The public loves Netflix. We just do. But it wasn’t always that way.
Remember in 2011 when Netflix raised prices and then announced it had splintered its streaming video services and DVD mail service into a company called Quickster? Well, the public went crazy, and ran from the brand like the last humans in a zombie movie.
Netflix, however, listened and made swift and dramatic decisions to keep all of the services under the recognizable Netflix name. Then the company launched sincere and formidable efforts to regain customers that had fled and to entice new ones to join. It worked. Today, Netflix isn’t only enjoying continued success, but has become the Robin Hood of television viewers, allowing budget-minded consumers to thwart the rich, powerful and predatory monopolies such as Time Warner Cable that treated their customers like piñatas full of cash.
Netflix understands that the public no longer consumes television the way it did only years ago. Television providers and networks made fortunes by treating all of their customers as if they were the same, and gave them little option other than buying the same bundle of visual junk that contained channels no one with a brain would want to watch. But we did. We had to. Time Warner Cable took its customers for granted, and that is something the public doesn’t forget.
Then streaming came along, and Netflix right there with it, offering consumers the type of freedom Braveheart talked about. Instead of telling us to take a day off of work and wait for a representative to arrive between 12 and 5pm, Netflix wanted to know if we’d seen this quirky new indie film much like the last one we enjoyed. It was almost as if Netflix knew what we wanted and didn’t want, because it did. And that’s what Netflix learned from Quickster.
The world isn’t taken over en masse. It’s won one user experience at a time.