Steve Jobs and his feared i'Craze' corporation has entered Netflix's arena of competition. With their recently released AppleTV and movies available for streaming directly to your home, Apple will surely be the company that finally stops the success train for Netflix.... or will they? Before Apple, it was Blockbuster, Amazon, and Wal-Mart. With arguably some of the most powerful companies in the US, how has Netflix maintained its growth streak over the years??
Community Input!! http://bokardo.com/archives/designing-with-community-input-netflix-style/
I am a very satisfied Netflix customer, along with 7.5 million others (as of the 2007 4Q financial results). I personally enjoy the ease in which I search, select, receive and return movies on a weekly basis. However, this aspect isn't necessarily unique to the industry anymore with certain companies looking to capture a portion of the online rental market as well. Netflix retains and continues to capture more of the market because of its community driven feedback, as well as the member's 'community' of movie sharing information.
Reed Hastings (CEO) and company made the strategic decision early on to mimic the popularity of a social network without advertising itself as a social network. Even its developers in charge of the community will deny any claim that they are building a social network (see 'About this Blog' - http://blog.netflix.com/), but I find it hard to believe they fell into this realm by accident. Call it Social Design or Conversational Marketing, I call it seeing the opportunity to stay ahead of major competition. How else could you explain their ability to stave off the likes of Wal-Mart, Blockbuster and in my opinion Apple in 2008?