Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Did You Hear The One About the Netflix Brewhaha?

Unless you live under a rock (which to me doesn't seem like such a bad thing) you've heard that Netflix recently split its mail-order DVD service and its streaming video service into two plans. (You used to get both services automatically for one monthly price.) Now, if you're a new member, in order to get both plans, you have to sign up for both and pay 60% more than you did before. Or something like that.

Look, the details don't even matter. Here's the point: if you're a huge movie buff like I am (or not), and chew through eight movies a month like I do (or not), isn't the new increased price you're gonna pay a month still cheaper than one night out at the movies? Hell yeah, it is! And isn't it still more convenient than schlepping to a Redbox kiosk? Absolutely.

Honestly, I don't know what the big deal is. If you were paying $9.99 a month before for streaming and one movie at a time, for example, now you're gonna have to pay $15.98. So? I mean, come on people, don't we already pay ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS PLUS a month for cable? What's sixteen bucks more? That's, like, less than two hundred dollars a year, or ONE MONTH'S cable bill.

People will say, "It's not about the price increase. It's the principle. Netflix is a huge corporation that's taking advantage of its customer base." Okaaay, so name me one corporation that doesn't put its own self-interests above that of its customer's.

Alright, so anyway, Netflix's VP of marketing said their research revealed that despite the ease and convenience of their streaming service, there's still a huge demand for their mail DVD service. So Netflix's decision to split the two services up is an attempt to appease the people who just want DVDs (like me). It makes sense, but seeing as I'm a marketing professional myself, I think what Ms. Marketing VP was subtely trying to say was that their streaming service is inferior so they didn't feel right charging the DVD-only customers for that service. They want to give them the option of opting out and doing DVDs only. Which is totally cool for me because that means my bill will actually go down. (Thanks, Netflix!)

That's also not really the point. The point is, maybe we should spend less time rallying around the "down with Netflix" flag and start bitching about things that actually matter--like the state of our economy, or our terrible health care system, or our deplorable public education system...

Those are some brewhahas worth fighting...

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