Netflix receives backlash for reducing access to DVD queues

A decision by Netflix to remove the “Add to DVD Queue” feature from smartphones, set-top boxes, game consoles, and other devices that stream the service’s content was met by harsh criticisms by subscribers who use the feature.

The announcement of the change to the service was made by Netflix director of product management Jamie Odell in a post on the company blog Monday.

Netflix receives backlash for reducing access to DVD queues

“We’re removing the ‘Add to DVD Queue’ option from streaming devices,” Odell wrote in the post. “We’re doing this so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly. 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.”

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Odell was immediately besieged with a slew of comments from disgruntled customers.

“I think this is a bad idea,” wrote one anonymous commenter. “At home, I do not have internet except for my phone so I use the iPhone app to add movies to my DVD queue when I see a commercial on TV for them. It’s way easier than trying to remember said movie until I’m at work and have access to my Netflix account online.”

“You’re just killing off DVD subscriptions one step at a time,” observed a commenter named Jason. “First the price hike, Blu-Ray surcharge, and now this. When optical media goes, so do I.”

Over 400 comments, many expressing similar sentiments, had been made on the Netflix post at the time this article was written.

Jason’s comment may not have been very far off-base as far as Netflix’s intentions are concerned. CNET points out that the mailing of DVD’s is one of the highest cost’s the company faces, with more than 30% of the company’s revenue being spent on it. This, in addition to raising the price of the streaming + DVD plans, is indeed another step toward swaying customers away from that physical media.

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While streaming is likely going to dominate the market in the future, it appears that many aren’t quite ready to give up DVD’s yet. Netflix founded the company on the basis of their DVD mail-order service, so it would probably be a smart move for them to keep the “add to queue” options available for customers a bit longer.

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