Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Netflix Rate Hike July 2011

Sorry, no real, stick-to-the-single-topic-entry this time around. To keep up with the latest news, I felt it would make sense to write a little about the timely issue of Netflix's decision to raise their rates and divide their subscription choices. I have my email that I received just a couple of days ago posted below, explaining the new rates.

My first thought is, not being a cable subscriber, that Netflix is still much cheaper than any cable TV service. We use a regular antenna (need a new one!) for some broadcast channels and watch cable TV shows not featured on Netflix online on their respective full episode websites. We use our Nintendo Wii for streaming, so we can't watch online content through that.

Secondly, is it possible that they will use the extra money to fund more licensing agreements to host more programming? To me, this would make the most sense. They have already been trying to cut deals with various companies to expand their growing streaming library. I do recall reading an article though about how they are not in any way going to view themselves as a competitor to cable TV. Which I'm not sure how much truth there is to that considering with certain shows they stream, they were first broadcast just weeks earlier. Think about it this way: with instant streaming, you are watching an unlimited amount of content. I can't even being to fathom the figures on that; how on earth do you calculate the royalties? Are the studios, companies, actors, directors, etc being short changed? Is that why certain shows are still not available for instant viewing? Are certain shows/movies too scared of losing money?

Just today, an article raised questions about Netflix's price change decision and their hardcore customer loyalty. Do you remember that Netflix has single handedly destroyed the video store model? My brother and I used to hang out at the local 16,000 Movies, looking at all the gimmicky boxes in the horror section (remember the microwave one where you push the button?), pervey guys going through the curtain to the porn section in the back, hearing employees shout out the returned new releases being piled back onto the shelves, eat Choco Tacos, play Mortal Kombat and finally get out of the house for a little while. I'm not sure if one exists, but I would love to see a documentary about the death of the video store. Growing up going to them was undeniably important to me in learning about movies, much like going to record stores (also its existence being threatened) teaches you about music.

They say that a barrage of angry
requests, emails, blogging, etc. may help alleviate the situation because Netflix is very much devoted to their customers. The only contrary example I can think of though (off the top of my head) is the deletion of the "Friends" function on the site. Even with many upset customers, that features still lies on the cutting room floor.

Finally, I don't know what my own decision is on the matter. Obviously, that may effect the future of this blog. The rate change over isn't until September, so be the on the lookout for more content/entries from me. Also, be sure to "Follow" me to stay up to date. Thanks!

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