Saturday, July 23, 2011

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Internet boosters have been talking about how the Web provides more convenient and affordable alternatives to traditional retail services for years now. We've seen iTunes replace record stores and Yahoo news replace the entire printed news media just to name a few things. And for the most part the Web gets good marks for upping the convenience factor.

Except in the case of Netflix apparently. A study this week that was published by YouGov BrandIndex has revealed that consumers now dislike the DVD delivery and streaming rental provider as much as they do Blockbuster.

According to the poll Netflix is below DirecTV and Redbox as well. But to be below Blockbuster is a significant drop from the lofty heights Netflix once held in the opinions of adult consumers.

The reason for the sudden drop in public perception? It would seem to stem from a July 12th announcement that the company will be implementing a 60 percent increase in pricing on September 12.

Standard Netflix service is currently available for $9.99 a month and allows you to have one DVD at a time through the mail as well as unlimited streaming. When the price change occurs in September that service will go up to $16.00 a month. Seven bucks may not seem like a lot but apparently it's significant enough that a quarter of the people YouGov surveyed who are using the standard service plan on cancelling it when the price hike goes into effect.

So where will all these Netflix refugees go to get their movies? Why down to the neighborhood video store of course. . . Oh wait, didn't Netflix put all those places out of business with their convenient and affordable service?

Maybe the lack of reasonable alternatives will start funneling people back into what's become one of the most unlikely places to watch a movie: A movie theater.

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