So by now I’m sure you’ve heard about Netflix jacking their prices by 60% and their rather insane attempt to spin this as a price reduction. The fallout from that lead directly to this crazy insane blog post (that also got sent as an email to all Netflix members in the dead of night) by the CEO of Netflix, in which he issues a vague apology for… something, and then proceeds to announce how he’s going to fix everything by splitting the company in two and calling the DVD rental half “Qwickster.”
It should come as no surprise to anybody that all of this went over like a fart in church. But here’s the thing that keeps bugging me. At least in my admittedly smallish circle of friends and acquaintances, I appear to be one of the few people who actually like the Netflix streaming service anyhow, or at least like it better than the traditional DVD-by-mail service. I watch stuff via the Netflix streaming service almost every night. But what I’m hearing from a lot of people is stuff like “The streaming service was fine when it was just a free add-on, but now that you have to pay for it it’s stupid.” And of course my response to that is simple: stop paying for it! If in fact all you want is the DVD-by-mail service, you should just drop the streaming service altogether and you actually will see a price reduction, just like Netflix tried to spin it originally. But that’s not the course of action most people in my circle are taking. Instead, they’re overwhelmingly responding by canceling all Netflix services outright! The rationalization seems to go something like this: “I’m not going to pay for the streaming service because it sucks anyway and there’s nothing on there I want to watch. And the DVD-by-mail service is fine, but I hardly ever watch the movies anyway–they end up sitting on the coffee table for a month before I watch them.” So what you’re saying is, you’ve been happily paying for a service you don’t use all this time, but now that suddenly Netflix is all over the news, you’re reminded about it so you’re going to cancel?
Personally, I very nearly canceled the DVD-by-mail service when the price hike happened. I watch the streaming content all the time, but like a lot of people the DVDs that come in the mail will sit forever, often being sent back unwatched because I got sick of it sitting on the coffee table. But here’s the thing that’s sort of getting lost in the brouhaha: Qwickster will start offering video game rentals by mail. This intrigues me. I’m not a big console gamer, but I love the idea of being able to play a game without buying it. I know similar services exist already, but the thing is, I don’t care enough about console gaming to go out of my way to try them out. But now that I’ll be getting it in a service I already pay for, I may avail myself of the opportunity. This could actually make the price hike a non-issue.
Of course, that wont stop me from complaining loudly about having to pay more. Because that’s just what we do here on the internets–complain about having to pay for things!