So if you use Netflix on your mobile phone, gaming console or set – top box you might have noticed something a little different the last time you checked it. Over the weekend, Netflix decided to remove the “Add to DVD Queue” option from those platforms if that movie isn’t available for instant streaming. The company’s rationale for the move was that “We’re doing this so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly”. That’s a bunch of bologna. They went on to say that 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. That’s crap too and I assure you there is some business reason for this whether they admit it or not.
The bottom line is that instant streaming is the primary usage option on mobile devices and other non-computer platforms, but the “Add to DVD Queue” option was more about synchronization than anything. Just because I am searching for something to watch instantly doesn’t mean that I might not come across something that it is available on DVD that I might want to drop into the queue. With what Netflix has done now, I might think they don’t have the movie at all which might affect my perception of the overall value of the service. By removing the option, they are tying me to one type of device to make certain configuration choices and that is unacceptable. The whole push around mobile has been the concept of not tying the user to any one device, so for the Netflix who has been at the forefront of that push to pull something like this is ridiculous.
The point of all this is to say to Netflix, give me the tools and let me do what I will with them. If it was getting in the way or just annoyed me give me the “option” to remove it but otherwise keep your hands of my “Add to DVD Queue” button. I don’t know about you all, but as a Netflix customer I only have one thing to say, “Give me my button back”. Who’s with me?