Friday, May 18, 2012

Why I Quit Netflix

It was time.

It all started when Netflix decided to split up its DVD and streaming business. Remember that? I don't think there was a worse way to handle that debacle. Still, the one thing that stuck was a "massive" 40% price increase: from $10 to $14.

Netflix made it clear at the time that streaming was the wave of the future. You know, the "disc is dead" and all that. Many people decided right away to quit Netflix. I decided to side with Netflix's vision and chose streaming only. Saving a couple dollars each month was phycologically nice too (since I never actually noticed it in my monthly budget).

At the time the streaming library wasn't as big as the DVD section, but Netflix said it was the future. So surely the movie choices would grow over time, right?


Then in September Netflix failed to reach an agreement with Starz for their streaming content. Care to guess what the majority of the movies I watched were?

To consul myself, I found myself bingeing on television series. But here's the rub: watching a movie takes at most 2 hours of my life. Watching a television series takes a LOT more time. So I would start watching a TV show because I couldn't find any movies that interested me, then get hooked on a show I only kind of cared about.



Meanwhile, I had a notes app I used to list movies I wanted to see, but weren't available on Netflix streaming. These were movies I actually wanted to see, not just to kill time.

The final nail was when Netflix announced that it would be pursuing an "original content" strategy for streaming. In other words, that future flood of streaming movies is never coming. My movie wish list would never be added to the Netflix queue.

That's when I decided to was time to quit Netflix. It still took a while to pull the trigger because I still had a few TV series I wanted to finish (addictions can be bad...), but eventually I finished them, made sure Jessi watched everything she wanted, and quit.

What's Next?

A bunch of things.

First, we're keeping our entertainment budget the same since iTunes has EVERY SINGLE MOVIE on my wish list to rent for $3. I figure 1 to 3 movies a month should be plenty.

Especially since we'll keep using Hulu for TV shows.

Plus, I've been thinking about getting back into reading actual paper books (well... eBooks first, paper if I have to). There are a few technical ones I want to read that really don't translate well in spoken form.

There are also a ton of summer projects I want to complete, and summer is upon us.

I'm actually pretty bummed that Netflix and I grew apart. I really like their business model and I think they've done a lot to disrupt the movie rental industry and the cable TV industry. I'll still be cheering for Netflix, but it won't be as a customer.

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