Showing posts with label general. Show all posts
Showing posts with label general. Show all posts

Monday, November 22, 2010

A new plan for watching instantly, plus price changes to existing unlimited plans

Hi, Jessie Becker here, VP Marketing, with an update about changes we are making today to our plans and prices.

First, we are now offering a new $7.99 a month plan which lets you instantly watch unlimited TV episodes and movies streamed to your computer or TV. This plan does not include any DVDs. All the titles you can watch instantly on your current plan are also available on this new plan, and as a reminder, not all titles on DVD are available to watch instantly. This new plan is available immediately - if you’d like to switch to this new plan at any time, simply visit Your Account.

Second, we are increasing the prices on our unlimited plans that offer both watching instantly and DVDs by mail. On our two most popular unlimited plans – the 1 DVD out at a time and 2 DVDs out at a time – the price is increasing by $1 a month. We’ve also included below the changes on all the plans. To see how these changes impact your Netflix account, visit Membership Details.

Why the changes? Our selection of TV episodes and movies available to stream has grown dramatically, and as a result most members want us to deliver unlimited TV episodes and movies two ways: streaming instantly over the internet plus DVDs by mail. The price increase will allow us to continue to offer the popular plan choice of unlimited TV episodes and movies streaming instantly along with unlimited DVDs. The new plan, which does not include DVDs, is a great option for the increasing number of members who only want to watch instantly. The $7.99 a month price reflects no DVD shipping costs on this plan.

You might also wonder why we haven’t introduced a new plan that includes only DVDs by mail. The fact is that Netflix members are already watching more TV episodes and movies streamed instantly over the Internet than on DVDs, and we expect that trend to continue. Creating the best user experience that we can around watching instantly is how we’re spending the vast majority of our time and resources. Because of this, we are not creating any plans that are focused solely on DVDs by mail.

To avoid any confusion, here are the new prices on our plans:

We hope you’re enjoying great TV shows and movies from Netflix, and that you’ll continue to enjoy Netflix on whichever plan you choose. We realize you have lots of home entertainment options, and we thank you for your business. As always, if you have any questions, please call us at 800-715-2146.

UPDATE: A number of you have asked about Blu-ray pricing. Blu-ray pricing remains the same.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back from Thanksgiving

Hey gang. This is just a personal note to say that -- like many of you -- I was out last week for the holidays. I'm back now, catching up on the stuff that accumulates while one is out of town, including reading everyone's comments that have been coming in for the time while I was getting ready to head out and while I was away. From first glance, lots of interesting feedback from you. Back in the groove soon.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Your Profile Page

By the weekend we'll be releasing the outward-facing version of your Profile page. We'll refine this page, but its basic elements are here: a personal statement, some explanation/exposition for how other people and you are similar, and eventually, more headlines from your movie watching (reviews, top 10 lists, activity). I had wanted to provide a place for you to post a link to your outside blog, website, myspace page, etc - but it may not make it by our deadline -- if not, you will at least be able to post the link in the text of your personal statement. See if that works for you.

I'll post some release notes here later this week. We've mostly been working on this profile page and lots of little bug fixes that we've introduced over the past month.

ONE MORE THING: Yes, i've been quiet these past few weeks. It was bound to happen: I couldn't easily juggle a post a day as well as building new features. As I ramp back into a very heavy period of new feature creation, I expect my postings to be more disparate (at least for awhile). I do, however, read everything posted here (they come to me as emails - so i don't miss any). My lack of immediate or complete response should be perceived as "more building, less talking". I have enjoyed all of your discussions with each other. I certainly encourage this. And as it is appropriate, i commit to very candid discussions about how the community will be evolving. As I've said all along here, what we now finally have on the Netflix site is the foundation for our community features. It is not completed. Frankly, it's just getting starting.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Moving the Blog Link

There has been grumbling among you, my friends, about the apparent demotion of the link to this blog. To this, I will only add a few things.

1) It hasn't really been demoted. It is no longer on the subnav bar of the Community page -- BUT it is now in the bottom links on EVERY PAGE OF THE SITE. Some would consider this a widening of our reach.
2) The goal of Netflix is not to drive traffic to this blog. It is largely here to help you find movies you'll love. The blog link was a small distraction. For the many people who have a tenuous grip on the site navigation, it was confusing. Savvy folks will still find it, and unsavvy folks will not be lost by it.
3) Moving this link is not equal to not wanting people to participate in the blog. I quite enjoy the participation. It is important to me (and Netflix) that you have a voice and I like giving you the opportunity to inform me as our team works to refine elements of the site. Moving the link doesn't change this.
4) After just a few days of data, it looks like the visits to the blog are relatively unchanged after the move -- the increase in blog onramps seems to balance the decrease in "obviousness" due to the link placement. It's a net change of zero.

Of course, you could argue that we should have the link EVERYWHERE. Yes, that would certainly increase traffic to the blog. To be candid, keeping up with all your comments is pretty challenging, and it does, in fact, compete with my attention on actually implementing features. I'll keep reading and you should keep writing, but don't interpret my slightly diminished responsiveness for anything other than my working on the website.

In the next few days I'll give y'all a headsup on the next batch of changes soon to release.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Today's Release is Live

Well, after the intense posts of the past week, everything else just feels mundane. I've not seen 300+ comments before on a blogpost - is that normal? (And not just little snipes, but often well-considered essays!)

Alright. I'm VERY interested in your first and continued impressions of the FAVES functions and what is working/not working here. Today's release is a complex set of new elements and as much as i hate to say it, there are likely to be some edge cases that are buggy. Any help you can provide as to what might not be smooth yet would help us out (remember for bugs: OS and browser info).

It's rolling out now, and should be everyone's experience in about an hour.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Blog Link

IN NEXT WEEKEND'S NEW FEATURES: One of the side-effects of us making the Community area easier for newbies is that we are removing almost all of the sub-navigation items under the Community tab. (Newbies often click on all of them-- RSS Feeds, Movie Privacy, Community Blog... and get totally confused about what is up here). Consequently, the links are about to get placed more appropriately: Friends-related items (like privacy or invite) can be found from the Friends & Faves page; The RSS and Blog links are among the links at the bottom of every page on the site. No doubt this will decrease the ability of Netflix folks to discover this blog, but it's the right thing to do.

This is one of those compromises you make that bum out some of us, but help out many. Hopefully you can still find your way here...

UPDATE 9/10:
(From the comments) I hear your concerns about moving the link, i really do. And believe me, no one wants to leave it in the subnav more than me. But (a) it's not like its gone or invisible, it's just not in the subnav. Truth is, being at the bottom links puts it on every page of the site, and not just here in community, which could be interpreted as a good thing (although i understand many people don't notice those). (b) it's not that we want to make it harder to find, its just that people who visit the community tab for the first time are getting confused about what this part of the site is about -- and the blog (as well as RSS, etc.) is confusing. Some don't know what a blog is, or they think that community MEANS contributing to a blog... anyway, our testing has shown me that where it is now is sending a confusing message, and by moving the subnavs, i'm hoping to get more people interested in community (the goal is more community interaction, not a larger audience for the blog). We'll find the right spot for the blog link in time, and it might even go back where it was. But we have learning to do first. Moving it (like so much of what you guys have tolerated over the past few months) is just a step. I'm glad to hear that many of y'all think it's a bad move. Duly noted.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Online Community

Yesterday I received this question:
I find it interesting that the sidebar of this blog states "We are not a social network and are not trying to be." Netflix now has public profiles, member reviews, member lists, friends lists, etc. How is Netflix NOT a social networking site? Why doesn't Netflix embrace this concept?

I make a distinction - subtle though it may be - between a social network and an online community. In my mind, a social network has as at least one of its objectives as connecting people together... a sort of "meet up." I look at Facebook or MySpace as excellent social networks. Linkedin is kind of a social network, but they seem to self-describe as a business network. It's all about biz, but it's still about hooking up. Netflix is not like these. On the spectrum, i think we're more toward the Wikipedia end -- of lots of value because lots of people contribute and share. I see us as an online community - a group of like-minded folks, bonded by a common interest in movies - using our numbers to help each other. We don't need to meet or know each other, but we can still utilize each other to discover great movies from a very very large collection. That process does involve discerning things about each other, to help give context to suggestions/recommendations. But the purpose isn't for you and me to meet. Anyway, I wanted y'all to know that i wasn't interested in turning this into a dating site. Sometimes people see the word "community" and they get the wrong idea.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ask Mike:

A comment was posted tonight that requested "a way to contact you without having to comment on unrelated blog entries ..." and this came almost concurrently as I received a regular email to my personal email account from another blog reader. Now I don't go to great lengths to keep myself hidden, but i am serious that part of the work of the blog is to have these communications in the blog, transparently. So i'm not going to respond to direct emails - but i do want to leave a space on this blog that is an "Open Question Forum."

Idea: Number your questions/comments so I can reply by number (too many anons). Let's see if that works. FYI: if you've asked in other postings and i haven't replied there, there is a good chance i won't here either (although maybe i can tell you why).

So if none of the blog postings for the past 3 months seem to cover the topic you want to ask about, try it here. If your questions are about things I can address, Community-related things--there's a good chance i'll be able to handle it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Reed Hastings Blog

It's because of you. Seriously. From his first posting, he's acknowledging other cool CEO bloggers (Schwartz, Cuban, Andreessen), but i promise you. It's not because of them. It's because of you.

Of course he reads our blog, and your comments. And I can't imagine he wasn't a little inspired by all the fun we were having. I dunno. You'll have to ask him. Anyway, effective tonight (it seems) Reed has decided to start his own blog. I would have thought he would have, i dunno, checked in with me for some tips? S'pose not. Anyway, we'll have to see what he's going to do... this should be interesting.

I figure he's going to leave the product development, website, community stuff to us here, which is fine by me. He'll do that CEO stuff that he likes. I think it's relevant that his isn't a "netflix" blog. It's his. Personal. Anyway, you folks have been totally great here, and i hope you'll check out his blog too and give him some feedback. Spread the word.

(But let's see if we can get him to change that photo!)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

About This Blog

There may be some confusion among new blog readers about this blog - and so i've added a little explanation to the blog sidebar that I hope will shed some light on things.

There are a few additional points i'd like to make:

(a) This blog is about the development of community features; this is not customer service. While other readers can sometimes help you solve a problem (and i encourage this), i can't really address issues like shipping oddities, broken discs, account things, and so on. I can, however, fix website bugs (or send them to people who can) - and to the degree you think something is a weird bug that is persistent and probably affects many people, I do like hearing that. (and no - lack of Mac-based instant watching is not technically a bug...) Already, you guys have identified a number of bugs that I missed, and we've been able to fix them quickly. In the cases where you are seeing a debilitating issue, information about your OS and browser really help.

(b) Our web development isn't really a democracy (i think it's more of a republic... ) i value your input and feedback and i combine it with many other sources of information to determine what I build and when. Y'all are an asset and a great resource, but please understand that I don't just build what the blogging majority (or the vocal minority) suggest. We have methods to discover if features are needed by large segments of our users, but this blog isn't that. You guys are a self-selected, usually advanced, relatively technical, pretty dern smart, movie-loving group. (this is what I like about you). But you must realize you are special and not necessarily representative of all our members. But I really do hear you and your insightful/compelling arguments are fantastic.

(c) I have limited ability to get my partners to contribute here - i'm on the team building the website, and my associates bring you things like Instant Watching, the Queue, Recommendations, Ratings, and so on. They all read this blog and your comments, and will post occasionally, but not to the extent that I do. I only write about what I know and what I am doing. When I don't respond to comments about other things, it's only because i have little value to add. Which leads me to...

(d) Netflix doesn't "hate you" when we either don't respond directly to your comment or don't implement the feature you want most. Netflix in general (and me, in particular) value you highly. I respond directly to comments once in awhile, but somewhat randomly I think. If I do comment to you, it's because something you said has nicely sparked a conversation. And finally...

(e) I'm doing this blog to help me in my efforts to develop these features that explore the value of community in movie discovery. To the degree it's helpful, fun and relatively civil, i'll keep doing it. if it descends into name calling, poor behavior, and a general lack of decorum, i'll probably give up. So far i have been deeply impressed with all of you and the quantity of good thinking and helpful input.

So thank you, and i hope this helps give context to what is going on here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fixing Up Reviews

Be assured my friends, getting these reviews to be more useful for ya'll is a high priority for our team. I'll lay out some details shortly. Lots to do, folks. Lot's to do. Thanks for your insights.

Oh, by the way -- i'm implementing some polls over in the right column. It's a start. (Is there anyone better than polldaddy? Seems pretty cool.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Product Development Insights

Once again, i'm going to go out on a limb here and talk pretty candidly with y'all. Hang on. We who make this website, we are called "product developers" because we think of the website as a product, and we take the development of this product pretty seriously. We seriously want to make it better and not worse. That seems simple enough.

Here are a couple little insights into our jobs here:
1) I'm not the only person working on the website. This shouldn't come as a surprise. I already introduced you to Meghan and Vikram and the rest; we're all working on this stuff; and thus:
2) Because you get feature A doesn't mean you don't get feature B. These things are not mutually exclusive. Just because I see a quick opportunity to roll out Movie Privacy doesn't mean Todd isn't going to work on 1/2 stars, or whatever. For the community-type features, my stuff, I am a little more cavalier with than how we are with, say, the Queue. Parts of the site are different, and we generally don't compete with each other for resources. Works goes on in parallel. Follow this?

But it begs the question: If we KNOW something is a feature you want, or a feature we want, why isn't it on the site already -- or why is it taking so long to release? These are good and logical questions.

So here's the answer: sometimes it is because a simple feature is more complicated than it at first appeared, and sometimes its because much more important features are on the top of our engineers' priorities list, but one of the most significant reasons is that we don't want to make the website more complicated than it needs to be. The site not only has to work for powerusers but also for my mom. Or your mom. We have to consider this kind of "feature creep" all the time and it keeps us from just dumping a ton of odd functions into the website.

Do you think we don't want to have the screenwriter on movie pages? (For cryin'outloud--some of my best friends are screenwriters. Heck, my brother is a screenwriter. Believe me, I think it would be great to get that info on movie pages.) So once you and we all agree something like that would be great, we start a serious exploration of the pros and cons, with lots of designing, with lots of testing, and make sure that it really is a good feature and not just another cool doohickie. In most cases, these features do make it to the website. But we are exceptionally careful at this. And the website is pretty good precisely because we are careful at this.

I'm reminded of a great talk by David Pogue, the technology columnist for the New York Times, that he gave at the distinguished TED Conference last year. Pogue is both entertaining and incredibly insightful, and his advice on interface design is very applicable to websites, and a cautionary tale for website builders like us (and his musical interludes are amusing). This runs 20 minutes--but is worthy:

We are movie lovers here at Netflix--the gang of us who build this site--and we have a lot in common with people who read blogs about Netflix. But when we release features, we work hard to get our egos out of the process, and tease out what truly makes the site better in all ways. We value your input here. We combine it with our own instincts and other research, and add new features. I hope it doesn't seem like we are reacting slowly. We're just methodical. Thank you so much for your suggestions. We hope that every month you're with us, you see the service and website improve.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


I've received a couple comments in the past day about me being the only person writing here, and how you'd like to hear from more than just one guy (don't worry: no insult taken); Funny this should come up now, as it's almost the same conversation we had around the office today.

I've been really enjoying this blog and your comments, but I think it's time to introduce a few of my partners here to you. As I said earlier, I'm the director of the team that is responsible for the aspects of the website that involve community; but i'm also partners with a small group of folks who, with me, deliver the whole website. We work together to design and prioritize the features that create your experiences online. Our jobs overlap in many ways, but we have fields of expertise. Todd, for instance, handles your ratings and the ways our site recommends movies. Meghan and Paul run a range of elements, from the Queue to the Home Page to the selling of "previously viewed" DVDs to just making sure that the pages you see are customized for you. Vikram recently joined to revitalize all the customer service elements. And Steve is concentrated on Instant Viewing in all its forms. We all work together and with teams of engineers and designers and marketing folks... but we have one job, and that is to listen to customers and make the website as good as we can. (Re-reading that just now, it does smack of some kind of Pollyanna marketing-speak, but i'm helpless here -- it is precisely what we are directed to do for our jobs -- to listen carefully to you. It doesn't mean we always do what you say; there are, after all, almost 7 million of you. But we are always paying attention. No bull.)

My voice has dominated this blog (and probably will continue to); Outside of my job at Netflix, i'm a writer and blogger and I personally enjoy these community-type experiences. My associates--experts in their fields--are not really bloggers, but happy to participate to the degree they can. Anyway, I wanted to introduce them to you, and invite them to post here from time to time. They've been reading your comments as well, and beginning next week you'll start seeing posts from them, to address your questions and comments and keep you informed about all our webwork. So stay tuned. The Netflix Community is about to get a little bit bigger.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Recent Ratings Bug - Fixed

The sliders should be back to normal for all browsers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Email Announcement About Avatars

We are sending out this email today to folks who review movies. If you've already uploaded a photo, great. If you haven't, this is your wake up call. We're hoping to totally wipe out all those (random) automatic cinematic avatars we give you, and start seeing lots of personal icons out there. (Remember: You can change yours whenever you want.)

Don't you think it will make the site much cooler? Spread the word.

POST SCRIPT: If y'all have questions about avatars, explore the other posts here about avatars.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Similar 2U

Yikes. Getting a lot of feedback around here -- no one likes the expression "Similar 2U". People are telling me it sounds like an old dude trying to use hip youthful expressions, and just sounding idiotic. Okay, okay... we'll spell it out, dawg...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Welcome to the Netflix Community Blog!

Hi. We're the team that is building the community features at Netflix. And it seemed a little odd (to pretty much everyone at Netflix) that we weren't in closer communication with Netflix users. So we're going to blog. This will be a forum for us to alert you to changes to the Netflix community features, to see what's coming up, to get your feedback on new (and forthcoming) features, and to get your suggestions.

So stay tuned...