On Monday Netflix blogged that it plans to remove “Add to DVD Queue” from all streaming devices with Watch Instantly capability — i.e. Apple TV, Google TV, Roku Player, Xbox 360, etc. The director of project management cites: “providing the option to add a DVD to your Queue from a streaming device complicates the instant watching experience and ties up resources that are better used to improve the overall streaming functionality.” Is Netflix really using the consumer may get confused excuse in order to profit from streaming delivery? Remember, it only costs Netflix 5 cents to stream a flick to your home, while a DVD by mail costs them whatever the going postal rate is. The kicker is… all users will still see available movie disc titles on their streaming devices, but they will have no way to add them to their Queue — other than by logging into Netflix.com. Now that seems confusing and justifiably frustrating (see the 400+ comments already posted). Here’s what Netflix should have done. Netflix should have announced that streaming-only subscribers will no longer see movie disc titles listed in the catalog or see an “Add to DVD Queue” link when accessing content via their streaming device. All other members with DVD by mail subscriptions will not be affected. I guess the head of user experience was on holiday when the decision was made. FYI, it’s not clear if Netflix’s mobile apps will suffer the same fate, though it seems they will.
Filed in: Content Providers, Industry Buzz, Streaming Media Devices