Netflix’s ten most-rented list of all time (list below) reminds us of the long-tail Power of Oscar. And it should remind Netflix, as it splits its DVD and streaming business and alienates many of its customers who are used to relying on its deep long-tail arcania, that their solid customer base is smart adults, not the great unwashed, something they seem to be in danger of forgetting as they focus on TV and mainstream acquisitions and let smaller movies go.
Many of us in the indie sector thought that Netflix had the right stuff to become the Last Great Hope for indie distribution with their recommendation software and in-depth library of titles. But unfortunately they floundered when Red Envelope tentatively entered indie releasing with such micro titles as The Puffy Chair. Now it seems that what worked to build them up–starting with early adopters and ardent film fans–isn’t what they think they need going forward.
Watch this interview with Netflix’s Ted Sarandos on streaming, below.