As many of you who read my articles know, I am a huge fan of Netflix and believe its rental service for only $9 a month is a great deal. It has become an even more valuable deal since Netflix also includes streaming of movies and TV programs to your computer or TV. But some are questioning if Netflix is slow in adding more content to its streaming service.
One recent article states:
In January of 2008, Netflix confirmed it had about 12,000 titles available for streaming. In September of 2009, ads on their website put that number at 17,000. Today, it appears that Netflix has about 20,000 titles for streaming, although Netflix won’t confirm that number for me. If that number is accurate, it means that Netflix has only added about 4,000 movies a year for the past two years. That’s not a lot of content.
The problem I have with these deals is that neither Netflix nor any of the studios are willing to say just how much digital content Netflix gets or how new any of that content is. If this deal is so good for Netflix users, why won’t they give out any specifics? As a Netflix user, I want to know what I am getting by giving up the ability to get new movies by mail when they come out. I would think Netflix would want to reinforce that with customers by telling them that they may not be able to get new movies, but look at all this other great stuff you get in return. Netflix simply tells their customers that these deals are good for us, with no details for us to decide for ourselves.
Why should we believe that the consumer is the one that is really going to benefit from this when it appears that only the studios and Netflix benefit? Because Netflix agrees to the 28-day window, the studios charge Netflix less for the DVDs when they go to buy them. And because of the window, the studios get to try to sell more DVDs to us, even though consumers are asking for more first-run digital content. We’re not asking to buy more DVDs. So I see the benefit to Netflix and the studios, but what about the Netflix customer?
I must admit that the writer of the article makes some very valid points. I have noticed that what Netflix offers for streaming is limited and not all older TV programs or movies are available. However,now that Netflix has expanded to Canada, it is only offering streaming media with no disks being mailed. One could hope that this would indicate that Netflix may be getting ready to stream only in the U.S. as well. If this is the case, more movies would be streamed, including the latest releases.