Netflix + Community = Flixster?

I’m definitely going to evoke the “I told you so” sentiment, on this topic. A few weeks ago, we had a lengthy discussion on the survival of Netflix. Friends pitched in with their ideas and I stuck to my conclusion that “Only Community can save Netflix“. Well, today I stumbled upon an article on a movie based social network called Flixster that seemed to validate that.

What’s Flixster?

Flixster is a MySpace like site that’s focused solely on Movies. At its core, Flixster has a movie rating service akin to Yahoo! Movies and Netflix; only simpler. But it’s core differentiator is the social networking aspect; one that Netflix lacks.

My take:

Creating my Flixster profile and inviting friends was simple and easy. Adding reviews will be enjoyable and creating a community of friends who similarly enjoy movies will be awesome!

How well is Flixster doing?

i. Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, a self-professed movie buff, quotes ComScore data to predict healthy growth trends emerging:

They show Flixster growing from 4 million to 31 million monthly page views from March – December 2006. In that same period, unique visitors grew from 328,000 per month to just over 1 million.

ii. Alex Iskold of Read/Write Web, analyzes some of Flixster’s core features (movie profiles), its similarity to MySpace, its uniqueness, growth potential and the rise of the niche social network. Definitely worth a read.

If only Netflix had thought of this before? So, what do you think?

Is it too late for Netflix to incorporate community features or is it a totally different ballgame altogether?

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  1. sanday

    am folling in lve with his site i came o flixster through a friend who introduced t thius .since thta day i have never left my pc for anyther site

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  4. Mario Sundar

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for dropping by. As an ardent movie buff, I enjoy hanging out at your site and look forward to its evolution.

    Let me know if you guys start a blog.

  5. joe

    just caught this on my feedster-search thingy… Thanks for the kind words. Really glad you like the site – and i agree with your analysis vis-a-vis the pros and cons of Netflix vs Blockbuster.

    Joe – flixster founder

  6. Mario Sundar

    “it appears that community is taking even greater stage.”
    IMHO, most definitely, Mario.

    Flixster definitely aims to be an IMDB meets Wikipedia meets MySpace for movie lovers.

    I agree on your take that NF needs to tailor their community features for greater revenue and I understand it’s not easy given their existing set up.

    As a NF user, given severe competition from BB, the community is the only reason I still visit Netflix. That and the international cinema choices that BB doesn’t carry. I’ll soon have a post on why I love Flixster vis-a-vis Netflix. Stay tuned.

  7. Mario Vellandi

    Well Mario,
    it appears that community is taking even greater stage. My favorite site for film has always been ; the immense volume of relational data is mind-blowing. The community reviews and the large number of votes on different films really paint a picture for me on the quality of a film (kind of like how I use amazon just to check music and book ratings). Then add to this, a quick search on Wikipedia and you get even more in depth. What’s even more valuable though, is the film/television industry support has.

    To refer back to Netflix, I have no doubt they can build a better community modeled after cool features in flixter. But when building such greater community features, NF should also investigate how such programs can be designed for additional revenue.

    I think a potential model for Netflix is to adopt peer-to-peer DVD sales and swaps. by Ebay makes around 15% comm. Without pondering the subject of how NF should strategize commissions and incentive programs to death, I think the business model is applicable and obviously highly relevant…

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