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The Almighty Buck Businesses The Media Entertainment

Netflix Expects To Be Unprofitable In 2012 323

PolygamousRanchKid writes with an article in CNN Money about Netflix's prospects in 2012. From the article: "Netflix warned in its last earnings report that it expects to be unprofitable 'for a few quarters' starting at the beginning of 2012. The primary culprit is Netflix's pricey plan to expand its streaming video service into the United Kingdom and Ireland, but a wave of subscribers jumping ship hasn't helped. The filing also revealed that Netflix is in the process of raising $400 million from investors to help bulk up its cash stash. While that will give Netflix more money to invest in content, secondary offerings are sometimes considered ominous signs."
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Netflix Expects To Be Unprofitable In 2012

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  • by JoeMerchant ( 803320 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:26AM (#38148624)

    Anytime I ran any kind of "rational valuation" calculation on NFLX based on subscribers, income, potential for growth, etc. the market seemed to be out-pricing my ideas by a factor of 3 to 7... NFLX has been a very expensive stock for a very long time, I'm surprised it took this long for the bubble to deflate.

    Still a good business model, when they aren't spouting off idiotic ideas about breaking it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:26AM (#38148630)

    Who got upset over their subscriptions going up a tiny amount. If those people wanted to protest something really gouging, it'd be the gas prices. Or the costs of medicine. Or fuck, go out and yell at the government or the banks.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:27AM (#38148638)

    They lost a lot of subscribers due to their split-service gap, and they look to be having content issues...

    However, they still seem in a good position to me. The service is fundamentally good, they still have a lot of ratings from users to help determine what content makes sense for them to buy, and (most importantly) they have a LOT of paths into the home - just about any device you can name supports Netflix.

    They are in a rocky spot now but I just can't see who can replace them easily, or even reach the position they currently hold within a year or two.

  • Good luck Netflix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:30AM (#38148684) Journal

    They face very stiff competition from other companies with much deeper pockets, so they are going to have it tough for a while. I like Netflix (their latest snafu with splitting the DVD rental / streaming plans didn't affect me - I'm streaming only), and as a technophile, I'm pleased that they have gone to great lengths to support such a diverse range of hardware. A lot of companies wouldn't have bothered with Wii, XBox, Android, etc. Netflix's decision to split off their DVD rental was simply waaaaay too early. That is an inevitability of course - anyone with the least bit of foresight can see that demand for physical media is going to drop off a great deal in the near future. However, Netflix must provide a mechanism to bolster the streaming support since the movies offered online are so hit and miss, and the only choice is DVD for now.

    Take Lord of the Rings for example. Did you know that you can watch The Two Towers online, but not the first or third movies? Now what in the world is that about??? As long as that sort of garbage is going on, customers need a single unified interface and billing to get movies in whichever format is available.

  • Re:More content (Score:5, Insightful)

    by localman57 ( 1340533 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:32AM (#38148718)
    Maybe he's a bricklayer. My cousin is one. He works like hell 3 seasons a year, then takes the winter off.
  • by cjcela ( 1539859 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:33AM (#38148732)
    While I agree people in the US should in general exercise more, I do not think you can regulate people's lives with a tax increase. People getting to exercise requires a change of attitude, values, and likely education, not more taxes. Ask yourself how many smokers stopped smoking because of the tobacco tax, or how many heavy drinkers stopped drinking because of alcohol tax - it just does not work like that. Netflix is positive in which it gives you the choice of what to watch, and you do not have to endure commercials, which arguably have a worse effect on people than the movies themselves.
  • by arkane1234 ( 457605 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:36AM (#38148782) Journal

    Buddy, I watch netflix for the 2 hours I have to watch a movie between errands, work, and sleep.
    It's not a lot to ask, and I'll be damned if I'll have someone with your attitude treating it like I'm doing something wrong.
    Fuck you.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:38AM (#38148808) Homepage Journal

    Netflix clearly wants to get out of the DVD business and into the more profitable streaming-only business. Netflix could have just raised its streaming+DVD prices a little for a little while, say +$2 for 6 months. Then started charging a little more for DVD deliveries, while offering a rebate to streaming-only customers. After a few months of that structure, they'd have a distinct streaming-only customer group. Then they could have raised prices on streaming or DVD independently. Voila! Two distinct, differently priced products, each profitable, with DVD delivery able to be wound down while making the streaming-only product look better.

    Instead they did it in a way that told their customers that they had to take whatever Netflix shoved at them. "Where ya gonna go?" Well, many went, and the brand is damaged even for those who stayed.

    It's not too late for Netflix to do the underlying biz transformation right. But the marketing and corporate execs who backed the debacle should take a big hit. The marketing people should probably go, unless the corp execs want to give them a second chance on something like what I described. But probably they should go. There's never any reason to keep a marketer unless they're really a star (which is extremely rare) - there are plenty of non-stars who can take a crack at the next marketing bungle.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:41AM (#38148854)

    They are in a rocky spot now but I just can't see who can replace them easily, or even reach the position they currently hold within a year or two.

    You seem to forget Netflix' existance is allowed solely at the discretion of the MPAA. They're becoming unprofitable right now because the MPAA decided to charge more. They're like the OPEC of the content world. They don't care who lives and who dies, as long as they can keep writing their own paychecks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:42AM (#38148866)

    > just about any device you can name supports Netflix

    Linux PC!

  • by Synerg1y ( 2169962 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:57AM (#38149034)

    That's actually illegal []

    if it's built in you'd have to illegally mod it to not pay attention to the car start / stop, there's an extra wire that does this in car dvd players.

    Have I ever known anybody to get a ticket for this? No... still best not to give a reason.

  • Actual it has been shown pretty well that you can change peoples lives with a tax increase.
    I'm not sure where the idea that you can't got started, or why people ignore all the times it has worked.

    "Ask yourself how many smokers stopped smoking because of the tobacco tax"
    It was something like 12%, over a decade. But that's icing. The real number are the amount of people who did't take it up.

    Drinking as well.

    Of course, that's just one aspect. The tax for tobacco goes to pay for education and medical treatment.

    I'm not advocating the tax the OP talks about. Just pointing out the raising taxes reduced smokers and liqueur drinkers. Increase in fuel prices, tax or otherwise, decrease peoples driving.

    I would argue for a tax on prepared food to help pay for medical treatment, dietary education, and general education. 10% or so.

  • by Atticka ( 175794 ) <{moc.efacxobdnas} {ta} {akcitta}> on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @12:12PM (#38149256)

    Actually, its healthy for your kids to be exposed to cold, germs, etc...

    Get them outside, go skating at the rink, go tobogganing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, sign up for a winter survival course just for fun, build a snowman....

    Lots of stuff to do!

  • by Viewsonic ( 584922 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @12:16PM (#38149288)

    Netflix has yet to offer video games or adult movies. Both those avenues will bring in tons of cash.

  • Re:More content (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Karlt1 ( 231423 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @12:23PM (#38149406)

    As he said...
    Any career that has a known large gap of unemployment isn't too lucrative unless your making bank (per hour, not more hours able to be worked) during those worktimes.

    Not great but a livable wage..... []

  • by SenseiLeNoir ( 699164 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @12:49PM (#38149708)

    And this is why they are going to tank in the UK. Here we have already have Lovefilm, which was recently bought by Amazon UK, and is now an amazon subsidiary. Lovefilm already has a combined disc by post and streaming service. It is already usable on the iPad iPhone ps3 Xbox, and many tvs sold here already have support for Lovefilm.

    And unlike netflix, Lovefilm have recently increased the number of discs you can have each month at no extra cost.

    Competition is primarily blockbusters, who are doing great on there own. I fail to see how Netflix can make it.

  • NYC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @01:11PM (#38149942)

    In NYC, the government has actually created a black market for tobacco, complete with all the crime that comes with it. How did they do it? By making it too expensive to legally acquire tobacco -- same as any other instance of prohibition -- except that this isn't full prohibition, but some kind of quasi-prohibition where it's both legal and illegal.

    This is what prohibition does (create a black market), whether you're talking about "sin taxing" or outright criminalization. If you look a little closer, you'll realize that creating a black market -- and all the violence and injustice that comes with it -- is actually more profitable than taxing and regulating. It simply depends on the drug and whether or not they can "pull it off". They tried it with alcohol and actually succeeded for 10 years until the people started waking up to the violence and the root cause of it all.

    What they are doing in NYC is testing the waters, not reducing the number of smokers. They are looking for the sweet spot between legalized/regulated (tax revenue) and criminalized/prohibited (law enforcement revenue) that will simply rake the most money through the business of government.

    Not quite as romantic as you pictured, is it? Don't think for a second that prohibitionists and "drug warriors" are after anything but cold hard cash, because you're fooling yourself.

  • by aclarke ( 307017 ) <spam&clarke,ca> on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @02:41PM (#38150788) Homepage
    Put a bike trainer or treadmill in your garage, and watch Netflix while you exercise. Problems (real and perceived) solved ;-)

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