The Netflix Effect

from the fighting-the-big-names dept

Wired Magazine takes a look at what Netflix can do to fend off Blockbuster and Walmart, who both recently entered the DVD-rental-by-mail market. The article suggests that Netflix’s recommendation engine is its secret weapon. The movie studios love it, because it breathes new life into smaller films that weren’t box-office smashes. Some of the top rental films on Netflix did horribly at the box-office, but are making the studios lots of extra money via Netflix. Blockbuster and Walmart are companies that focus on the lowest common denominator, and thus (the theory goes) are likely to just push the big popular hits, and not worry about the smaller independent films that are so successful on Netflix. I wonder, though, how sustainable an advantage that really is. It really is not that hard for Blockbuster and Walmart to add their own recommendation engine – and to put plenty of resources behind it to make it even better than Netflix’s system.

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Comments on “The Netflix Effect”

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Jim Beam says:

Re: No Subject Given

Their engine works like this: keep new releases a secret because we are cheap greedy bastards and won’t pay to stock enough new releases to go around. I workaround the problem by opening yahoo dvd news and looking through for new releases and requesting them from netflix. Of course then there is the standard one month wait for netflix to send it to me.

Dalia says:


Do you think that what Netflix is doing with small films that weren’t box office hits is bad? is it better that netflix helps out smaller films, and deemphasizes on the big films? keep in mind that movies that are so called smash hits in our society today, might not be of a worthy quality, perhaps netflix can bring forth higher quality films, that might not be appreciated now, but maybe appreciated in the future? or it could go the other way, Netflix could bring forth lower quality films?

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