Blog Post

Netflix Enrages Subscribers By Limiting DVD Queue

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Converting to a streaming-only business isn’t easy, as Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) discovered Monday when the company’s blog was bombarded by complaints over its decision to remove the ability to add to DVD queues from connected devices.

Jamie O’Dell, director of product management at Netflix, may want to get an intern to start his car tomorrow after offering the following gem of corporate gobbledygook on the Netflix blog:

We’re doing this so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly. Further, 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.

Though the ‘Add to DVD Queue’ option will still be available at, that didn’t stop hundreds from voicing considerable displeasure that they can’t use everything from their iPhone to their PS3 to manage their queue.

“With all sorts of streaming devices out there the computer is becoming more and more obsolete, this seems like a step backwards,” noted one concerned sub named Luke.

Raged another sub named Hal, “Sorry Netflix, I love you but this is idiotic. Hire some developers that know who has the premium accounts and who just has streaming access. It should all go by log in. This is a dumb move.”

What many subscribers called out Netflix on was its gradual dismantling of its disc business as more and more of its video delivery gets devoted to streaming. With its recently altered subscription model clearly steering customers toward digital-only delivery, Netflix is forced to undergo the painful process of alienating the core customer base that may still want to hang onto discs and don’t want to be weaned off. “When the optical media goes, so do I,” pledged Jason.

Netflix needs to proceed with great caution in how it unwinds its disc business or risk losing a chunk of the subscribers on which it built its booming empire. The company would have probably been better off figuring just what new functionality they were going to bestow on their subscribers once they “untied” resources, but it’s too late to un-ring that bell.

100 Responses to “Netflix Enrages Subscribers By Limiting DVD Queue”

  1. This is a bad idea. I work late and my wife and I often take a night or 2 to watch 1 movie in it’s entirety. With streaming that option is much more complex and not worth it. I also have satellite and a pathetic dsl provider. Just because netflix wants this to be the future does not mean that the infrastructure exists for this to be advantageous to the consumer.

  2. Netflix, you are jumping the gun on this one. You don’t have near enough streaming movies to compete with the DVD’s. What stupid employee put that one in the suggestion box?! You discontinue DVD’s.. I discontinue you.

  3. Dear Netflix,,,,, I’m here to tell you very simply and straightforward… IF YOU DISCONTINUE THE DVD’S .. THEN I WILL DISCONTINUE SUBSCRIBING TO YOU! You are making a HUGE MISTAKE.

  4. Was your loyal subcriber

    Stupid moved Netflix!!! Not all DVDs are online!!! Had been waiting for over 3 freak’n years for english subtitled / closed caption and not all have it!!! That why DVDs need to be available too!!! Increase price and removed within one month period??? Very stupid and sneaky moved!!! I moved from Blockbuster to you over 2 yrs ago for better services now be force to move to Redbox now!!!

  5. Our family has enjoyed Netflex for several years. As my husband is deaf we will no longer be able to use their service if they switch to the no DVD policy. We do use the Roku device for mainstreaming to our television, but for foreign films only. Netflex service will be worthless to us and other members of the deaf communityif they initiate this policy. We need closed caption which is not available at this time for all other movies via their new service. They, by their own hand, will be forcing us to Blockbuster and Redbox. They will be missed.

  6. If you eliminate the DVDs from your service, I will eliminate my subscription….period. I have no interest in the latest technology and can’t afford to put out money for it. DVDs are a nice option….and many people feel the same way. There are other DVD providers out there, so I will just move on. Bye Bye!

  7. I hate this idea!!!! I mean honestly I have had Netflix for years now and love it the way it is. I mean I have a list of a few hundred movies (DVD form) lined up to come out to me and in between those DVD’s I watch the Instant view titles. The thing is though I only have about 50 titles on the Instant view because most things I want to watch or my family does is not available to watch instantly. They have an extremely (for my family’s tastes) limited selection when it comes to instant view plus they never seem to put any of the new movies on there and what is on there to watch is only usually available to watch for a short period of time. But one of the most important things I hate most about the instant view idea they have stupidly come up with is that I am home usually only early morning hours before the sun is up and around that time they are always seeming to do some sort of updates or maintenance on their instant view (even if they don’t mention it you can tell as soon as you start to “try” to stream anything instantly and of course it doesn’t ever work) so I never can actually use the instant view feature when I am home. So basically it is pointless to even have most the time. All I ever really get to see is the very annoying little red bar that comes up on the screen that says “retrieving”. I HATE THAT STUPID LITTLE BAR!!!! I wouldn’t mind them going to instant view years from now if they can get their act straight. But if they think they are going to stay as they are now and just do away with their DVD’s entirely they are either very stupid, crazy, want to run their business into the ground, or just don’t care at all about their customers. Whichever of those it is I do not see myself continuing to be a customer of theirs if they don’t make A LOT of changes before they do away with DVD’s entirely. They would ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO fix it to no matter what time you try to watch instant view it works and you don’t just get a black screen with the stupid retrieving bar on it and MOST IMPORTNATLY they would have to basically take all the DVD’S they offer at the current time and all the new ones that are ever coming out and convert them ALL to instant format or else they will just have a very very very crappy and limited selection.
    Without A LOT, A TON, of work on their part the idea of getting rid of DVD’S is just flat out stupid.
    They need to get it together, seriously!!!

  8. This is a very bad move!! If anything Netflix should consider keeping the physical discs but phase over to Blue Ray & phase out DVD. I would probably cancel my Netflix and stick to Redbox if physical discs are discontinued. My DSL internet connection isn’t even near my television set, which is why I prefer the discs. Plus the quality is much better on the physical discs than internet stream

  9. just another wanna be face book soon you’ll have a netflix badge next to twitter!! what if i wanna whatch a movie On my huge t.v. ? that i didnt feel like hooking it up to the enternet, and you think i be paying paying out the ass every month for some b.s. When REDBOX is a dollar a night. REDBOX IS THE WAY TO GO PEOPLE.

  10. just another wanna be face book soon you’ll have a netflix badge next to twitter!! what if i wanna whatch a movie On my huge t.v. ? that i didnt feel like hooking it up to the enternet, and you think i be paying paying out the ass every month for some b.s. When REDBOX is a dollar a night. REDBOX IS THE WAY TO GO PEOPLE.

  11. mirandashawn

    just get blockbuster ( if your a gamer, or have kids that love playing xbox or wii, you can also rent games, which netflix does not offer.. and probably never will. check it out if you havent.. you might like it more than netflix. you can try a 2 week free trial!

  12. Victoria S.

    I live in a Senior Apt. bldg. Every Thurs. evening, I show Foreign Film in our theatre. I will be unable to share these anyh longer if this ridiculous move goes through. You do not realize that many Srs are unable to have the luxury of having a computer. Their entertainment is very important to them. They enjoy watching these movies together, especially that they have sub titles or Hearing impaired selections as many of us are hard of hearing. There will be many unhappy people there in the real world. Shame on you.

  13. I am mad as hell about this. I prefer the DVD cause most of the movies you stream are not very good ones, nor are there many foreign ones. I like being able to get obscure DVD’s without having to buy them. Also, you can’t see the special features on streaming and still no close caption for the hearing impaired. All in all this is a bad movie on their part. People will always want those features and the ability to get them in a reasonable time. If streaming is the only option you have to watch it when available or risk never getting it again. BOO Netflix.


  15. Go ahead with your Greedy plan and see what happens, oh yeah, save money on dvd’s, on postage, warehousing and employees, just another attempt for more revenue, that’s all it comes down to MONEY. Don’t give me this; oh it’s about giving you the best experience crap. Your dropped if you convert.

  16. Netflix will lose me and a lot of other rural customers if DVDs are no longer available. I’ll go to Red Box before I pay an insane amount to get a satellite installed just so I can watch movies. We’re moving just fast enough now to almost watch an entire Youtube video without it taking 30 minutes to load. When we have tried to stream movies there always comes the “Rebuffering” message which may or may not go away. Absolutely insane business idea.

  17. I didn’t like the “fee raise” that will be in effect as it is….and to also hear that DVD rentals by mail will be removed is ridiculous. I like having both options and as many others have said, the access to “GOOD” movies through “watch instantly” is not very good. It is also very frustrating to watch a streamlined movie that keeps buffering and getting stuck. I always recommended Netflix to family, friends, and coworkers…..Believe me when I say, that when you hike up the price AND change the ability of receiving DVD’s…..your service will no longer be needed. As always, when a company becomes successful, they find a way to screw the consumer…hike up fees and change what is actually what brings in the consumer.

  18. Our use of streaming is only occasional. Watching a movie with my kids is much easier to do with the TV than the computer and having a DVD to play is better than the risk of losing internet connection halfway through the movie. Please remember 1.) that internet does go down, especially in rural areas 2.) in more rural areas streaming is not available 3.) those with satelite internet may lose their signal during thunderstorms/ice storms which are frequent in many places and having a DVD to play is wonderful!
    Not to mention, all the movies I have watched streaming were low quality on our HD monitor AND you don’t even have all the titles we’d like to watch on DVD yet, let alone watch instantly!!! Don’t alienate your customers who prefer DVDs..that’s how you started this business and good luck keeping that standing when a good part of the foundation walks away.

  19. Hey everyone there is an alternative to Netflix such as Redbox or Blockbuster. Blockbuster has DVD inventory and plans similar to Netflix. If they cancel DVD’s, I will cancel Netflix.

  20. hollyy star.

    you netfkixnidiots are dumb and.greedy..this is whatis wrongwiththe country..i will defnately cancel my subscribition if you choose this antiquated,and completely immoral and ethicall wrong..after the years i have zung your virtues…you dissapoint the whole country with you insane greed and complete disregard for your customer matter their technology abilities…you hve for the firwt time dissapointed me and if this continues…i will go back to blockbuster to get my moveies that day…unlike your half cockeddmoney scheme to screws americans in this economy…you should be ashamed of yourself…and pray to whatever deity you believe in…altho i am sure your god wont lisen to a greeedy corp who cares nothing for their patrons. i hope u find a soul

  21. dennis schott

    I tried your service apprx. 2 years ago. i work out of town and can usually get wi- fi where I am. But, then my wife looked at your offerings and decided our kids could benefit from your mail service for family friendly movies. Go ahead and eliminate mail services. We’ll elminate you! I can always get satelite or Redbox where ever. I already have Dish Network and have for years. Tney’re mobile too!