Apparently Netflix is about to have a major split. I don’t think this is the best idea. Unless there is a major problem with the DVD rental model or the streaming model there’s no advantage in creating a new brand. The Netflix brand may have lost 1 million of its 25 million subscribers when it decided to nearly double its fees, but it’s confusing to constantly rebrand and honestly, the people who really care about this stuff will know it’s really Netflix under a new name, so it won’t confuse the right people anyway.
Netflix, if you want to improve things, here’s what you need to do:
1.) Keep your business as one brand. Save the money you’d otherwise spend on new marketing and just provide more value for the customers.
2.) Become a theatrical distributor. Or buy one. Either way, you’re positioned well to take a few risks on back end deals, buying indie films otherwise in financial and distribution limbo, then flogging them to renters, and finally Netflix subscribers. Get the jump on the increasingly niche indie market.
3.) Try developing some of your own content. With Google in the game, developing its own content, Netflix should provide some sort of “free” content on its site (like the BBC iPlayer, which shows recent BBC programming for free) and then the bulk of its available programming on the subscription service. New model. No FCC. Show whatever content you like.
And just in case you don’t think that growth and moving up in the world is that important because hey, you don’t have to worry about much competition, think of RIM (the creators of the Blackberry) and then read this. Yes, Facebook is moving into your territory. Be afraid Netflix. Be very afraid.
And that’s it. Really. Netflix, you’re going the wrong way right now. Think big. Don’t have a split personality.