Netflix is on some thin freaking ice over in this household, let me tell you.
What was once a revolutionary, groundbreaking platform servicing content lovers in a unique way is now a greedy, dime a dozen platform that really doesn’t understand its audiences at all. And I can’t wait to see it self-destruct, all on its own accord. Which it will, if it keeps up with its behavior.
As I said, Netflix used to be in a league of its own. It used to be the only streaming service, and for a good price too. For people who liked consuming content without commercials or binge-watching, it was perfect. But now it’s not alone. Whether anyone asked for it or not, there are several streaming services out now, and several more to come. Off the top of my head there is Hulu, Crave, Amazon Prime, DC Universe, and the soon to be available Disney+. And there are many more smaller ones as well as the regular old internet where you can stream anything for free if you know how and don’t mind the illegalness of it. So you’d think that if Netflix wanted to keep its users and compete with these newer platforms, they’d act like it.
But they don’t seem to care.
First the price: just last week in Canada, they raised the prices for all the plans by about 30%. Now Netflix prices are almost double what they started out as. How are students supposed to afford that? Even in other countries, there are price hikes. And I get that Netflix can raise prices and they have a right to increase profits when they spend so much on their original content, but it’s not conducive to retaining customers or attracting new ones in this competitive age. My father has announced that next year, he’s probably cancelling our subscription (we only got it in the first place because it came with our TV package for a year and we decided to keep it) and I’m not even that mad considering I don’t use it that often and can stream anything I want from other places if I so desire. With more and more streaming services out there, people aren’t going to want them all, so they’re going to look at two things: price and content.
And Netflix isn’t shining in the content department, either. Especially not in Canada or countries other than America. I guess there are laws on what Netflix can or can’t have in other countries, but I can personally confirm that Canada’s selection is abysmal. There have been so many shows I’ve wanted to watch and Netflix has let me down. And while we do get every Netflix original, even they aren’t great. Sure, Netflix has produced a lot of winners, but there are also a lot of losers. Have you ever looked through Netflix’s originals catalog? There’s a lot there that I’ve never heard of. Not every show can get super popular, but you’d think that Netflix would specialize in shows people want to watch and get hype. And even the ones that do get hype aren’t always that great, in my opinion. Last year, everyone went gaga for A Christmas Prince. As a huge fan of cheesy Christmas movies, I obviously watched it. It wasn’t anything special. I’ve seen cheesier, better-acted, more original Christmas movies with way better romance from Hallmark, who cranks out dozens every year. And yet Netflix made a sequel this year. Surprise-surprise: it was way worse. Boring, not as cute, worse acting, and a dumb plot.
And my point isn’t that Netflix can’t have any crappy shows—goodness knows network TV has a lot of junk too—but you’d just think that since they’re the masters of their own domain and don’t have as many hoops to jump through the way other shows/movies do, there’d be more content of a higher quality. Instead we get Insatiable and 13 Reasons Why.
“But Netflix totally wants to please us! They kept FRIENDS!” Okay, yes, they did keep FRIENDS after the internet made a big stink about potentially losing it this week, but at what cost? 100 million. As this Tweet points out, there are many other ways to watch that show and that money could have been used to make new/better content or save beloved cable shows. But yeah, let’s keep raising monthly prices.
And I’ll be honest, a big motivator for this rant came from the cancellation of Daredevil. I was big time mad when it was announced. Though it may not have been Netflix’s fault as it seems Disney wanted it (or the property) for Disney+, the fact that Daredevil and the other Marvel shows are essentially done really lessens the attraction of Netflix for me and many people. And now there are rumors that because of contracts between Marvel and Netflix, if Disney+ wanted to keep the show going (and use the season four that was already planned out, by the way) they legally couldn’t use the same cast, so what would be the point of a new version? You can’t beat perfection.
Anyway, once Netflix cancels Jessica Jones and The Punisher, the only Netflix original show I’ll care about that’s still alive is Queer Eye, because I doubt Canada’s luck is going to turn and we’ll get good other content from them. Or from any of them. Hulu and DC Universe aren’t available here. I’ll just stick to watching things online illegally and watching the eventual downfall of all the streaming services (but especially Netflix). It’s why regular TV will never die.
So…is anyone else mad at Netflix (and/or the plethora of streaming services)? Be mad with me.