October 15, 2013


netflix_defeats_blockbuster_by_plaidklaus-d30yuo4 500x320Netflix gives you unlimited access to all their titles for one low monthly fee. That's tough to beat or refuse. The Netflix model has been adopted elsewhere (e.g., to emagazines and ebooks). Why not your business?

Really Unlimited?

Netflix doesn't seem to care what we view (new vs old, movies vs TV) or for how long. Time is scarce and no one can watch 24/7. That means there are practical limits on usage.

If you have unlimited Internet, your devices can consume bandwidth when you're away. You can leave Netflix running and some titles might autoplay but there's no point. You'll lose the bookmarks which keep track of how much you've watched.

Netflix has ways to track consumption. Perhaps they make micropayments to the content providers based on what we watch. The revenue for each provider would vary but Netflix can probably predict the total expenses well.

Your Turn

How could at least part of your business be Netflixed? What can you provide that's unlimited for a fixed price? You may be too close to be objective. Consider brainstorming with outside help.

Whether you offer a product or service, maybe you provide unlimited support via email and/or phone?

What about information? If you develop content, maybe you give unlimited access to the old stuff (which may not be as valuable). Next Issue does for emagazines. The publisher likely gets a micropayment based on which issues is read and how much gets read. That's better than earning nothing from that catalogue.

New Incentives

If you were paid by the hour and now get a flat fee per month, your incentives change. You've now got reasons to become more efficient because time now costs you money. Maybe you create an FAQ or use email templates. You then free up your time for more productive uses.

Side Benefits

Offering fixed prices helps by
  • improving relationship with customers since you've removed uncertainty from their bills
  • making you remarkable, which gives you the benefits of word of mouth
  • providing market intelligence by showing what’s on your customers’ minds
  • providing a predictable (and perhaps larger) stream of income

The Fine Print

Netflix doesn't offer as much as you might think
  • the selection is limited
  • the selection changes (titles expire)
  • the selection varies by location (each country offer different choices with much less in Canada than the US)
  • the latest titles aren't available until later
You can introduce limitations too.


PS Your transition can take time, as when Netflix started streaming videos instead of only mailing physical disks.

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