Change is in the Air: Netflix Removes ‘add to DVD queue’ From Streaming Devices

by Gaurav Kheterpal on January 18, 2011

If you are a Netflix subscriber hoping to receive a pleasant New Year surprise, be prepared for a shock instead – the company yesterday announced the removal of the ability to add DVDs to your DVD queue. The move impacts all mobile and portable devices including iPhone, iPad, Android phones & tablets, Blu-Ray play, PS3, Xbox and just about any other device capable of video streaming.

Netflix says this move is necessary so that it can “concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly” – sounds like a sales pitch gone bad for sure. As expected, this move has left several users enraged and the list of protests is growing by the hour.

Does queuing to a streaming device complicate the instant watching experience? Your guess is as good as mine.

IMO, this decision to remove one of the most popular features is a complete no-brainer. Netflix could have just as well managed the situation at its end by filtering DVD subscribers and streaming-only users. Perhaps, it’s a bold move to promote its streaming-only plan but either way the company needs a lesson or two on PR and marketing. But then, why would Netflix still allow subscribers to be able to add DVD to their Queues from the Netflix website on a computer? I, for one, am completely lost at this point.

It’s understandable that users are getting increasingly frustrated with some of Netflix’s recent tactics including the price hike, Blu-Ray surcharge and the removal of queuing feature. Though Netflix debuted amidst great fanfare in Canada last year and later boasted of “Canadian Success“, it has faced public criticism over its policies to make online content less appealing for consumers. To make matters worse for the streaming giant, Shaw decided to go after Netflix alleging that the latter be regulated by CRTC.

PaidContent’s Andrew Wallenstein believes that Netflix is risking “losing a chunk of the subscribers on which it built its booming business” and I couldn’t agree more on that. A disgruntled Netflix subscriber named Hal echoes my thoughts on this matter – “Sorry Netflix, I love you but this is idiotic.”

Are you a Netflix subscriber who uses the “add to DVD queue” feature heavily? If so, what’s your reaction on this move? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS>, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jordan Richardson January 18, 2011 at 6:07 am

Netflix doesn’t have the most intuitive search options to begin with, so this isn’t really that surprising. I use the Wii to stream movies regularly and the library search options on there are absolutely terrible.

While you can’t even rent DVDs from Netflix in Canada, I am curious as to what is included in the streaming devices umbrella. I’ve heard users complain about not being able to use their iPhone apps to move movies to the DVD queue, so they had to go through the terrible, awful, vile, incredible, heart-pounding process of logging on to the internet and doing it from there.

Ah, the things people get angry about these days!

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