Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

A fellow believer in Netflix’s community!

This post is a great add-on to my earlier post on how only Community can save Netflix given Blockbuster’s increasingly aggressive poaching behavior.

It’s always nice to stumble across fellow bloggers who’ve had similar experiences. Here’s Rohit from Influential Interactive Marketing:

Ultimately, the thing that is keeping customers loyal for Netflix won’t be the interface or even the innovations – but the very vocal customer evangelists they have. When I am a Netflix customer, I feel like part of a community.

Rohit goes on to cite examples of Netflix’s community responding to Blockbuster’s tactics with their:

…customer experience videos on YouTube proclaiming Netflix far superior to Blockbuster, the Hacking Netflix blog dedicated to all things Netflix and glowing reviews about their new download service.

My reasons for staying with Netflix are similar to Rohit’s:

(a) the strength of Netflix’s international/indie cinema DVD offerings

(b) community?

However, as much as Netflix’s community of users rally around Netflix, I have to say, the service still lacks certain basic features of community that newer movie sites like Flixster have.

Ignoring the fact that Flixster’s target audience is the Myspace crowd, I’ve been surprised by the tons of community features it has compared to Netflix. They’ve even improved upon basic Netflix features such as their ratings/reviews.

Also, I don’t hit the roadblock of being forced to chat only with my friends who are Netflix subscribers. I’ve added 6 friends on Netflix (collected over the past 2 years), while I have 18 of my friends join MyFlixster (in less than 2 weeks).

Here’s an idea: Netflix should give their users the option of adding friends to “MyNetflix” (EVEN if they’re non-subscribers) to experience enhanced community features (similar to Flixster), and it’d be a great opportunity for Netflix to impress my friends by offering a vastly superior online community experience vis-a-vis Blockbuster’s price incentives.

Until that happens, wanna join my Flixster?

Filed under: Miscellaneous

4 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    Mario,

    I agree with your thoughts on Netflix. I love the selection of all the rare and indie and foreign films which Netflix offers, while Blockbuster specializes in 800 copies of Tom Hanks’ latest. I think ultimately Blockbuster might get hamstrung by what now seems to be its strength- its brick and mortar stores. Netflix is already making moves towards movies over the net, while many CE companies are simultaneously working to connect the TV to the computer. As broadband coverage expands and that download technology improves, it seems Netflix will be in a much better position to jettison its physical operation and move virtual. Of course some other company without any physical presence and better technology might get the leg up.

    I do wish Netflix would let me create distribution lists of friends I could send movie tips to, rather than just other members. It seems like such an easy feature to add.

    Like

  2. Mario Sundar says:

    Hi Joe,

    Netflix’s success in the web downloads segment, is all about timing. The convergence of tv and the web is going to happen. It’s a matter of when?

    Imagine, we’ve almost completely transitioned from VHS to DVD. Now, there’s HD-DVD vs. Blue-Ray and then all this will be available over the web.

    Netflix has definitely positioned itself for the future. The question is when will that future arrive?

    Like

  3. Summary: Day 1 at the Web 2.0 Expo 2007

    (Source: My Flickr coverage)
    Even thought I’ve only attended the first half of the opening day of Web 2.0 Expo 2007, I feel like it’s a precursor of similar great, learning experiences over the next three days. If I were to pick just th…

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  4. [...] probably know that I’ve posted many reviews of my Netflix user experience, my experimentation with Flixster, and looks like I’ll be participating in the Netflix [...]

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