Sunday, January 21, 2007

Netflix cuts out the Mac. iTV is pleased.

Netflix streaming video only works with XP households.

I wrote them about this, and they replied:
From: "Netflix Customer Service"
Date: January 19, 2007 4:29:00 PM CST

Thanks for your inquiry.

I apologize for the frustration this has caused you. As a fellow Mac user, I understand where your coming from. Please be advised that we are looking into releasing a Mac version of our player, but nothing has been determined as of yet.

Note that this is a phased launch, and even customers that meet all the requirements do not have access to this feature as of yet. As a business we decided to release this first on a platform that will effect the broadest range of customers. The majority of our customers use Windows.

This is a feature that is included with your service. There is no additional charge for instantly viewing movies, and we do not guarantee that it will be available for everybody.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
I replied:
I understand Netflix may have had very good business reasons for this decision. Microsoft may have made Netflix an offer that could not be refused, or Apple may have made no offers at all.

It is misleading, however, to say that "There is no additional charge for instantly viewing movies". There may be no separate charge, but there is an enormous cost to providing this service. That cost must be passed on to all of your customers, including those who do not benefit from the service. Mac users, who do not benefit, will be paying the cost -- without the benefits. We won't like this. We'll all be taking another look at Apple's iTV.

If Netflix wants to mitigate this, they would need to offer compensation, such as an extra video rental a month for those who cannot use the download service.

I like Netflix and I'm sympathetic to your situation, but not sympathetic enough to subsidize a service I'll never use. I can wait a few months to see if Netflix can do a deal with Apple, but sooner or later you'll lose a good portion of your Mac households. I assume Netflix knows how large a portion of their customer base this is, though I don't recall ever being asked that question myself.
I didn't pay much attention to Apple's iTV, but now I'm most curious.

1 comment:

Stephen Antonucci said...

Nice answer. I tell my Mac using friends all the time to open their mouth when the services they use do not support their preferred Mac platform. If enough complain, things will change. I once told my bank I would switch banks if they did noy fix their website to support Macs, shockingly, they did and asked me to beta test it!