Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Netflix Everyone The Bird

Netflix forces subscribers to buy separate DVD, stream subscriptions

Actually, despite my clever headline, I don't think Netflix had much of a choice here. Rather, they've pretty much been forced into it due to the maneuverings of the movie industry, who doesn't understand that streaming video is here to stay, is superior to physical media (my Roku box streams most Netflix titles in 1080p resolution--that's higher than DVD), and is far more convenient. Let me say that again, and in bold print this time: it's far more convenient. It's far more convenient to have a movie ready to go at your fingertips on a little (or big) box attached to your TV screen than it is to wait for a video to arrive in the mail or to run out to the local store or kiosk box to pick it up. And if it starts to get too expensive to stream the movies, or if there's a limited selection available for streaming, well, there's another way to put a movie right on a hard drive on your home media network, ready to watch at a moment's notice, and it doesn't cost a dime: piracy. Just wait and watch, in a year or so, stories will come out that movie piracy rates have hit an all-time high, the movie studios will feign cluelessness (or maybe just be clueless) over why this is happening to them, and worthless vulture law firms like Righthaven will be raking in the fat cash like never before. Can you think of another non-entertainment industry that thinks suing their customers is a good standard business practice? Look how well that worked for the music industry, MPAA. It's a cliche, but it's a cliche because it's true: those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.