Monday, December 19, 2011

Netflix Streaming: Some Positives

Netflix has caused quite a stir, angering its customers when it separated the cost of its streaming and DVD rental cost on customers, raising their prices. Back in July a Forbes, magazine article complained “Only a company that is overvalued would think that it has the right to increase our monthly fee by 60%.” Recently, more unsatisfied customers complained about a new Netflix application for the X-Box 360 upgrade and the “removal of the Netflix party feature” one web news site After Dawn states.

However, not taking sides, I want to point out that it is not just Netflix raising their prices. It seems that most things are simply more expensive. My husband and I took a short trip to the grocery store today and we got a few things. Well, the few things ended up being nearly $100.  On the drive, back home we reminisced when just a few years ago $100 worth of groceries took you much farther than it does today. Everything is much more expensive today and unfortunately there is not enough jobs or raises to compensate for the higher cost of living. We can turn to Occupy Wall Street to get that many of us are more than frustrated.

Therefore, when companies such as Netflix raised their prices on their customers, it caused a fury. Many of my friends dropped membership even and decided that they could no longer afford what Netflix had to offer. If one looks at the movie collection on Netflix streaming, especially under “New Arrivals,” what Netflix considers “new” is not what it used to mean years ago. Going back about 10 years ago when Blockbuster was not going out of business, whenever Blockbusters or Netflix said “New Arrivals” they meant it. These new movies were the films you missed in the theater because you were either: a) not interested, b) broke when the movie came out in theaters OR c) too busy and didn’t have any free time to catch the flick in theaters, as much as you wanted to, meant to…you missed it.

In a latest Washington Post article, “Netflix increases 3Q spending to woo lawmakers as subscribers rebel against price increase” expressed that although people enjoy the convenience of watching on-demand videos and streaming content, that Netflix has to offer. They do not enjoy the new wave of media consumption at the additional price spike. The article stated “Netflix Inc. spent more money currying favor with U.S. lawmakers and regulators in the third quarter while the video subscription service’s customers rebelled against a price increase.”

I happen to be a Netflix subscriber that has recently joined. Perhaps for long-term subscribers, the prices and membership plan changes feels like a betrayal. If Netflix would have decided to not raise or change plans for older members and only begin changing plans with new members, maybe Netflix would not have to spend so much time, energy, and money battling with law makers. For me, I do not have an issue paying the $7.99 that costs me for unlimited streaming per month. I do not want to wait for DVDs to arrive in the mail. I have developed a method of watching movies, tv shows, as convenient and low cost to me as possible. Netflix, I will admit does not have all the new movies. Their streaming film library is pretty limiting. If you are looking to watch the latest new release to have gone to DVD, you may not find it on Netflix streaming. If you are looking to watch films that are recently new, you missed it in the theater and it has been a while since it has gone to DVD- it may be on Netflix.

Netflix streaming is good for those that want to catch up on television shows and documentaries. Honestly, Netflix streaming actually has a real good television show selection and one of the largest online streaming selection of documentaries I have seen in a while. If you are in to foreign films, you could find some new and unique films on Netflix. There are some surprisingly interesting independent films available, as well as a large horror selection if you are a horror-junky.

Hey listen, I know money is tight. No one wants prices to go up, but who is not raising prices? Doesn’t it come with the territory of a bad economy? Everything is more expensive today. Netflix is one of many businesses raising prices. It is happening everywhere. Netflix is just happening to take more of a beating than other businesses doing the exact same thing.

Honestly, if I want to watch newer movies that Netflix doesn’t have- it is actually on Redbox. For a little over a buck, I can get a new movie that I won’t be able to see on Netflix streaming. Then, to catch up on television shows and my thirst for documentary films, I go to Netflix streaming, I like the fact that for $7.99 a month I can watch: 100 episodes of How I Met Your Mother, at least the first 2 seasons of Vampire Diaries, most if not, all the episodes of older series such as South Park, classics like The Wonder Years, and one of the most addicting shows on FX, my number one favorite show, Son’s of Anarchy.  For the newest thing to hit the theater, I go to the theater.

What’s the big deal? My personal opinion, I see no reason to complain about Netflix. Yes, I would like a larger film selection of new releases and I hope they keep their library of tv shows expanding. My only request to Netflix, if they are reading this blog- it would really be awesome if they could put all of Dexter’s series on Netflix streaming. I know this probably will never happen, but maybe Santa will bring me a full collection of Dexter for Christmas.