What We Should Learn From The Netflix Debacle
I don’t know about you, but I’m a lazy ass. When I want something, I want it NOW. I don’t want to toast my bread anymore or have to brush my teeth manually. I’m all about convenience. I’d much prefer to go into the kitchen every morning and push a button from a menu board and it would magically appear. And I’d rather just stand there and open my mouth while an electronic machine got my whites all pearly.
I mean, c’mon this is the twenty-first century here right? Even George Jetson assumed we’d all be driving cars that could fly and using robots as maids by now. Is it too hard to ask for a little convenience?
But my biggest beef isn’t really about toast or teeth. It’s about something much more important. MOVIES.
When I read about the whole Netflix debacle I was stunned. I mean, here was a tiny upstart company who literally put the goliath stores Blockbuster and Hollywood Video out of business with just this simple idea:
Maybe people don’t want to drive to get their movies. What if we mailed DVDs to their house and they could send it back whenever they want? And what if we used the power of the Internet to stream movies into their homes when ever they wanted?
The idea was brilliant and Jetson like. I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t sit at work all day long and decide I’m going to watch a movie that night. Unless it involves going to the theater for a new release watching a movie is a spur of the moment thing. Something you decide to do while perusing the channels.
And quite frankly, when I want to watch a movie the LAST thing I want to do is have to order a DVD online and then trudge out to the local grocery store and wait in a line at the Red Box machine to pick it up. And please don’t get me started on the old biddies that hold up the line by standing at the machine and just browsing. The Netflix model was right up my alley.
But then corporate greed took over and they blew it. NetFlix decided a few months ago to nearly double their monthly fees and split the company into two parts. One for DVD’s by mail and the other for their streaming service they would rename Qwikster. And that’s when everyone ran for the hills.
After much public outcry and seeing their stock price plummet, NetFlix “Qwiksterly” eight-sixed the idea of separate companies and will keep them as one (but will still keep the new pricing thank you very much). All of this now means the progress of my Jetson movie watching will be delayed.
So what should we learn from this? That it’s high time we give the people what they want. I really don’t understand why these companies can’t get it together. It’s not hard to figure out. If you’re listening, here’s is what I want:
I want to sit down in front of my 50″ television, click on a menu button and watch ANY movie or TV show ever made when ever I want.
I’m talking anything not newly released. I don’t care how they do it. Get all the movie studios into one room and make it happen. There’s free money to be made. Get people interested in the old catalog again. Sure, there’s no market for releasing DVD’s from 1970’s game shows but if it was streamed as part of a package I bet there would be.
Chances are good that people who stumble upon a movie they haven’t seen in ten years will stream it on a whim rather than dig through a pile of old DVDs. There’s no time for that and we shouldn’t have to do that anymore anyway.
Stream absolutely EVERYTHING! From the first episode of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood to Star Wars. I want it all, and I want it NOW. Charge me something like $34.99 a month (you’ve got to love the way making it a penny less than $35 psychologically makes it look cheaper) and I’ll be happy.
It’s coming. Sooner rather than later I hope because I’m tired of making my own toast, brushing my own teeth and standing in line at the RedBox.
I can just picture George Jetson turning over in his grave right about now.