Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Other generations have had their hardships to deal with: the Black Death, Thirty Years War, the Great Depression, World War II, Mork and Mindy. But we had to survive the disruption of our lives by careers and children, transforming us from well-educated aficionados of all the meats of our cultural stew (including veganism) into the sorts of dullards who haven't seen a film not distributed by Disney since Pulp Fiction.
And then came Netflix. It enabled us to maintain our cultural edge, viewing all of the movies and TV series that people with lives watch from the comforts of our living room couches. And then came streaming! Babysitter, bye-bye! Why pay $10/hour for some high school student to play Barbies with your daughter, when you can plop the tyke in front of the neglecto-matic for endless episodes of SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer, until the inevitable transition to iCarly and Wizards of Waverly Place? And then in the evenings, you broaden your horizons (and vocabulary) with Deadwood and Dexter, intermingled with every film version of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy ever made. Life was good.
And then came the inevitable decline. New price structures were introduced at the same time as Netflix reduced its offerings, as reported here in the New York Times. That's right, folks! Netflix told its customers, "Pay more! Get less! What are you going to do about it? Go to Blockbuster? Bwahahahahaha!" Customers didn't take it sitting down. They got off the couch and walked, as reported here in the NYT, and Netflix's stock took a pummeling as a result, as reported here in the NYT.
Oh, ye of little faith. Contracts to the rescue! Today, the NYT reports that Netflix has entered into a new streaming deal with Dreamworks (take that Starz!). Plus, Netflix has also renewed its deal with Discovery, meaning that Netflix viewers will be able to stream TLC and Animal Planet. So, the question for the future is whether we can fill the hole in our souls with "Say Yes to the Dress."
Time will tell.