Reel Reviews' first podcast published on October 17, 2004 - yes, podcasting in 2004!
After 10 years of no new episodes, AOL finally pulled the epsiodes from their servers.
Most links to the podcasts are now dead.
I keep this here as a record of one of the original podcasts.
- Michael

Netflix Says No To Reel Reviews (Twice!)

Netflix has it in for Reel Reviews. Go Blockbuster!

15 Responses to “Netflix Says No To Reel Reviews (Twice!)”

  1. Gravatar Icon 1 WHR May 16th, 2005 at 4:34 am

    Worse thign about the INternet? The whiners. Netflix no like me, whine!

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Mike May 16th, 2005 at 4:41 am

    If I were you I would add a filter in AdSense to prevent Netflix from coming up in the ads. IF they don’t want you (their loss) as an affiliate then they should not be allowed to come up as an advertiser.

    Love the podcast! Keep it up.

    PS great work on the Disney 50th podcasts!!!

  3. Gravatar Icon 3 Phillip "Molly" Malone May 16th, 2005 at 5:33 am

    What did they say when you emailed the address given. I.E.:
    “If you encounter any problems, or have any questions or concerns, please contact LinkShare at [email protected].”

    What did they say the first time? If you said that you didn’t email them (either time), then why complain? Surely they have a grievence process and you didn’t (assuming you didn’t) even give them a chance to see what the problem is.

    I personally have no problem when someone makes a mistake. Its more important to see what they do about the mistake and how easy it is to get it put right.

    If you did contact them and they still didn’t give you a good answer, then shoot it from the roof tops but if you haven’t (to me anyway), its whining and big noting (its the thing I really hate about blogging).

    I have heard about the locks (forget there name) and the difference (from what you have said) is that the company was told about their problem and they blatantly ignored it. That was blogging for the greater good, this is whining. Such a pity from such a good podcast.


  4. Gravatar Icon 4 Kelly May 16th, 2005 at 10:02 am

    In response to the so called “whining” here. What’s the point in having the freedom of a blog or podcast if you can’t voice what’s on your mind or share a recent experience? I for one like to know what’s going on behind the scenes. So, with that said Congradulations on the Blockbuster deal Michael! Keep up the great show!

    p.s. The Disney Podcasts were awesome!! Great coverage!

  5. Gravatar Icon 5 Shawn Oster May 16th, 2005 at 12:21 pm

    First, please don’t listen to anyone saying you’re whining, “stop whining” is usually code for “I’m a fanboy of product X and it rules, don’t bad mouth them.” Oddly enough the same types of people usually have long rants on their blogs devoid of anything but their own personal and highly subjective opinions on the way the world should work.

    The post in question is well written, views the subject objectively without letting emotion turn the facts into a rant and brings up a very good question: what is NetFlix criteria and why would they reject something like Reel Reviews? It’s also interesting since most people consider BlockBuster “bad” because of its larger corporate roots and NetFlix “good” because of its web-origins and so you’d think NetFlix would want to embrace the more independent sites to help promote that image.

    Hopefully this will gain some traction now that it’s being cross-linked by people like Scoble. I’m really curious why they would reject what seems a great product tie-in. The wildest theory I have is that they confused Reel Reviews as an off-shoot of RealPlayer and didn’t want to get in bed with one of the major media players. That is a long shot though.

    Keep up the reviews, in a sea of information reviews from knowledgeable people are becoming ever more important.

  6. Gravatar Icon 6 Phillip Molly Malone May 16th, 2005 at 8:48 pm


    (was going to have this as a Trackback but seems to be a problem in one of the blog engines).


  7. Gravatar Icon 7 mandrake May 16th, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    Netflix would be a perfect fit for the great work you do with Reel Reviews. Either they made an honest mistake (twice), they don’t get what you’re doing, or they’re stupid. They don’t strike me as being stupid…oh well. Keep up the good work!

  8. Gravatar Icon 8 a man, not the man May 17th, 2005 at 7:28 pm

    I suggest you contact to ask how he handled it. He seems to do pretty well with Netlfix.

  9. Gravatar Icon 9 Phillip "Molly" Malone May 17th, 2005 at 8:00 pm

    a man, not the man Says:
    I suggest you contact to ask how he handled it. He seems to do pretty well with Netlfix.

    I personally think it has very little to do with how well he does with Netflix as much as it does he got off his ass and chased it up to find out the reason for the rejection through the companies compliant mechinism!
    I made this point here: post


  10. Gravatar Icon 10 Phillip "Molly" Malone May 17th, 2005 at 8:02 pm

    By the way, seems Michael after giving a bit of a spray to Netflix has gone awfully quite on the whole subject!

    Would love to see his comments.

  11. Gravatar Icon 11 Michael May 17th, 2005 at 9:15 pm


    I notice both here and on your site you have commented that I have gone quiet. I think you said it was “unlikely” I would comment. I’ll point you to the update I posted last night which I wrote with what I saw as your main issue in mind. You’ll also notice that both last night and tonight I’ve cleaned up the long URL in your comment with a cleaner link entitled “post” so that the comment formats correctly. Just trying to help. 😉

    I think Mike at HackingNetflix had fair criticism of my post. (I sent him a personal email this morning to that effect.) I disagree, but I thought it was more than fair. Interestingly, he proffers a possible reason they turned me down – because there are downloads on the site. Sounds plausible, but again goes to my main issue, the generic turn down letter that makes no mention of downloads. As I said in the update, why waste everyone’s time, just name the specific issue. I see that you work in technical support, so I can more than understand your sense of frustration with comments like mine. If I had paid for something from Netflix I would have been more then happy to sit on the phone and hold for technical support in order to get what I had paid for. As it is, I have more time invested in applying to Netflix then they do in sending two identical generic rejections letters that do me no good – as they give no specific reason. Why is it incumbent upon me to devote even more time to try to “fix” the issue with Netflix so that I can then help them sell more memberships? Albeit I’d earn a few dollars, but at this point it is more trouble then it is worth. So can I only comment on the story if I waste more time? I think not. I’ll deal with Blockbuster who made it nice and easy and go about my business.

    I think it also comes down to how you view a site like mine. I see that both you and Michael have a sense of the “bigger purpose of blogs”. I commend you on this. I know that many people use their blogs as a sort of personal journalism some even hope to induce change as a result of their writing. I however am a podcaster who talk about good film. I have a blog only as a result of wanting to podcast about good film. I much prefer to speak then to write. You’ll notice this is posted in my Asides category which is where I comment on movies I’ve seen, places I’m going etc. This is where I communicate with my listeners and readers. I sense it is more a conversation among friends. I have told this story to friends of mine, and saw no reason not to post it as I mentioned in the update. I get countless questions about Netflix so I felt it appropriate to post. Yes I even had a little fire in me when I posted it as I saw all those Netflix Adsense ads popping up. Rather ironic I thought.

    Finally is there some bigger goal here? No. I’m not hoping Netflix will come by and no I haven’t devoted more time to Netflix in order to help then sell memberships. If they do clue into the fact that their generic denial letters are less then effective then that would be great. Am I going to take it on as my responsibility? No.

  12. Gravatar Icon 12 Phillip "Molly" Malone May 17th, 2005 at 9:54 pm

    Hi Michael,
    Fair point, I missed the fact that you updated the post as thats not how I was expecting any response to come.

    I can accept that you weren’t looking at anything other then to vent some frustration and tell a story but this is what I find funny.

    In your Update you say:
    “The letter clearly states that they invite me to reapply. I did so, and got rejected a second time.”

    But the letter also clearly states:
    “If you encounter any problems, or have any questions or concerns, please contact LinkShare at [email protected]

    Surely the later is the situation that you are in. One that you believe they have made a mistake. You also mention that you assume someone has looked at the site. To me (and perhaps its because I work in the software industry) thats a big assumption. To me it would be more likely that a computer has parsed the site and seen if you hit any of their tick boxes for rejection. My guess is that a quick email to the email above saying something like ” Hi guys, I got your returned email and am not sure which category I am being rejected on, could you let me know, thanks Michael” and they would have another look (probably a human this time), Probably relise what a quality site you run (cause lets face, its good. I personally haven’t listened to many of your shows as most of the ones you review aren’t ones that I would watch, but I know lots of people that do) and come back with applogies.

    On your point of why should I waste my time? Well in my estimation (and its a guess) that post would have taken a lot longer to write then the email that I suggested (just now you send) (in fact, as an experiment, send that one off and see what you get, what do you have to lose?). So I guess the fire in the belly and the fact to highlight the BB deal would be some what the reason. Both fair reasons, but I think it might unfair to put all the blame on Netflix. Plus your entry doesn’t do anything to help future people who apply. If you had sent the entry as an email to netflix, maybe they would look at it and make changes to there process (perhaps, assuming I am right on the parsing, as simple as saying its a computer process that may make mistakes. Perhaps that would have changed your response).

    Best of luck, and look forward to see more of your reviews on films I like or might be interested in watching (although to be fair, I am not a big movie watcher).


  13. Gravatar Icon 13 Phillip Molly Malone May 27th, 2005 at 5:42 am

    Just wondering what resaon Netflix gave when you contacted them?

  1. 1 Phillip Malone's Mollyzone trackback on May 16th, 2005 at 9:03 pm
  2. 2 Hacking NetFlix trackback on May 17th, 2005 at 3:03 am
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