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August 1, 2007

CAAF: Strangely paranoid that my next disc of The Closer will be "Long Wait"

Last week I voiced my fervent desire that Netflix -- "Taking agoraphobics to the movies since 1998!" -- start shipping Saturdays. After I posted I began to wonder uncertainly if there was some dumbfoundingly obvious reason why the company hasn't already moved to this schedule, as one sometimes does after making a modest proposal on the Internet (shades of violins on TV).

So I sent an email to the proprietor of Hacking Netflix, who pointed me to an interview he conducted with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings last year. Here's the relevant portion:

HN: Why don't you work on Saturdays? It seems to be such a competitive advantage for Blockbuster, and everybody's interested in getting more movies... Is it cost-prohibitive?

Hastings: Prohibitive is a strong word. It's a cost tradeoff, right, because then you can't run a standard five day shift. So when you move to a 6th day, then you've got not one management team, you've got staggered. So the cost is not just 15% more, because you've got to figure out dual management, and how you're going to infringe on people on people's weekends and yet give them a life. So we make sure that the Monday through Friday works well, and that's the focus.

According to the MSNBC report, Netflix profits this year are expected to be between $42.4 - $52.4 million. Maybe by the time they're clearing $60 mill., they'll have figured out how to get those Saturday shifts manned.

Posted August 1, 2007 2:11 PM

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