It seems you can’t go a day without reading tech news and finding another cringe worthy change to Netflix service. Of late it started with the change in pay scales and the separation of streaming and mail DVDs. Then came the news that they lost their deal with Starz and would no longer be offering many new titles over the streaming service (e.g. Disney or Sony). Now there is news that users with streaming or streaming and one DVD subscriptions would no longer be able to stream content on more than one device at a time.
If we look at these changes individually, they may be justified considering the Netflix model and business versus customer benefits. Heck, it’s capitalism. Individually a customer could easily turn their cheek and continue being entertained for a reasonable fee. However, these issues and announcements have come one after another in a very short time frame. Customers are now faced with three very large changes to their service that simply boil down to less content for more money and greater limitations on access.
The first negative change, in my mind, during my Netflix customer tenure was the addition of a separate charge for access to Bluray content. The fee was small in and of itself, but when it’s a change of greater than 10% of your total monthly bill it’s not a simple shoulder shrug. However, I bit the bullet and am still accessing Bluray content for an additional fee. Meanwhile, we still do not have Linux support for streaming content. This has always been a big deal for many of us (read: nerds/geeks) but we got around this by installing virtual machines or using a video game console. These were issues that I ultimately brushed off and continued supporting and consuming the Netflix model.
Now we add to the ever growing list of negative changes the announcements of the past several weeks and things begin to come to a different light. Do we continue to support a service which continually raises fees while delivering less content and more limitations? When do we say enough is enough? Where would we go to get the content we want? These are questions which now seem more pertinent than ever and are becoming more pressing as our dollar takes us less far than it used to.
I’ll leave with one last thought that I know would, sadly, win me back over; Netflix natively on Linux.