I’m sure, like myself, many of you who use Netflix have found yourselves often exasperated while searching for films you really want to watch (whether old or recent), only to find out that they aren’t available to stream on Netflix. And so you go elsewhere, like Amazon, or Hulu, or look for the film on DVD instead, assuming your Netflix account allows for DVD rentals as well.
Netflix did address this matter, as you can see in the video below, which I stumbled upon while researching the issue of rights to content. Essentially, Netflix re-emphasizes the fact that it’s more of a channel than a library of every film that’s ever been made. And, really, it comes down to money and rights to content. In short, it’s currently cheaper and easier to buy DVD rights, than it is to buy the rights to stream every movie and television show we all would love to see offered by the service.
As the host of the video states, that’s, in part, how they’re able to keep the cost of the service so low at $7.99 – $9.99 a month. Although, I really don’t see how they can thrive without eventually raising prices even further (they were raised for a lot of us recently). I think it’s inevitable, especially as costs to produce and acquire content becomes even more competitive for the buyers bidding on rights to the films and TV shows audiences crave.
So Netflix wants you to think of it as more of a curator of content, or a TV network like HBO or Showtime, with a limited library of films that’s rotated periodically, and some original series of its own. Doing so, I think, will make it easier to wrap your mind around how the company operates – assuming you’re one of the frustrated.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s Netflix explaining its programming strategy to you, the consumer: