The State of Netflix

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I'm not sure if this merits a thread, but it's something I wanted to say and I wasn't sure any existing thread was the right place:

When I heard Netflix was going to start spending billions to create its own content, I couldn't imagine them ever amassing enough decent programming (at least, not for awhile) that I would consider maintaining a subscription just for their stuff, which seems like a necessary bar to clear for the entire enterprise to be worthwhile.

Really feels like they hit a big tipping point over the last year, though. There's been plenty of crap (inevitable, given the sheer output), and the movies in particular have been mostly bad or mediocre...but there's a few gems in the last wave of shows, and I think that's enough to put it over the top. Before, there were maybe 4-5 shows that I was definitely interested in, but that number has probably doubled over the last year. It used to be that most of what I watched on Netflix was the licensed stuff, and then every few months one of the Netflix shows I actually liked would come out. Now, it seems like, as soon as I finish one, another one's no more than a couple weeks away.

When I actually sit down and list the ones I would, for example, definitely watch at least another season of if and when it comes out, I realized the list had gotten pretty long:
  • House of Cards
  • Santa Clarita Diet
  • Ozark
  • BoJack Horseman
  • Stranger Things
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return
  • Black Mirror
  • Daredevil
  • Dark
  • Altered Carbon
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • GLOW
  • Mindhunter
  • The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale
  • The Standups
  • Tabula Rasa
  • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
  • The Keepers
  • Making a Murderer
That's 20 shows! And a few of those near the top are among my favorites regardless of source.

Some are longer than others, to be sure, but we're probably talking ~200 hours there. Even if you assume I should be paying, like, $1/hour to watch something (seems low, if anything), that comes out to about $16/month, and the actual streaming subscription costs just over half that. And that assumes I won't like any more new shows, and totally ignores the licensed content that's still there.

Anyway, I mention this because the gradual reduction of their licensed content was an annoyance to a lot of people, my self included. But in retrospect, I think it was probably inevitable that there would be a year or two in there where the original content wasn't plentiful of matured/developed enough, collectively, to offset the licensed content they were losing, but that after a couple of years, it's mostly balanced out. At least, for people like me who are fine with it skewing more towards episodic programming relative to movies.
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Just to expound a little, I think over half the shows on that list were either added in the last year, or I just watched in the last year, so it's been a pretty dramatic shift. I basically went from having one Netflix show I was interested in every ~2 months, on average, to every single month. Since a show can take a week or two to get through, it basically means that if I'm just watching a couple other shows on network TV, or just watching the occasional movie, the Netflix stuff is just about enough to almost always "bridge the gap" to the next thing. That seems like a big tipping point.



Just to clarify one point. Are you saying that everything on your list is Netflix’s own content? Because, of course, Black Mirror is not original to Netflix.

I basically agree with what you’re saying based on my own experience. I went for several months without watching anything in my pile of unwatched DVDs & I streamed almost every day from Netflix without feeling deprived at all. The only reason I just now discontinued the streaming service is because I am back to my own dvd collection now. HBO streaming I go in & out of. Been out for several months now. HULU I will renew when The Handmaid’s Tale returns. One thing that irks me about Netflix & I’ve mentioned this before is the very very limited number of movies that can be streamed. In my current Q of maybe 200 movies, I know I could not find even 6 to stream. So I retain my 2 DVDs out at one time plan.
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I’m here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. That’s why I’m here now.



Just to clarify one point. Are you saying that everything on your list is Netflix’s own content? Because, of course, Black Mirror is not original to Netflix.
Depends on how you care to define the terms, but everything on the list is exclusive to Netflix. Obviously, as you say, Black Mirror didn't originate with them, but they bought it and produced the fourth season. They call them all "Originals" regardless, though I guess that could be misleading.

I basically agree with what you’re saying based on my own experience. I went for several months without watching anything in my pile of unwatched DVDs & I streamed almost every day from Netflix without feeling deprived at all. The only reason I just now discontinued the streaming service is because I am back to my own dvd collection now. HBO streaming I go in & out of. Been out for several months now. HULU I will renew when The Handmaid’s Tale returns. One thing that irks me about Netflix & I’ve mentioned this before is the very very limited number of movies that can be streamed. In my current Q of maybe 200 movies, I know I could not find even 6 to stream. So I retain my 2 DVDs out at one time plan.
Yeah, I dig. I did the same, though I scaled back to 1 at a time after awhile.

I'm actually giving a lot of thought to ditching the DVD plan entirely. There are still lots of movies I want to watch through it, but the increased streaming content means the time before I get to each one, combined with the time to mail the discs, means that the cost of each on average probably comes out to a few bucks, which is pretty much exactly what it costs to stream a rental from another site, anyway. 5-6 years ago I watched most discs quickly and the cost-per-disc was lower, but add a couple of days to each because of other options, and suddenly it's not really a money-saver any more.

It's a little hard to calculate, though, because there's often a rush X months after the summer or holiday movie seasons where we watch half a dozen the same day we get them, but in-between, I'm probably only getting through a few per month anyway.



I really like the 2 dvd plan & can’t see myself ever changing it. I never shuffle my Q & I never read their emails when they tell me what’s coming. So each envelope is a surprise to me - some good, some bad. As I said earlier, Netflix’s weak spot to me is the limited number of movies that can be streamed judging from my experience at least. They’ve explained to me that this is due to licensing rights, etc. & I appreciate that. Something else that factors into my viewing experience is my inability to stream from my iPad to my TV. I just have not taken that step to do this because, so far, I am satisfied with streaming solely on my iPad & using my DVD players for my discs. My 2nd DVD player is a multi-region set up for non-American content.

I always say that if you poll a dozen people, maybe only 1 or 2 of them will have an identical entertainment set up.



Dude. Unrelated. I watched GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling) live back in the day. I'm totally serious. I'm not sure that I'll ever watch the show on Netflix but I love that they made it.

That being said I agree with a lot of what you said in your first post. I don't do cable anymore. I get all my news and music from youtube and for the last 6 months or so I've had Netflix. I usually stream a lot of stuff that's not on Netflix online at other sites but since I don't pay over a hundred bucks a month for cable Netflix is a steal! Its only 10 12 bucks? Pfft! I just binged on Shameless... all seven seasons of it! Sorry I'm rambling.

As far as DVD's go? I bet in 5 years there will be even less of those around than VHS tapes. Think of it. There's kids right now growing up without even having to use a machine like that at all. A few more years and kids won't even know what DVD's were. Sorry, still rambling. Not sure if I even had a point.
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We are both the source of the problem and the solution, yet we do not see ourselves in this light...



I just want to hug (your FACE)!
Dude. Unrelated. I watched GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling) live back in the day. I'm totally serious. I'm not sure that I'll ever watch the show on Netflix but I love that they made it.
You're not alone. G.L.O.W. was GREAT!!!

Every so often I catch myself humming some random melody that I picked up from the show.

Teeeko-tico tico TEEko!


Btw, Netflix did a great job. It's its own thing, but very entertaining.



As far as DVD's go? I bet in 5 years there will be even less of those around than VHS tapes. Think of it. There's kids right now growing up without even having to use a machine like that at all. A few more years and kids won't even know what DVD's were.
Hmmmm, you mean like kids today have never heard of a turntable? That must be why vinyl is coming back.



I barely use Netflix anymore. I keep meaning to cancel it until a original film or series pops up, but I keep forgetting.



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
If Netflix focuses only on new content AND DVDs are on the way out, how will we watch old stuff? Or will everything old be obsolete and we'll only be able to watch Netflix 'original' remakes...



If Netflix focuses only on new content AND DVDs are on the way out, how will we watch old stuff? Or will everything old be obsolete and we'll only be able to watch Netflix 'original' remakes...
I don’t believe DVDs are on the way out.



Hmmmm, you mean like kids today have never heard of a turntable? That must be why vinyl is coming back.
Vinyl is coming back because it sounds better than a recording you can get on a disc. DVD's are disc's too. They'll disappear just like VHS. DVD's are worth less than a dollar at most garage sales these days, that's really all I need to know. DVD's and CD's were always going to be a temporary medium until the next thing. But hey, keep buying them if'n ya want. They are literally not worth the plastic they are made from.

I hope streaming continues to grow honestly. It seems to me you can find almost any show movie or what have you online today if you look long enough. I think streaming online is a better option than another option after DVD's, personally.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Hmmmm, you mean like kids today have never heard of a turntable? That must be why vinyl is coming back.
Vinyl is coming back because it sounds better than a recording you can get on a disc. DVD's are disc's too. They'll disappear just like VHS. DVD's are worth less than a dollar at most garage sales these days, that's really all I need to know. DVD's and CD's were always going to be a temporary medium until the next thing. But hey, keep buying them if'n ya want. They are literally not worth the plastic they are made from.

I hope streaming continues to grow honestly. It seems to me you can find almost any show movie or what have you online today if you look long enough. I think streaming online is a better option than another option after DVD's, personally.
Except you’ll never own it.



lol DVDs are going nowhere. Utterly delusional to think otherwise.
You can keep ya Netflix and streaming and shove them where the sun don't shine.



lol DVDs are going nowhere. Utterly delusional to think otherwise.
You can keep ya Netflix and streaming and shove them where the sun don't shine.
When's the last time you bought one smart guy? But you're right it's delusional to discuss the future.



Welcome to the human race...
Physical media may have its shortcomings, but it's not like Netflix and other streaming services don't have their own rather serious flaws either. I've complained many times about how titles constantly disappear from Netflix's library without warning; this is a problem that only seems to be accelerating as Netflix pivots from merely licensing other companies' titles to producing and distributing their own original content (and MUBI even turned that into their whole business model by adding a new title and giving you exactly 30 days to watch it). Even without that, I shouldn't have to have my choices be limited to whatever's on Netflix at any given moment, especially considering their tendency to disregard older/artier titles (for example, The Blues Brothers only just showed up in their library this week). I shouldn't have to rely on an Internet connection for every single movie I watch either - a bad signal can result in low-quality playback or I might not be able to get a signal at all. One streaming service I signed up for recently charged me $6 to rent a new release and it averaged ten seconds of buffering for every five seconds of actual playback - in comparison, it would've cost me $4 to rent a brand-new DVD of said movie out of a vending machine.

In short, I'm not about to throw around the word "delusional" or anything but I definitely don't think that streaming services have automatically won out over physical media in every single way that matters to the point where it's absolutely pointless to care about DVDs anymore (other people already noted positives like being able to keep them and watch them anytime or the vast range of choices that are available beyond Netflix's limited and constantly-shifting library, plus being able to buy a bunch of them for $1 each sounds like a plus to me). Netflix has its good qualities, but I don't think I'll ever consider it an inherently superior option to DVD nor should I even have to act like it's a life-or-death choice between the two - both options have their strengths and weaknesses, that's all.
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Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, I’m thinking about you.



Physical media may have its shortcomings, but it's not like Netflix and other streaming services don't have their own rather serious flaws either. I've complained many times about how titles constantly disappear from Netflix's library without warning; this is a problem that only seems to be accelerating as Netflix pivots from merely licensing other companies' titles to producing and distributing their own original content (and MUBI even turned that into their whole business model by adding a new title and giving you exactly 30 days to watch it). Even without that, I shouldn't have to have my choices be limited to whatever's on Netflix at any given moment, especially considering their tendency to disregard older/artier titles (for example, The Blues Brothers only just showed up in their library this week). I shouldn't have to rely on an Internet connection for every single movie I watch either - a bad signal can result in low-quality playback or I might not be able to get a signal at all. One streaming service I signed up for recently charged me $6 to rent a new release and it averaged ten seconds of buffering for every five seconds of actual playback - in comparison, it would've cost me $4 to rent a brand-new DVD of said movie out of a vending machine.

In short, I'm not about to throw around the word "delusional" or anything but I definitely don't think that streaming services have automatically won out over physical media in every single way that matters to the point where it's absolutely pointless to care about DVDs anymore (other people already noted positives like being able to keep them and watch them anytime or the vast range of choices that are available beyond Netflix's limited and constantly-shifting library, plus being able to buy a bunch of them for $1 each sounds like a plus to me). Netflix has its good qualities, but I don't think I'll ever consider it an inherently superior option to DVD nor should I even have to act like it's a life-or-death choice between the two - both options have their strengths and weaknesses, that's all.
No one is trying to tell you to make a life or death decision about Netflix Iro. Being pretty dramatic, yeah? And if in 20 years from now if Netflix still has all the same "problems" you just mentioned then Netflix won't be around either.

20 years ago we knew DVD"s would replace VHS. All I'm saying is that in 20 more I think there's a better than average chance that there will no longer be DVD's. I'm not declaring Netflix the winner of anything, neither is anyone else for that matter. Just kicking around some ideas for the future.



Except you’ll never own it.
You can own streaming too. I own everything in my Amazon video library.



lol DVDs are going nowhere. Utterly delusional to think otherwise.
You can keep ya Netflix and streaming and shove them where the sun don't shine.
Tell Criterion that.