After writing my previous post about the removal of 1800+ titles from Netflix thanks to Warner Brothers, I’ve been looking into the finer details. I’m not the first person to say it and I won’t be the last: If you want to find the motive, follow the money.
As I mentioned in my last post, it appears that the majority of shows being pulled from Netflix are from NBC Universal, having been produced by Warner Brothers.
So who stands to gain? Or better yet, if Netflix and other similar services keep gaining market share while cable companies continue to hemorrhage cable TV subscribers, what are their options to fight back (not including just providing customers with a little more of what they want so they won’t look elsewhere)?
There are two business developments that seem very relevant to this situation:
Warner Brothers is part of Time Warner, which operates cable companies throughout the US. This series of mergers happened quite some time ago, and I’m not sure when Netflix came into the picture relative to this merger. Among other things, Time Warner produces content and operates a very large cable TV empire.
More recently, NBC Universal merged with Comcast. This occurred after Netflix was already very successful and had been for quite some time. While NBC also produces content and operates a huge cable TV empire themselves, they also have a huge network of NBC TV stations.
With Netflix bringing a far more enjoyable user experience free of commercials while delivering the exact same content, albeit after their initial TV release in most cases, it only makes sense that they would pull their content from a medium that is far preferred by customers.
This is clearly an attempt to take customers back from Netflix. I have to wonder if Netflix knew this was coming when they dished out a ton of cash to Comcast recently to ensure that Netflix subscribers wouldn’t have their viewing experience throttled by the media giant.
This whole thing reeks of dirty business and a contemptuous disregard for customers.