How NetFlix Is Changing Movie Watching Culture

from the a-totally-different-experience dept

As the music industry scoffs at the EFF’s proposal for setting up a flat rate monthly subscription fee for file sharing, perhaps they should take a closer look at the experience of NetFlix users. As this NY Times piece points out, using NetFlix isn’t just about avoiding late fees or getting DVDs in the mail – it changes subscribers culturally. Since it’s a flat-rate situation, they begin to experiment and get movies they would never see otherwise. At the same time, they also watch more movies, partly to feel like they’re getting a better deal than renting at the local Blockbuster. This seems like a good thing for the industry.

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Comments on “How NetFlix Is Changing Movie Watching Culture”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given


There is a substantial difference here in your comparision of flat rate file sharign and netflix. Netflix allows you to RENT any movie you liek flat rate, as many as you can watch ina month, they key word rent. With flat rate music fiel sharing, your not rentign, your basically get as much music as you can in a month and its yours forever. Therein lies the difference, its apples to oranges. If you were talking about say a netflix for cd’s, where you rent as many cd’s as you want in a month that would be more analgous to this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

It may indeed be an apples to oranges comparison, but from the music industry’s standpoint, it’s EVEN BETTER than Netflix. Unlimited, perfect duplicated files every time. No damaged discs, ever, and no shipping fees – the subscriber pays for that through their broadband connection to the Internet.

Besides, is it really yours “forever”? The majority of users will either burn the mp3’s to CD’s which only exist in one place at one time, or simply keep them on their computer until they run out of HD space for them or tire of them or worse: reinstall Windows to find that their music collection is gone.

As for P2P sharing of the mp3’s without compensation, that’s a whole different issue. That deals with the legality of “sharing” information in it’s original, complete form, and the music industry needs to deal with that issue seperately from the sales side of things. That is a lost revenue problem, not a profit generating problem.

Adrian Anders (user link) says:

Consumer choice and competition breeds innovation

I would also like to mention that like Netflix, people would continue to subscribe to the flat rate file sharing service even though they have downloaded all of the music they would ever want from it, because of the new music that would be coming out in that month. I think this would help to stimulate the popularity of emerging artists, as well as older artists that were previously overlooked. Everyone will want to jump on the next new hot talent, and will hopefully encourage those who are at the top currently to innovate and try to keep ahead of the competition. It may be ruthless, but it would be very fair. The only way to get paid is if the public plays (downloads). No top down bullshit marketing of over hyped groups. Every artist, every song of theirs that is available to the public is equally available for all to download. If the public doesn’t feel your music is worth sharing, it will disappear fairly quickly from a file sharing service. Although you might end up with 1 million copies of a Creed turd I mean track, those 1 million copies don’t fight for space with the 50,000 copies of the latest Prefuse 73 record. Which is not the case in record stores, both online as well as brick & mortar, as those pop records tend to get the best placement in the store, while the less hyped material is harder to find if at all. Record companies don’t like the idea that they won’t be able to throw their weight around and control file sharing like they do with Apple iTunes or the other joke, Napster 2.0. With flat rate file sharing, if someone releases a home brewed recording with that special magic that is normally reserved for established artists, the unsigned and Indies may start to gain real wealth and power in the music industry. This is what the RIAA fears the most, consumers with perfect knowledge and choice.

Diatribe End


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