Sunday, March 7, 2010

Don't Cross the Streaming

Just checking into my New Year's Resolutions:
  • Cut the Netflix queue down to 300: Close - I've got it down to 314
  • Rate movies more strictly in Netflix: I have been giving out more 3-star reviews. But still plenty of 4s and 5s. Hey, if I didn't think it would be good, I wouldn't queue it up.
  • Watch more movies (at least one) in a theater: So far, no. But the year is still young.
  • Watch Instantly more: Here's the problem.
Netflix is promoting Watch Instantly pretty hard. It's an interesting business model: Instead of having 3 DVDs at home to watch at any time, you can watch any movie anytime, as often as you want. Sounds like a great deal, doesn't it? But here's the thing:
  • Pretty much any DVD ever made is available through Netflix
  • A lot fewer movies than that are available through Watch Instantly
This reminds me a lot of the Napster debacle. Most people thought that the great thing about Napster was that the music was free. Sure, that's great, but the best part about Napster was that it had everything: 1920's jazz 78s, Serbian brass bands, indie rock from Idaho, whatever you want.

That's the joy of Netflix. If it is on DVD, you can get it, delivered by mail in a day or two. When I first signed up, I rented all of the movies I had always wanted to see, but could never find at Blockbuster (at least I queued them up - some of them are still waiting - but that's another post).

With Watch Instantly, I have to watch whatever they have on offer. It's not all junk, by any means - my Instant queue has 75 movies on it. But they aren't my first choices. They are just what's available. So now, we watch DVDs first, Instant movies when we're out of DVDs.

I still want streaming to work. In fact, I'm planning to buy a computer, just to attach to the TV, mainly for Netflix streaming. And I know that some day - probably soon - the selection will be as good as or better than the DVD selection. Then convenience, selection and quality will converge. When that time comes, I'll find something else to complain about.

Anyway, we can barely watch the 3 DVDs/week that we get.

1 comment:

mr. schprock said...

I have the 2 DVD package and I can barely keep up.

You must go to the theater. They were playing something good at the Coolidge the other week that I thought you'd enjoy. If I invited you for a movie, would you fly out here? What would it take?