Netflix Bows To a Vocal Minority
Sometimes a "very, very, very small minority" can have a big impact--especially if that minority is a very, very, very vocal one. A week and a half ago, Netflix announced that it would be killing off its Profiles feature. But following the outpouring of a not-so-silent minority who were less-than thrilled with this decision, Netflix has done an about-face and now reports that Netflix Profiles has been not only been granted a stay of execution, but a full pardon. The following e-mail went out to some Netflix users today:
The Netflix Community Blog further reports on this issue by stating:
"We were persuaded by the well-reasoned, sincere responses of loyal members who very much value this feature. As someone who enjoys helping his four-year-old daughter manage her one-DVD-at-a-time, G-rated sub-account, I identified with these thoughtful pleas to maintain Profiles."
Not only did the loss of the coveted feature tick off some Netflix users, but compounding the issue was Netflix's curious publicly-stated reasoning:
"Because of an ongoing desire to make our website easier to use, we believed taking a feature away that is only used by a very small minority would help us improve the site for everyone."
To the very small minority of Profiles feature, the logic seemed faulty that everyone would benefit from the removal of it. In an interview we had with Steve Swasey, Vice President, Corporate Communications for Netflix, Swasey positioned the decision to eliminate Profiles as a way to streamline resources and keep costs down. Based on the 1,281 comments on the Netflix Community Blog entry for the announcement of the removal of the feature, a number of Netflix users didn't see it that way.
At the time of this news post, 217+ comments had already been posted on the Netflix Community Blog entry for the announcement that Profiles were here to stay. Many of the user comments share similar sentiments as a user named "Science" who posted:
"Thank You! Most sincerely - I was ready to jump ship come Sept. 1, and even though BB didn't have a similar feature, Profiles is what my wife and I decided was the factor for staying with Netflix - Thank you for listening to your customers! Good job Netflix."