The Problem With Netflix's "Legacy" Model


I would rather pay a flat fee and have to wait a while.. I'm way behind on most shows anyway.
My boyfriend and I broke down and just bought the current season of Breaking Bad, but, in most cases, we're perfectly fine waiting.

Word on the street was that the second season of The Walking Dead was even worse than the first (I honestly didn't think that was possible), so I didn't even bother avoiding spoilery reviews. So, now even I know about the "big reveal" at the end of Season Two. (Or was it the first half of Season Two? I forget.) Either way, it sucked, and I'm glad I didn't waste $22.99.
If I want to see something right away, I see it in the theather or go to the video store (I know, how quaint). I don't feel that way about 99% of TV shows/movies, so Netflix is a perfect fit for me.
Maybe that's a problem with the Netflix legacy service but I don't mind it at all. Netflix disc service (that's what you are talking about, right?) is fun. I load up the cue and every couple days something shows up in the mailbox. Its always kind of a surprise. Its fun.

There's never anything I want to watch with such urgency that I have to watch it this very instant.
People who are impulsive and unable to delay gratification are less competent, have lower SAT scores, are more prone to addiction, and are in general more immature than those who are able to delay gratification.…
The long tail works very well for me. Viva Netflix and Rhapsody!
Whether you paid $22 buck to Google because you are impatient, doesn't make much difference because Netflix got your monthly subscription fee too. I don't think Netflix sees itself as a Legacy service. They probably see themselves as the US leader in online movie market share (they moved Apple to #2 last year). Licensing rights are an incredibly complex and competative environment, but the future is exculsivity. I have a feeling that Netflix understands that too.…
Um. Yeah, I agree that Netflix would be double awesome if only it had all the stuff the movie and broadcast companies put out that we like to watch. But their not having it isn't exactly their own fault. The Bigs withhold the goods from Netflix purposefully to get you impulsive bastards to shell out more cash for it. They withhold it so they can direct it to their own streaming service first (on demand included). Etc etc.

We can wish Netflix will get better stuff in a more timely manner. But my dirty little wishes about Selma Hayek will probably come true before that happens.
Get a Usenet account and install SABnzbd and SickBeard and you'll have any TV show you want magically appear on your computer as soon as it airs anywhere in the US. For less than $10 a month, not including your internet connection. Can also be done for free with Bittorrent, but that's (legally) riskier and carries the moral weight of "giving back" to the community by re-uploading the file to someone else. None of this requires Linux or a CS degree to set up.
Get your ass to Scarecrow Video!
Netflix is perfect for me. I always have hundreds of things I want to watch, so I'm never in a hurry for anything in particular. But I'm a season or two behind on most shows. No big deal.
I got a 0 out of 0 on the SAT.
Stream it online if you want it now
@ Henry: A friend has this running and I am in the process of writing a piece on it. Coming soon!
BitTorrent FTW
@7, I think you've got it. Grant, I did the same thing with last season's Breaking Bad - paid for it a month before it showed up on Netflix. Watching it was wonderful but it taught me to just chill the fuck out and wait. If Netflix stops coming through I'll revisit, but for now I'm happy waiting where it's justified and finding an alternative source if it's material Netflix is unlikely to obtain.
I think the correct answer is "a little bit of all of the above".
Seeing a movie in a theater is different from watching it at home on a big TV and different from watching it on a computer or a phone. Most people do all of the above, and so it's not like we have to back a single horse in this race.
As to Netflix...yeah, they kinda suck on a lot of stuff. I swear I'm going to cancel with them if I get one more "Very long wait" in my queue.
Usenet FTW
Rain City Video (or die).
Since when are people flocking to movie theaters? I thought movie theaters were having the opposite problem?

But major points to you for at least having the decency to PAY for it, sir. You are good people. Seems like these days, most who want to watch it RIGHT NOW I CANNOT WAIT just steal it and then argue it's their right to have whatever they want whenever they want it and if nobody's going to GIVE them whatever they want whenever they want it, then they're left with no choice but to steal it instead (so, hey, it's not really their fault their thieves, it's everybody ELSE'S fault). (Equally obnoxious argument for piracy: everybody else is doing it so why shouldn't I?; MARGINALLY less obnoxious but still really obnoxious argument for piracy: we should all steal content to teach content owners a lesson about how we want content delivered to us.)

I'd never pay $22 to watch any series I could rent for $11 at Scarecrow though. That, to me, is totally crackers. Plus, if you rent it at Scarecrow, you get to flirt with the cute guys at the counter. Mrow!
@14 Cool, I'm available if you need another source/opinion. I've been obtaining all of my TV for free via the internet for about 12 years now and it just keeps getting easier.

I know what you mean, but I've readjusted my perspective (I've done this for Rhapsody as well).

So, I don't go to Netflix, and look for something.

I watch Netflix.

That is, whatever is there on Netflix streaming is what defines cinematic entertainment for me. If they have Season 1, 3 & 4 of a TV series, I don't drive myself nuts about it. I say, ok, those are what there is to watch on Netflix.

Ultimately I am seeking visual entertainment. Ultimately Netflix has an assortment of that.

Another area where both Netflix and Rhapsody (for music) shine is in really, really new indie stuff. I've been enthralled with the number of 2011 and 2012 indie films that Netflix has in its catalog and can easily use up my Tv hours with those and with the cream of the quality tv series that end up there.
You could have paid 11.00 to rent it months ago at Scarecrow.
Personally, I'm STILL waiting for the morons who now run the BBC to open up iPlayer subscriptions in the U.S. - something they've been promising for a couple of years, but not delivering.

Wikipedia: BBC iPlayer
Chow Mein?

Stupid vegans!!!!
@21: Mind if I grab your e-mail from the Web dept? (So you don't have to paste it up here.)
I have had Netflix for about a year and I, too, am finding content less than I wanted. But it's adequate. Barely. I wish it had more so if I find better content, I'm moving.
Netflix has gotten awful the past year. No joke: My at home videos have been ZERO for more than a month because all the movies in my queue are listed as "very long wait." I called to ask for a refund, since I pay for 4 movies at a time, and the guy told me to find movies that are available to watch. I'm like, Why should I watch movies I don't want to see because you can't send me the movies I want to watch?

I miss Hollywood Video.
@28 - There's something up with the "Very Long Wait"s. My top 20 or so, mostly newish HBO, for the past two months has been static. My queue has dozens of other discs so I haven't been without. I also watch Spanish language films half the time and there is always an abundance on disc and streaming so I stick with Netflix.
Immediacy is only a small part of why I prefer going to theaters for movies. The comfort of my own home is nice, but it's so much easier to get distracted while watching a movie. Plus, the giant screen, better sound, (sometimes) audience reaction, and pricey fountain sodas really enhance the film watching experience. (This was especially true for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, which was surprisingly entertaining in a room full of people, most of whom, I can only hope, had consumed a few adult beverages beforehand).

I guess I shouldn't be disheartened by all of the "THEFT FTW" comments, but I am, just a little bit.


Any chance that HBO is partly to blame? Not only will they never offer their content in their own Netflix-like setup, they also refuse to offer any of their shows for streaming (for any amount of time) on Netflix itself. Could they somehow be keeping Netflix's HBO DVDs artificially low? Note: I ask this as someone with very little knowledge of how licensing works.
@31 Probably right about HBO limiting the discs Netflix has available.
I went pure streaming on Netflix the moment it became available and haven't looked back. It's easy and my kids love it. So I'm a year behind. I don't watch a lot of TV anyway, so this works for me.
I'm fine waiting for shows/movies/whatever on DVD thru Netflix. Being in an area that will likely be years away from high speed service, and of a mind that doesn't need immediate entertainment I'd be very sad if they went away from mailers.
@26 Go for it

Netflix's streaming service--for merely $7.99 a month--is a fucking steal. Maybe the best deal in the history of entertainment. Sure, if you're hung up on watching only the newest of new releases, you're going to be disappointed. But if you have even the slimmest grasp of economics, you shouldn't be surprised. The newer stuff is astronomically more valuable because interest in it is so intensified. I'm sure Netflix and content owners could reach a licensing agreement that included streaming for every new release simultaneous with its DVD/Blu-Ray release date, but I guaran-fucking-tee your eyeballs would pop out at what it would do to the price of your streaming subscription, because streaming those titles that early would nearly obliterate the rental and disc sale value of those films, and the studios would have to recoup those losses via the licensing price. You don't get something for nothing, OK? In the meantime, there's an amazing amount of really, really cool stuff that NF has acquired the rights to. Like Michael Mann's second (and awesome) movie THE KEEP, which Paramount hasn't released on home video since friggin' *laserdisc* back in the 80s. Or a ton of Peter Sellers's really early British films. And the list goes on. It really boggles my mind that someone would think that eight bucks a month for unlimited access to such an enormous--and, for streaming, unparalleled--reservoir of content is excessive.
I was shocked to hear that Netflix did not have your season two of "The Walking Dead", and I'm not going to set here and make an excuse as to why Netflix has such a delay on their movies. I switched from Netflix at the begging of this year when my DISH coworker told me that they were offering their own movie streaming and disc rentals service called Blockbuster@Home. Blockbuster receives new releases 28 days before Netflix and Redbox, so I don’t have to wait on any of the new movies that I’ve waited patiently for!