I’m part of the generation that saw the emergence of streaming-video-on-demand. The rise of Netflix, Hulu, and other outlets has been quite the treat to experience.
The idea of watching movies, TV shows, documentaries, comedy specials, and others without the need for a DVD, VHS, Blu-ray, HD-DVD, Laserdisc, or a Betamax player was quite the revolutionary concept.
Now that Netflix has dominated the SVOD market against competitors like iTunes, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Crackle, and others, their latest announcement could announce a huge increase in their customer base, but also retention of those customers.
Netflix has announced that, starting in September, it will not just be a place to find Cinderella, The Avengers, Indiana Jones, and Toy Story, it will be the only place to find them. Netflix has made an exclusive deal with Disney and its subsidiaries, so no Hulu or Amazon Prime for those films. (iO9)
Think about this for a moment.
Think about the large swaths of dedicated Disney devotees who depart for Disneyland and Disney World to experience something that makes them feel good on a daily basis. They love everything Disney. Disney, more often than not, charges exorbitant prices for their products whether it be movies, games, dolls, or whatever. That doesn’t stop families from keeping their children happy.
For example, Disney keeps certain films, especially animated films from the 1990s and earlier, in a proverbial vault. They own these products.
I can’t blame them for doing what they want, but certainly the exclusivity of said items make it all the more worthwhile to buy when they’re re-released on some spankin’ new ultimate anniversary edition steel-book.
If what has been announced is true, then Netflix will dominate the SVOD world like no other. Granted, they have the largest customer base within the industry. That’s not enough, though.
You’ve probably used Netflix once or twice or hundreds of times in your lifetime. They have some great TV shows from which to select, as well as some decent movies. Once you weed through the good ones, there’s a lot of garbage. It’s no surprise.
I own some Disney films myself. I don’t have all of them, and I don’t plan on it. I love the classics, from Snow White and Pinocchio, to The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty & the Beast. I also love Pixar films like Up, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Toy Story, and many others.
The huge upside to Netflix’s announcement that has me beyond excited, is that Lucasfilm is part of the deal as well, since Disney owns them. If the Star Wars franchise is brought to Netflix, this could be the tipping point going in favor of Netflix. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Yoda and the whole galaxy could soon be within a remote’s reach inside your home.
One important cultural point that has me questioning this approach by Netflix is how we’ve considered the new normal of talking about movies and TV shows. There was the excitement when someone would share their opinion/review of a TV show or movie for you.
You would say whether you’d seen it or not and find a way to catch reruns on TV. Now, with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc., you can reply with such ease and say, “I’ll catch up on it,” or, “I’ll add it to my list.”
What has become of us to where we engage in another intimidating form of peer pressure? Peer pressure to me growing up was your friend or friends getting you to smoke a joint behind the bungalow on the school campus, or to ditch class, or to try and sneak out at night for whatever adventures lie ahead.
Nowadays, the peer pressure to try and keep up with everyone on the TV shows and movies we watch seems never-ending.
This cultural norm of what we chat about at the dinner table or the bar is quite unnerving and disconcerting. I will admit that I engage in it as well, but it doesn’t make it all the more acceptable.
Have you every had the conversation with someone and you’re talking about a show (i.e. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, or Game of Thrones) and you say you haven’t seen last week’s episode. You then transition to the next show on the list and discuss how awesome (fill in the blank) was and you can’t wait for the new season in 8-9 months.
It’s conversation and peer pressure like this, while it’s self-afflicted more often than not, that makes me wish I paid more attention in history, English, math, and science classes in middle and high school.
I hope in the foreseeable future that I, along with my willing-to-learn brethren, can read books, experience nature, and engage in other activities rather than becoming glued to a television screen, computer monitor or a mobile device of some kind for the rest of my life.