The Problem With Netflix
Welcome back heroes! I hope you're having a great week and that God is blessing you. Book two is moving forward steadily and is still on course to be out before the summer begins. The new cover for book one that will be used for the hardcover edition is in its final stages and I will let you know when the new edition will be available for purchase. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, lets get onto the post.
I was one of those people that instantly took to Netflix. In fact, Netflix was the reason that I stopped renting videos the traditional way. Honestly, such streaming services as Netflix really are the reason why traditional video rental places such as Blockbuster went out of business. Their model of being able to pay a one month fee to watch as many movies as you desired, and to have them delivered directly to your mailbox, was revolutionary. No late fees. No travel to a store, and no waiting for new releases because they are out of stock. For me, this was just mind-blowing. I would order two DVDs for me and my kids to watch on the weekends and then send them back and have two more ready by next weekend.
Then, when internet grew to levels of speed that could accommodate regular streaming, Netflix started offering the service of being able to watch content directly on your computer and then on your smart TV's. For families like mine which were constantly struggling financially, the low cost of Netflix gave me a new viable and affordable entertainment option. Since taking my kids to the movies meant a bill wasn't getting paid on time, Netflix allowed me to watch movies and shows at home for a cost I could afford. Sure, I had to wait a little while for new releases, but while I waited, they had a plethora of options for me to enjoy. Then when they started creating their own content, Netflix became my first and major entertainment option.
So, now that I have expressed how much Netflix has meant to me and my family, we need to tackle why I am now thinking of dropping the service. Netflix, which is still the top company in the streaming world, is increasingly losing its hold. A case could be made for the fact that that the rise of new competition is the reason for Netflix's decline, but I think that's just one reason. Even the juggernaut of Disney is losing money on Disney+, and HBO Max is just barely holding on. So where did the revolutionary company go wrong?
They Have Lost the Rights to a Lot of Content
Ok, so this point really can be attributed to the rise in competition. One of Netflix's greatest selling points was the fact that you could watch older content that was no longer available on regular cable. Since every Network or content creating company has now thrown their hat into the streaming arena, they have stripped Netflix of their content. For a while Netflix still retained rights to a lot of shows and movies, but as time went on, they lost the rights to these shows. This caused them to have to rely on the creation of their own content. Whereas they have had some hits, a lot of the new content has fallen flat. This lack of being able to provide content is a major reason why Netflix is losing customers.
When I started with Netflix it was a video rental service. Yes, I had to wait a month for new releases, but I could get them. This constant stream of movie content, however, didn't translate to their streaming service. They tried to keep their movie rental service going for a while, but due to the fact that the majority of content consumers no longer rent DVDs, it became uneconomical for them. I understand this, but it was one of the selling points of the service. Sure we may not have been able to get new releases right away, but they would eventually make their way on to the site. Now, they go to other sites instead and the content that goes to Netflix is meager and limited.
One strength here, however, is that it has forced them to rely on lower budget and lesser known content. This fact can lead to consumers finding hidden gems that they may not have known about. One such movie for my family was The Book of Kells. This is a foreign based animation set in medieval Ireland and centers around the creation and preservation of the famous Book of Kells, which is a illuminated version of the gospels. This is still a favorite of mine and I have watched and enjoyed pretty much everything the creators have put out. If it hadn't been for Netflix, I never would have known about this film.
They Cancel to Many Shows Before They Can Get traction
Ok, so I admit this is a pet peeve of mine, but I still feel it is a fact that causes people to get fed up with Netflix. Netflix's culture is one of constant innovation. In fact, they fire people who are not in a constant state of forward movement or who are finding new and innovative ways to create content. It's what caused them to become the leader in streaming entertainment in the first place. It is, however, a detriment when it comes to the content they create. Their culture of always looking for the next best thing causes them to give up on content they shouldn't.
Not all shows come out of the gate in, or rise to the number one spot. This doesn't mean they are not good shows. Moreover, a lot of content will never rise to number one, but will perform consistently through out the entirety of their run. Netflix is quite frankly the worst when it comes to canceling shows that are good and have a consistent following but are not number one. Hollywood has been accused of this for years, but Netflix has taken it to a whole new level. To me it seems like just when I get into a show, they cancel it.
Not only do they cancel it, but they leave you on a cliff hanger that they don't resolve. This is just unacceptable and is a very big reason why Netflix is starting to lose subscribers. In todays binge watch society, which Netflix is the primary reason for I might add, this is unacceptable. I almost feel like Netflix should just start creating limited run shows and movies instead of open ended shows. This way, they won't leave their audience feeling betrayed and unfulfilled. But, due to their culture, we all know they won't stop doing this. So, for every Stranger Things we get a Good Detective and it leaves consumers feeling unsure if they should invest in their content. For this reason alone, I am debating on canceling my Netflix subscription.
A Lot of Their Content Really Isn't All That Good
Ok, I know that this kind of goes against my earlier point, but it is still a viable argument. You can resist the urge to cancel every show that isn't an instant hit, while also not creating garbage. Of course, just like most of Hollywood, Netflix has fallen under the spell of the "woke". A lot, and I mean a lot, of their content is just simply woke garbage. I couldn't count how many times I started watching a promising show only to have it dive down the "agenda hole" and sacrifice good story and character development to become preachy social justice propaganda. At least Netflix doesn't share the bad habit of attacking their subscribers for their lack of interest. No, they just cancel it and replace it with ten more shows that suffer from the same problem.
It's like all of Hollywood, Netflix included, have all gone insane. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result each time. Yes, they cancel shows that don't work and a lot that do, but they replace them with shows that suffer from the same issues. I have come to the conclusion that producers and networks really don't know why their shows fail or succeed. Netflix has this problem and a lot of their original content is just simply either terrible or downright offensive. Cuties is a perfect example of this. The truth is that Netflix is just as creatively bankrupt and tone deaf as the rest of Hollywood.
Also, a lot of times shows fall off after the first season and subsequent season just aren't as good. As a writer I understand this all too well. Unless a story is created to be part of a series, the sequel is never usually as good as the original. Netflix, like other companies, will beat a dead horse and give consumers shallow sequel seasons that are just created to try and capitalize on the original. This goes for shows of like type as well. For instance, amazon making the Wheel of Time and Rings of Power in order to try and capitalize on HBO's Game of Thrones. Neither show was as good as their competitor, or even good at all for that matter, but Hollywood churns them out believing we are stupid enough to watch it because we liked Game of Thrones. Netflix has followed in Hollywood's footsteps with this fallacy.
They Keep Raising Their Prices But Offer less
Ok, this is something that all entertainment companies are doing. Instead of simply spending money on better content, they just raise prices and give us less. Disney is the king of this tactic. They rely on brand recognition and a dedicated fanbase and expect consumers to keep spending their money based on past content. Netflix isn't Disney and Stranger Things isn't enough to keep consumers coming back. Disney, which has more good will than most other entertainment companies, is now reaching the limit of their fan base's good graces and Netflix doesn't have the fifty plus years of longevity that Disney does.
The truth though, is that in order for Netflix to continue creating quality content they need to raise prices. they don't have theme parks and years of merchandise to rely on the way Disney does. They have to cut shows short if they don't find instant success, because they can't afford to spend money on shows that don't work. So, this is a vicious cycle for Netflix that causes them to have to charge more in order to continue to put out content, but the content they create drops in quality. They require so much continuing content that it becomes impossible for them to keep up the quality at the prices they charge. I do understand it, but with all of the other choices I have, I just can't justify paying Netflix more and more money for less quality.
One way Netflix and other services are trying to get around this is by putting adds in and charging more to have those adds removed. YouTube and Hulu use this model. The problem with the whole, adding ads thing, is that it is just returning to the old cable model. Networks had commercials because they didn't charge for their content. The price for watching was adds. Now, we have companies wanting you to pay to watch their content and have adds as well. They hold you hostage to these adds and then want you to pay extra for them to remove them. No consumer is going to be ok with that, but this is the "new" way of doing things.
No it isn't. It is the old way of doing things, but with an entrance fee. No wonder more and more people are turning to pirate sites in order to get their content. They are being double charged now for their entertainment. As a creator, I understand that it takes money to create quality content. I need a day job to live because I don't make enough money from my book sales. Having a day job means that it takes me a long time to create content and that causes me to lose traction. The more content a company needs the more money they are going to have to charge to pay for that content. It really is a vicious cycle that's only going to get worse as time goes on.
Well, I for one am still considering dropping Netflix, but I every time I think I will, I find something there to keep me coming back. For me, it's mostly foreign content especially Asian dramas. One good thing that has come from Netflix losing the rights to shows, is that they have had to look abroad for new content. That fact has given us some truly great shows we wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise. I mean, who doesn't love "The Extraordinary Attorney Woo"? Netflix may have its problems, but as long as it's still affordable I will most likely keep shelling out my hard earned bucks. Maybe someday I will break the cycle in my own life and return to reading books. Of course, I tend to consume books by listening to audio books instead of reading these days, so I wouldn't bet on it.