Netflix Case Study
The video rental industry began with brick and mortar store that rented VSH tape. Enhanced internet commerce and the advent of the DVD provided a opportunity for a new avenue for securing movie rentals. In 1998 Netflix headquartered in Los Gatos California began operations as a regional online movie rental company. While the firm demonstrated that a market for online rentals existed, it was not financially successfully. Netflix lost over $11 million in 1998 and as a result significantly changed the business model in 2000. The new strategy included focusing on becoming a nationally based subscription model and focusing on enhancing the subscribers experience on their website. The change in strategic focus has allowed Netflix to grow into the largest online entertainment subscriptions service in the United States with over 6.3 million subscribers (Netflix).
Netflix first grabbed the attention of many customers when, unlike the local video rental store, they eliminated due dates and late fees charged by traditional video rental stores. The Netflix model allows customers to pay a monthly subscription fee for which they receive as many movies as they want in a month. The subscribers order DVD’s via the firms website and delivered through the United States Postal Service. Subscribers keep the movie as long as they want and when finished return it to Netflix in a postage paid envelop.
Netflix’s derives a much of their competitive advantage from their ability to offer each subscriber convenience and a personalized experience. The firm’s CineMatch software gathers data from subscribers’ online profiles, movie rental history and a subscriber’s movie ratings to develop a personalize list of recommendations. The recommendations serve to create a customized video rental store for each subscriber. By offering suggestions from the over 75,000 titles the firm provides the subscriber with a significantly increased likelihood that they will find a title that is acceptable. Titles are then added to the firm’s patented dynamic queue system. Subscribers use the queue system to create and modify a prioritized list of movies they wish to see. Subscribers simply return a movie and are shipped the next title in their queue (Netflix SEC).
The CineMatch software also allows Netflix to maximize their library utilization. Increasing the demand for older or smaller market movies not only assists Netflix in better meeting subscriber demand but also decreases the payout of revenue sharing that often accompanies the most popular new releases. Netflix has revenue sharing contracts with most of the major movie studios. Under the agreements the firm pays a percentage of the subscription fees for a predetermined period of time in exchange for receiving the most popular titles at a considerably discount over the whole sale price (Netflix SEC).
Netflix inventory of approximately 75,000 is significantly...