Wednesday, May 1, 2013

2,000 Netflix movies to disappear: Netflix to yank its classic films May 1

2,000 Netflix movies to disappear: Netflix to yank its classic films May 1, Netflix users beware: Close to 2,000 Netflix movies are set to vanish from the company’s stable of films on May 1, leaving fans of classic cinema in the lurch.

According to an April 30 report from PC Magazine, movies from Warner Bros., MGM, and Universal are going away at the stroke of midnight come May 1.

Netflix, the on-line American provider of on-demand streaming media, available to both North and South America, is saying goodbye to such classics as Dr. No and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.

The classic movie vanishing act is thought to be a result of a new classic film repository: Warner Archive Instant.

Netflix, Hulu and their rivals are locked in a constant battle to score new content. Classic movies and old-time TV shows can get jettisoned in the process. Warner Bros. streaming service is aimed at that classic niche.

For $10 per month, Warner Archive Instant allows users to stream content from the 1920s through the 1990s. The catalog includes what the company says are "rare, hard-to-find" TV shows and movies from Warner Bros., MGM, RKO and Allied Artists.

At the same time as the movies disappear, Netflix is making some changes to its movie queue interface, with a test group of customers seeing the changes. Some customers will be given very limited sorting options while others may only be able to see Netflix-recommended titles.

Netflix is doing what spokesman Joris Evers said is “A/B testing to see which version of a particular feature or experience results in increased Netflix viewing and better retention of our members.”

Netflix users on internet forums don’t like the changes. Many have discussed dropping Netflix, and the departure of the classic films may be what makes that decision a permanent one.

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