Friday, January 06, 2012

They See Netflix Rollin', They Hatin'

Sigh ... here we go again.

Those of us old enough to remember the debut of the VRC also remember that In The Beginning, moviemakers tried to get a hundred bucks or so per tape. Thus was born the video rental industry, which they weren't able to kill even by bringing the sell price down into the $20 range.

Now we've got streaming video -- not just Netflix, but Amazon, et. al -- and the boneheads still think they can find a way to force us to keep buying pieces of Kevlar at $19.99 a pop. They push the streaming license dates back further and further, they put up barriers to rental services getting the DVDs, etc.

They'll keep doing this until it starts costing them money and market share -- quite possibly when Netflix et. al say "screw you guys -- we're going into the content creation business ourselves in a big way."

Then the polarity will reverse, and they'll be bidding the price down to see who can get their blockbuster pictures on Netflix first, because the eyeballs tend to shift toward the newest stuff. With trailers for their upcoming releases attached, because the big screen will always put a certain number of asses in a certain number of seats and that's still where they hope to make the nut.

I hope Netflix drives a hard bargain with them, too. "Sure, Mr. Sony guy, we'll stream your little movie thingie, with your ads ... if the price is right."
taro taking his pictures for netflix 'ads' (se...Image via Wikipedia
When Netflix forked their business into separate streaming and DVD plans, we reassessed our watching habits, kept the streaming and dropped the DVD. If we absolutely, positively must have something that isn't available on Netflix streaming yet, we hit a nearby Redbox or Blockbuster kiosk, or occasionally use iTunes. It's quicker than waiting on the US Snail. I'm guessing Netflix drops physical media entirely in the next couple of years or so.

Buy a DVD? Only if it's something we know we'll watch over and over and we happen across it in the $5 bin. Otherwise, it's just so ... 2001.

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