I'm concerned about the future of Netflix
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Netflix user but I'm no die-hard. I don't have a three-disc subscription; I use streaming content when it's convenient, but I don't view my $9.99 bill as an essential part of my monthly budget. For this reason I see myself, like millions of new subscribers, viewing Netflix as a decent value but a service I could easily give up if I have other options (and when I run out of movies I want to see). The hold Netflix has on me isn't very strong.
CEO Reed Hastings has rightfully been praised for expanding beyond DVDs and turning Netflix into a streaming company. But we're giving Netflix a lot of credit for streaming content that I always viewed as an added bonus to the DVDs I really pay for. Not once have I been able to "instantly watch" a movie I've been dying to see.
For as much as we hear about streaming, I would expect an impressive list of titles available to watch instantly, but only 10 of the "Netflix Top 100" are available for streaming (and even that short list isn't too impressive).
What really got me thinking about dropping Netflix were some new options coming available. In the short time I have spent on XFINITY from Comcast
And then there's Hulu, which is owned by Disney
As opposed to the DVD business, when Netflix had a big first-mover advantage, streaming content won't likely give the same leg up. Even a start-up with a good idea could take share in the blink of an eye.
I don't doubt Netflix will find a way to stay relevant, but competitors in streaming seem to be much more competent than the competitors Netflix beat in the DVD business. That makes the hill a lot tougher to climb in Netflix's next chapter.
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Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.
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