So Let Me Get This Straight...
This blog entry summed up the bulk of my gut reactions to the first wave of bitching about the price hike. More eloquently, a number of cooler heads invoked Louis C.K.: Everything's amazing right now and nobody's happy.
So the outrage spreading across Twitter was hilarious and fascinating and came in a few flavors.
1. CANCEL MEMBERSHIP! BOYCOTT! Netflix is abusing me, I don't want to pay more...
... no matter what that increase might be, or why, or if the service is still a good value. This is a pretty transparently knee-jerk reaction, and easily dismissed. Plenty of people are discovering that once they stop and think about the options they actually want and use, and adjust their plan, they end up paying LESS. Indeed, everything's amazing, nobody's happy.
2. Ha ha, who cares, I just download torrents for free!
Now MHVF policy obviously prevents endorsement of that sentiment, but what kind of short-sighted entitled idiot thinks this way? Thousands of Tweeters, apparently, bragging under their real names that they steal digital media. Now moral issues aside (hey, it's the 21st Century! I can just say "moral issues aside" and they go away like THAT!), I'm baffled that these people I) are so blinkered they don't acknowledge "downloading for free" as stealing, and II) don't understand that when you steal from a business it has to raise prices, increase loss prevention measures and/or eventually close shop. i.e. if everyone steals all their entertainment content, entertainment producers and distributors will go out of business and won't make movies/music/games/comics to steal. I know you guys grasp this, but for God's sake...
3. Netflix, for $7 you best make EVERY MOVIE available streaming!
Yes, I'm sure they would like to, but that is not up to them. As we've noted above, coping with studio streaming licenses is a major chunk of Netflix's operating costs. I do seriously doubt that Netflix will try to explain this or attribute the price hike to licensing fees. Surely this is the case, but it might sound like finger pointing and blame-dodging, since so many consumers clearly do not understand this factor.
4. Screw Netflix, they just sent me into the arms of Redbox.
Seriously, soooo many people are indicating that Redbox is a MORE than adequate substitute for Netflix. Now folks, there's the fully stocked BevMo! and wine cellar over here, and on the other side of the street a Coke machine with nothing but TaB and Fanta in it. I dunno how other customers are using Netflix, but that people can even find something in a Redbox that vaguely interests them is baffling.