retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Netflix made a major change - and, I would say, significant improvement - to its service yesterday, announcing that customers now will be able to download series and films to their devices as well as stream them.

In a note to subscribers yesterday, Eddy Wu, director of product innovation at Netflix, said, "While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their 'Stranger Things' binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited. Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection ... The new feature is included in all plans and available for phones and tablets on Android and iOS."

It also will save people money, since streaming content onto mobile devices tends to use up a lot of data.

As someone who is a Netflix addict, I will tell you that as soon as I saw this message, I went online and updated my Netflix app. This is a huge step in making Netflix content more easily accessible. (I've been trying to find time to watch "Luke Cage" and the new seasons of "Longmire" and "Daredevil," and a long plane ride would be perfect. Can't watch "The Crown" there, though ... I'm saving that for a cold winter night when Mrs. Content Guy and I will pour ourselves a good glass of wine and settle in on the couch to stream it.)

I think this is going to force Amazon and pretty much everybody else in the content business to improve accessibility, and all of this is good for viewers, plus a great lesson to every retailer and marketer. Products and services increasingly will be judged and chosen based on accessibility and relevance ... which isn't always the same thing as convenience, but can be. And these are the questions that business people need to be asking themselves and each other...

How can we be more relevant to our customers? How can we be more accessible?

And, of course, after they answer those questions today, they have to ask and answer the questions again tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

It never ends. Netflix's example provides an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: