There’s a lot of uproar about the Netflix price increases lately. I ditched my Cable TV subscription about 6 months ago and haven’t looked back, relying on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and television network sites to watch the shows over the Internet. Personally, I don’t care all that much as I’m not on a DVD plan – but I’m starting to think about cancelling my streaming-only service. It’s easy to use and has good video quality…but never has the content I’m looking for.
I jumped on their search for a quick check of what I could come up with. I searched for programs I’ve thought about/heard about/read about/talked about/remembered in the last week or two. The results?
- Babylon 5 (1994-1998) – Nope
- Futurama (1999-)- Partial (Stops at 2009)
- Harry Potter – Nope (Not a single one)
- Independence Day (1996) – Nope
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-2009) – Nope
- Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) – Partial (only part 1/3)
- Shrek Anything – Nope (and I shudder to realize there are in fact 8 Shrek movies)
- The Walking Dead (2010) – Nope
- V (1980s or 2010) – Nope
That’s a set of largely mainstream programming spanning several genres and market segments but they’re all long-running well rated television shows and several critically acclaimed high-performing feature films. And they’re not available. That doesn’t leave me with a lot of options for getting the content – I can buy it on DVD, but for something I’m only interested in watching once every few years, spending $50 on a DVD Box Set isn’t a good bet. (Not to mention, who uses physical media anymore?) It’s not available anywhere else for legitimate streaming, either. This leaves me with two options: don’t consume that content or download it from a file-sharing site. I find BitTorrent annoying for many reasons, so end up not doing anything followed by writing about it on the Internet.
Netflix really does need to do something, though. I haven’t actually used my subscription in the last 3 months because nothing I wanted to watch was available. It’s not going to make much sense to keep paying for something I “might” use for much longer. Netflix may end up losing another customer – not because of the price hikes, but because the news about the price hikes has made me really evaluate how much value I’m actually getting from the service. The answer seems to be “not much” – and since the monthly fee is about equal to two cups of morning coffee, that’s really not a very glowing endorsement.