Netflix took the first step toward global domination last week by launching their service outside the U.S., in Canada! The launch event made headline news, but not at all for the reasons Netflix would hope. Word got out that the enthusiastic crowd attending the launch event in Toronto was filled with “extras” paid by Netflix. Some of these extras, as could be expected, are active on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Next thing you know the memo instructing the actors to be enthusiastic with the press was made public. Embarrassing to say the least!
This is a perfect example of how companies underestimate the impact of social media and the speed at which information travels from obscure individuals to the entire world. On a bright note, Netflix does embrace blogging on their corporate website. Netflix’s quick and authentic acknowledgment of the debacle is a shining example of a corporate giant doing their best to adjust to the rapid changes in communication and information sharing in this post privacy era. Now, if Netflix could only
bribe convince a few influential Bloggers and Twitter Superusers to rave about their great movie selection; to counter-balance all the online bashing of it, the business in Canada might really take off?