Has there ever been a better time to enjoy streaming content? The quality of TV shows these days is stellar. Still, living through the new golden age of television is expensive and beyond the Tennis Channel, paid cable doesn’t appeal to me at all. First, there are way too many channels I’ll never watch. Also, there are too many commercials. Really, who doesn’t love being inundated with ads for libido enhancers, adult diapers and Zoloft? (Over here, the target audience takes white armpits and chunky corned beef for granted. Our struggle is not necessarily their struggle.) Finally, and most egregious of all, paid cable is pricey. It doesn’t even include HBO unless you fork over an extra $20 a month.
Of course all this awesome entertainment is available online for free, if you know where to look, wink wink, nudge nudge. In this economy, everyone knows it’s the bottom line that matters. Because I don’t really believe in buying the cow if the milk comes free, my path to legitimate streaming was long, circuitous and full of detours. Oh get off your high horse, I see you sneaking off to Manong Dibidi when you think no one’s watching.
Because all good things eventually come to an end, the furtive waters of piracy – once peaceful and easy to navigate – are now quite choppy and infested with FBI agents and injunctions. Fighting the power just got too tiresome. So yes, last November I finally caved and got Netflix. I know, too legit to quit! I feel like such a grown-up.
Not all Netflixes are created equal. The crappy thing about Canadian Netflix is that it comes at the same price as US Netflix, with half the content. Because movie studios charge more for certain movies depending on its popularity in a specific country, certain content is restricted because it’s too expensive for Netflix to get a license to stream the show in that particular corner of the world. If you ask me, it’s similar to the way airlines price their seats; it’s all mathematical gobbledygook that makes absolutely no sense to frustrated consumers who wonder why they can’t all just pay the same price for the same thing.
Also, because capitalism strikes while the iron is hot, now Netflix is raising its prices. Word has it the price increase will be $2 for customers who’ve had the original (and most popular) $7.99 per month plan for years. I suppose licensing and all that jazz takes money and effort, but is Netflix, once a scrappy upstart in a world of paid cable TV, now taking steps to become exactly like the overpriced paid cable TV it fought against? Just another big company price-gouging because it can?
I suppose the price increase could be worse. Until it does become as unfeasible as the current price model for cable TV, people like me will still appreciate the service. This is because Netflix is a legitimate way to play by the rules. It may not be free, but with the most expensive plan going for $11.95 a month, it certainly doesn’t hurt as much as paid cable. Best of all, no lousy commercials. So congratulations, Netflix. this cord-cutter has very grudgingly bitten the dust. Lord knows I didn’t come all that willingly. I just wanted to pick and stream whatever shows or movies I’d like to watch, on my own time and on my own terms without the dire threat of the powers that be hauling me off to jail for illegally downloading Garfield: The Movie.