Netflix Nukes DVD Queue Management from Streaming Devices
"We're doing this so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly," Netflix's Jamie Odell explained in a blog post announcing the change. "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."
Odell's explanation only tells part of the story. By Netflix's own admission, it's primarily a streaming service now, which has long eclipsed the company's online DVD rental business. And we're okay with that, though we understand the user frustration, as evidenced by commenters quick to voice their displeasure. After all, as long as you're to continue to rent DVDs online, you might as well support queue management on streaming devices rather than force users to hop on a PC to make changes.
"This is a bad idea. If I search for a movie and it's not available to watch instantly I do not want to have to get up and log into my computer to add it to my queue, if I'm even at home. Why not just add it from there?," an anonymous user said.
The bottom line is Netflix's explanation as to why it's removing this option is a weak one, and subscribers don't seem to be fooled.
"You're just killing off DVD subscriptions one step at a time...When optical media goes, so do I," one user wrote. Another said, "Right. And how many 'resources' do these transactions tie up? At least an order of magnitude less than actual streaming. There's something else in play here."
It's a disappointing change, but let's be real. Netflix's future is in streaming media, and who knows how long it will continue to offer DVDs by mail. At some point, we figure that part of the company's business model will become extinct. But that hasn't happened yet, so in the meantime, why make it a bigger inconvenience for subscribers to access what they're paying for, especially given the recent price hikes? Bad move, Netflix.