Netflix’s unique DVD rental service has revolutionized the industry. They successfully took the best of traditional conventions (like physical media, the U.S. Postal Service) and mixed them with new world internet-conventions. They have also effectively managed to discourage competition from both more established businesses and new entrants. The future growth of Netflix as it expands into streaming media, poses challenges in legal, infrastructure/technology, and through additional costs. In order to remain competitive, it is imperative that Netflix partner with companies with global reach to overcome these challenges. This presentation was part of an MBA class assignment to audit and industry in the the technology sector. The presentation has multiple authors listed on the title page. If you would like copies of the executive summary, complete S.W.O.T. analysis, and/or the transcript of the presentation please PRIVATE MESSAGE ME and I will email it to you.
Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2014
Netflix in 2011
Willy Shih and Stephen Kaufman
Reed Hastings founded Netflix to provide a home movie service that would do a better job satisfying customers than the traditional retail rental model. But as it encountered challenges it underwent several major strategy shifts, ultimately developing a business model and an operational strategy that were highly disruptive to retail video rental chains. The combination of a large national inventory, a recommendation system that drove viewership across a broad catalog, and a large customer base made Netflix a force to be reckoned with, especially as a distribution channel for lower-profile and independent films. Blockbuster, the nation's largest retail video rental firm, was initially slow to respond, but ultimately rolled out a hybrid retail/online response in the form of Blockbuster Online. Aggressive pricing pulled in subscribers, but at a price to both it and Netflix. But a new challenge was on the horizon—the rapid growth of the company's online streaming service, which had a very different business model. Hastings' efforts to separate the activity into two separate companies met with strong pushback from consumers and the press. What was the best path forward?
Keywords: Netflix; DVD; DVD-by-mail; streaming; online entertainment; online video; Disruptive Innovation; Innovation and Management; Innovation Strategy; Business Model; Disruption; Operations; Service Operations; Entertainment; Film Entertainment; Television Entertainment; Media; Strategy; Business or Company Management; Competitive Strategy; Competitive Advantage; Corporate Strategy; Expansion; Technology; Technology Adoption; Technology Platform; Web; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; United States;