retail news in context, analysis with attitude

It probably was inevitable that once Netflix irritated its customers by increasing its prices, and then alienated a lot of them with its decision to split the company’s brands in two - using the Netflix name for its streaming service and inventing a new “Qwikster” brand for its DVD rental service - that someone would see the tumult as an opportunity.

reports that Dish Network - which acquired the bankrupt Blockbuster video chain five months ago - plans to announce today an Internet video streaming service designed to give frustrated Netflix customers safe harbor in a competitive storm.

Netflix, of course, was the disruptive business model that exposed Blockbuster’s shortcomings and helped to propel it into bankruptcy and, some would argue, near irrelevance.
KC's View:
I’m not sure that Netflix can’t recover, and I’m equally unsure that Dish Network will come up with an offering that will attack its weaknesses. We’ll see.

But the lesson is a good one. Because it isn’t just Dish Network that Netflix has to worry about. It is Apple, and Amazon, and all sorts of other ventures including some being created by two teenagers in their parents’ basement coming up with a model that none of have even dreamed about. Because it is the competitor you don’t see coming that’ll really kill you.