Since one of my regular features on this blog is my Netflix Instant Pick, I felt obliged to weigh in on the Netflix pricing controversy.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, Netflix raised its prices yesterday. I was previously enrolled in the package that lets you stream as much as you want, and borrow one DVD at a time. The old price was around ten dollars a month, and now I’ll be paying another $6 a month for the same service.
As you can imagine, customers took to the Internet to complain. The topic #DearNetflix was trending on Twitter most of the day yesterday. Maybe it still is, but I haven’t had time to take a look and see. If you’re feeling brave, you can click here to read the complaints.
Maybe it’s just because I’m an old fogey, but I wasn’t mad the price increase. I think the reason I wasn’t angry is that the day before prices went up, I saw this article on CNN that discussed the upcoming contract renewals for Netflix’s licensing of streaming content. After reading that article, I was worried that Netflix would be unable to generate enough revenue to keep the movies that were already available for streaming, let alone add new ones. Once I read that article, I knew that price hikes were inevitable.
I know that there are other options besides Netflix streaming, such as Hulu Plus, Apple TV, and just plain old piracy. However, I don’t own a laptop or an iPad, and I hate watching TV and movies on my computer while sitting at my desk. I prefer seeing them on my HDTV while sitting on my couch with my neurotic cat. (She hates it when I am sitting at the computer, because then she can’t get attention from me.)
I don’t think that Netflix is too costly, anyway. I remember last summer when I first moved to Austin from Phoenix, I didn’t have Netflix at first. I was going through a phase where I was obsessed with getting caught up on the TV show Fringe, so I went to the local Blockbuster. I rented 3 DVD’s and it cost me FIFTEEN dollars! After that gouging, I found out that Netflix was much cheaper at ten dollars a month. I’m not upset about paying fifteen dollars a month for unlimited DVD’s and streaming. It’s a small price to pay and there are no late fees.
Of course, to today’s entitled gotta-have-it-now generation, paying for music, movies and TV is an unheard of horror. Yes, you can pirate everything if you’re determined not to pay for it. I’ve seen with the music industry how things can end up when piracy takes over, so I pay for all of my music. I don’t want the same thing happen to the movie studios.
If you want to blame anyone for being “greedy” you should blame the studios who are asking Netflix to pay them more money so that they can license their content. Netflix is not the one who asked for more money, the studios are. And if you were surprised that this happened, then you are in for a shock if you ever leave your house, because apparently you live in a bubble.
If you compare the price of Netflix to the cost of going to the movies, renting videos elsewhere, or renting/streaming movies on iTunes or Amazon, you will soon see what a bargain it is. Yes, it’s STILL a bargain. Stop whining and take a minute to think about the fact that if you are complaining about this, you’re probably living in a fantasy world. Everything has a price, and the cost of Netflix is still less than one night out at the movies, for the most part.