And so, Netflix, it’s come to this: You are now no different to me than any other streaming, video-on-demand service. No more physical DVDs. No more marveling at your national shipping, mailing and receiving prowess. Early today, I switched from the one-DVD-at-a-time and Unlimited Streaming plan to just the Unlimited Streaming Plan. In doing so, I don’t save any money. I simply ensure that my costs won’t double.
When Netflix announced months ago that it would be prying apart the $7.99 one DVD and unlimited streaming bundle to create two similarly priced services, I predicted bad things for the company. This was the sweet-spot bundle for most customers. Though, it must be acknowledged that the benefits of getting the latest DVD movies shipped to you have dimmed considerably now that I can rent and stream the latest films—in HD—from Apple TV, Amazon and my local cable provider. All three typically have new movies available when I want them, while Netflix invariably has a waiting list for the hottest new DVDs.
I’m now paying $7.99 a month for exactly half the services I used to receive from Netflix, but to leave my account unchanged would’ve meant paying double ($15) what I was paying before. I still enjoy the streaming service and usually start my entertainment search there, since Amazon and Apple are not in the business of offering unlimited viewing options.
The pickings on Netflix Instant have never been great, but now that the Starz deal has fallen apart, they’re bound to get worse. Starz was Netflix’s main source for new films. Yesterday, Starz walked away from the bargaining table, which means Netflix’s streaming services instantly became less attractive.
In other words, Netflix is now on a very short leash in my house. How many times will my family accept finding absolutely nothing interesting, or at least fresh, to watch on Netflix’s Instant service? For now, though, my son is managing to find a host of classic old super hero cartoons to watch ( the entire 1990’ Spiderman series), so I’m sure he’ll campaign to keep it.
In the end, though, this just doesn’t bode well for Netflix. If it cannot make the deals to bring new movies to its streaming service (yes, I would pay a couple more bucks a month if I knew I could see new releases), Netflix could be cancelled in the Ulanoff home.
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