand again). Do you consider "Dhana Dhana Dhan Goal" a big new release? Guess what, it's got a very long wait. Got it?

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  197. You know, before all this drama, I was unaware of the existence of the RTW page? It's true.

    I have never laid eyes on it.

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  198. @sam:
    or is it that you need the old RTW page or you won't be able to find the big new releases and they will be forever lost to you?

    I don't recall seeing a single comment to that effect, but I know that I myself wrote at least one comment to the opposite effect. Bottom line is, no matter how much Netflix tones down the blockbusters, there's going to be a waitlist for them.

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  199. Here's something I know for sure. I've sung the praises of Netflix to my friends and family... and many have joined. I also have given gift certificates to others... some of whom have kept the service.

    If the RTW feature doesn't come back... I simply won't do that anymore. And I don't think I'm alone.


    First, I implied it but I guess I'll have to be specific. You've already tapped out most of your friends who are Netflix candidates. A new, happy user will have many friends to tell about this wonderful new service. Your friends on the other hand, have been listening to your tired exaltations of Netflix for the last five years, and have already joined or probably never will.

    And let me get this straight. You have been enthusiastically recommending Netflix to your friends when your satisfcation with the service is so tenuous that you will end it because of this one minor feature?

    I hope the product managers at Netflix give your statement the credibility it deserves.

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  200. What's to comment on? Do you have any data other than your idle speculation? Do you know how many new customers they have this year vs. last, how many new releases they bought in the same period, or any idea of the relative percentage of users who have experienced delays? I didn't think so.

    ---- Well, judging from this board and the people I communicate with via my friends lists... it's quite a few. And no shockingly, I didn't prepare a Powerpoint presentation.

    I was just pointing out that anecdotally... popular films are still wait listed despite the slider.

    Therefore, it's a waste of time. Perhaps you could run a poll... if you're so interested.

    But guess what, they do and they are in a far better position to know whether their redesign have shortened waits and/or lowered costs.

    --- Apparently, they do... as long as they don't care about their older customers.

    What's wrong with Flicka? I don't know exactly what criteria they use to populate the list, but Flicka is less than a year old and maybe you seem to have a preference for dog movies. If you think you have a better algorithm for recommendations then go to it, there's big bucks to be had.

    --- First of all, Flicka is about a horse and it was released in 2006.

    I don't want to have films recommended to me... I want to pick my own movies. That's my point.

    (By the way, I score this one under "Netflix" employees are morons.)

    --- I think this was a very poor decision.

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