No time for Old Netflix…

March 8, 2012 7:27pm
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I feel kinda bad about it, but I guess I’m just not really that into Netflix anymore.

At least, I haven’t used it for the last 3 months and I don’t plan on using it for the next 3…

Truth be told, I actually wasn’t using it for a long time before I put the account on hold. When we moved right around this time last spring, we brought our current DVDs with us and I don’t think I ever ended up actually watching those. No clue how long I had those ones from the old address, but it just took me a long time to finally bite the bullet and login to put my account on hold so that they would stop billing me from the service that we weren’t really even using anymore.

I’ll bet a lot of people are like that. I remember an app at one point that used Netflix’s API to calculate how much each of your DVDs from Netflix actually costed you based on how long you kept each one, and I’m sure I could’ve bought season 3 of Californication several times over in the amount I spent on subscription fees before I finally sent disc 2 back unwatched…

Part of it is honestly just a lack of time – I’ve been so busy with writing projects lately that I hardly watch any TV at all anymore, and so when I do it’s typically one of a select few shows that I have piled up on the DVR. Same goes for movies – Sara and I rarely go to bed at the same time anyways, so most movies that we watch together these days are via the theater instead of Netflix. Occasionally we might rent something on-demand, but the timing is so sporadic that it wouldn’t make sense to rent a DVD at $14.99/month that I’ll maybe get around to watching sometime. I’d either feel guilty and blow off something to watch it, or eventually just write-off the $15 and let it sit there collecting dust.

I guess the reason that I feel “bad” about it is that I really did like Netflix as a company. I mean, despite some of their really stupid knee-jerk decisions lately regarding Qwixster or their gigantic rate hike (that actually saved me money by dropping streaming … oops), I always thought that they have a neat business model that disrupted that of Blockbuster, who I absolutely loathed renting videos from simply because they were infamous for providing such a lackluster, overpriced customer experience. But Netflix is simple – you just go on their site and make a list of movies you want to watch, then they mail them to you one at a time, as long as you need to watch each one.

I think another part of it might be, though, that I myself am finally starting to see more value in the concept of digital delivery for movies , and what I mean by that is that I don’t really buy that many new DVDs nowadays. We have a huge rack (ok, three racks) in the living room jam-packed with movies, and 95% of them probably never get watched. And the few that do get watched ad nauseam to the point where I worry the discs are going to get scratched and worn out, and so I’m starting to lean in the direction of a centralized media server to hold digital copies of everything again rather than relying on the physical discs to watch my favorite shows and movies.

And granted, that might be construed as an argument for Netflix streaming if the selection wasn’t so horrible, but in the meantime I guess it just leaves me kind of up in the air … sad to turn my back on Netflix, but also not so rich as to be able to continue blindly paying for a service that has outlived its need in my life. Maybe some day once again I’ll have a little more free time on my hands and give them another go around, or maybe they’ll just let me keep extending my account hold indefinitely … either way, it was still fun while it lasted, old friend…  🙁

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