I was at a media and technology roundtable a few days ago, where Seth Haberman, President and founder of Visible World, made a very good point:
What is it that really draws us to Netflix, and, similarly, digital video recorders like TiVo? It’s the permanence of the queue – it represents piece of mind for a lot of people. The video titles won’t disappear. And that is a major barrier for standalone video-on-demand services.
I think Seth is right. But my affinity and engagement is driven also by the extensive, long-tail selection, as well as the search and community ratings features. My affinity also is supported by the fact that Netflix awarded my wife a free, lifetime membership several years ago when the service was launched. That was just a great gift from Netflix! Thank you Netflix!