Netflix Won't Die, It Just Won't Rule the World

The streaming video service will be fine, it just won't rule the world
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2011 12:57 PM CDT
The exterior of Netflix headquarters is seen in Los Gatos, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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(Newser) – Yes, its stock has plunged 70% since July, and yes, it has shed 800,000 subscribers, but Netflix isn’t doomed, writes Holman Jenkins of the Wall Street Journal—it’s just not going to rule the world, either. The problem isn’t so much that people loved their red envelopes, he argues, it’s “that Netflix doesn’t license nearly as much content for streaming as it does on disk. On Netflix’s streaming service, there’s always something to watch, but seldom the thing you want to watch.”

Before, users harbored the illusion that all that disk content would someday stream, and Netflix would be the ultimate one-stop-shop for media. “Forget about it,” Jenkins advises. “That world isn’t coming. The hidden lesson of Netflix’s fall from grace is that content markets will remain fragmented.” But that’s fine. Once content creators realize Netflix isn’t a world-conqueror, they’ll probably give it better prices, and until then, there’s nothing wrong with “a streaming proposition that amounts to ‘all the content that $8 per month will get you.’”

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