In the beginning, God created Netflix. And it was good. In the end, some douche raised the prices. And it blew. For years we’ve been able to enjoy Netflix streaming on our game consoles for a cheap price. It used to be $8.99 for all the DVDs and streaming you can eat. Oh, it was sexy. Throw down 9 bucks and watch thousands of movies and TV shows at the touch of a button. It felt like I owned them all. Sometimes I did own some of them, but decided to watch them on Netflix because clicking a button was easier than getting up to grab the DVD. Not to mention, some of it was in high-def. Every so often, a movie or show wouldn’t be on streaming. No problem. You could simply get Netflix to send you the DVD, all under the 9 dollar plan. Yeah. Life was sweet. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.
I remember having many conversations with co-workers and colleagues during the old republic of DVD rentals. I knew Netflix was a sweet deal, and a lot of others did too. For the price of what used to be a week rental at blockbuster or Hollywood video, we could stream and rent as much as we wanted. I was almost sure Netflix would figure out how much we were ripping them off and raise their prices. I hoped I was wrong. After all, Netflix was profitable during the golden years.
Then, last year I heard news of a Netflix price change. My god. Was it happening? Was Netflix turning evil and greedy like every other corporation on the planet? It can’t be! They let us get away with so much goodness for so long! I looked up the price change and was relieved. I might even say I understood it. The new pricing made it a dollar more expensive for blokes like me who had the 1 DVD with unlimited streaming package. Not a big deal. It was also a dollar cheaper for people who only wanted to stream. Not a bad idea. I could see the smiles on those streaming faces that don’t care about the DVDs, and I can suffer an extra dollar for my mail-in disc goodness. Whew. The Netflix price hike came, and it wasn’t too rough. Or was it a warning shot? A preview of the Netflix apocalypse (Netpocalypse! Or Flixocalypse! Or Calypso of Flixo! None are copyrighted. Just give credit).
After the slight price hike, Netflix noticed something. A lot of us forked over the extra dough. Of course Netflix failed to realize it was only an extra dollar. They took this as a “more money opportunity!” and decided to add another digit to the price. Instead of having a streaming and DVD package, streaming and DVDs are now completely separate. 8 bucks for streaming. 8 bucks for DVDs. No deal if you get both. Now, for the same benefits of the 10 dollar package (previously 9) we get to pay 16 dollars! Yaaaay! Honey, wake the kids! My dreams have come true! Apparently Netflix thought this is how we would react because their press release was full of exciting points like “Our lowest prices ever,” citing the cheap DVD packages (completely ignoring they have no fucking streaming).
I’ll spare you the “give a mouse a cookie” adage, but that sure is a fuck load of milk for one greedy ass rat. Just to put lemon juice on our freshly made wounds, Netflix also announced recently they would be splitting up the company. Netflix will only be streaming and Qwikster (new sub-division within Netflix) will only do DVDs. Of course! It’s so logical! Why have I been wasting all this time going to one site with both my instant and DVD queue, when I can just go to two different sites with two different bills and two different log ins? Netflix, you smart sexy sonsa bitches. The more they can trick the public in the future of thinking Qwikster and Netflix are two different entities, the better they can justify charging full price for both services.
The Qwikster announcement also came out with an apology video from the CEO (Reed “Money Lovin” Hastings) stating how sorry he was for everything. He admitted continuously that he REAAALLY screwed up, right before he explained what Qwikster was and never mentioned a thing about the prices coming down. He also explained “We could do a better job for both services, if we separated them.” I must have bad hearing because I could have sworn I heard “We could do a better job for both services, if we separated customer’s pee holes with a nightstick.” Scrooge McDuck also apologized and stated that it was completely his fault for how badly he communicated the change. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone gives two shits about his communication. Paying almost double for the same service? People might care about that.
Apparently, Netflix thought Qwikster was a shitty idea too, because they scraped it less than a month after they thought of it. And so Netflix continues to embarrass itself with so many bad ideas you’d believe it was on the cover of a Madden game. They were going to do game rentals with Qwikster. That’s all TBA now. People tell me I should lay off Netflix a bit. I’ve heard it’s the studios who started charging Netflix more, and they had to pass the charge on to us. They weren’t as profitable as other businesses their size. I guess the poor company was only making millions of dollars a year and not billions. Well, I heard a lot of people started bailing and merging accounts after the price hike. So, hopefully Netflix is happy with their results. Maybe the extra money will compensate for the lost subscribers.
They should have been happy. People loved Netflix and Netflix made money. So they didn’t make as much as others. Who cares? Does profit envy twist you that much? Maybe this is why I’ll never be a CEO, but a lot of us would have been happy with a company people loved, and a profit most would kill for. No company is happy with the money they make as long as there’s more money to be made. Some companies hide it better than others. Netflix hid it well for years. Too bad for everyone they couldn’t hide it any longer.