First, I love Netflix instant streaming, I really do. I dropped cable over a year ago and rely on Netflix for a lot of my passive entertainment needs, and it serves me well. But, there is one dirty little secret in the Netflix experience that really sours it for me. It isn’t immediately obvious, but sooner or later, it will get you, too.
The experience goes something like this: you sign up for Netflix, and are thrilled to find Movie X on Instant Streaming. It is one of your favorite movies (that you haven’t already purchased on DVD), so you put in on your Instant Queue so you can watch it anytime you want. A couple of weeks later, you come back to Netflix and are too lazy to search for something to watch, so you hit your queue. And, there it is…Movie X, waiting for you on your…Saved Movies list? Wait, what happened? My friend, you just got Netflixed. OK, that’s not a thing. You did kinda get screwed, though.
You see, once a movie is on Netflix Instant Streaming, it isn’t there to stay, particularly if it was made in the last 20 years and doesn’t suck. So, if like me, you perused through the Instant list and saw enough good movies to make it worthwhile (thinking that the list would always be there and continue to grow), you were bamboozled. New movies get added fairly slowly, and for every good movie that comes in, a good movie almost certainly gets the boot.
I’m sure there are fantastic reasons for doing this that an entertainment lawyer would be more than happy to explain to me for $300/hour, but the bottom line is that it really undermines the usefulness and potential of “cloud” streaming services for movies and music. Imagine buying a monthly subscription to a music service and then finding out that Revolver got removed, after you’d listened to it the week before. It’s one thing if you know it isn’t on there to begin with, but to have it yanked away from you? That’s just cruel.
So, if the gods of Netflix are listening…don’t take our movies away after teasing us. Raise the price if you must, but sign some deals that give you much longer rights to this stuff. If you don’t, someone else (cough, Apple) will.