The last couple of times Netflix decided to raise its prices, I was a vocal advocate against it and a denouncer of all things Netflix. The first time, Netflix decided to cut a line between its new streaming services and its CDs by mail programs, effectively charging you twice as much if you wanted to keep both, which originally were the same service. I quit Netflix then.
Then Netflix started to get better again, and its CEO stopped being an asshole to his customers. Yeah, an asshole. He treated his customers as cattle and sheep, and that’s why I quit that first time. Somewhere down the line, someone told him to shut his stupid face, and he started to act like his customers actually were people. So I was good.
And then Netflix decided to raise prices again, and it did it in a way that eased the increases into being. I wasn’t happy about it, but I didn’t feel like I was being treated like livestock, so I generally went along with it.
Now, Netflix has decided it is going to raise its prices again. For me, it’s about a dollar more, and adding in taxes and the weird math that these companies do, it will probably end up being closer to $1.50 to $2.00 more. Yeah, that never makes me happy, but we live in a corporate economy that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about people, so I’ve come to accept it.
Netflix is struggling against a bunch of different companies that are trying really hard to muscle in on the streaming giant. However, I don’t really see the other companies as young upstarts or forces of good trying to bring quality and good prices to my door. Many of these are owned by huge corporate enterprises that are known for foot in the door strategies where they beat out the competition and then raise the prices once they’ve secured a beach head as the only game left in town.
Netflix has been a solid service for me. It pulses higher and lower sometimes based on its content, but it’s generally upfront about what it’s doing. I dumped Hulu last year after it kept losing one show after another and then tried to play it off as “we’re solidifying our offerings,” whatever that means. Amazon is cool, but I see it as an extra benefit to Prime membership because it doesn’t really offer a whole lot of content, and the majority of its content is stuff I would never watch anyway. I tried DirectTV Now, and let’s just say that I’m now in the “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, and I’m a stupid moron that doesn’t deserve to continue making choices for himself” mode. My only other real choices are buying television shows directly from iTunes (which is massively expensive), cable (which I have but rarely offers me a selection of things to watch at a moment unless I was lucky enough to remember to dvr a specific show at a specific time), or staring longingly at my blank television screen (which after 1999 should no longer have been one’s only option).
So, I’m okay with Netflix having to charge a little extra. It’s still affordable to me, but if it rises another time after this, I’ll probably dump it and treat all streaming services as a failed experiment that couldn’t live up to its promises in the wake of the realization that media companies are really only into profiting rather than providing services.