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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Yeah, that article confirms what I was getting at -- that Netflix, as a monthly payment rental service, isn't competing with all of these other $-per-download services. I wasn't aware that Netflix was killing those services in a straight streaming revenue comparison but it's no surprise to me. I'm just not sure how big the market is for stuff like this:

Red Tails:
iTunes sells it for $14.99
Amazon sells it for $14.99 or rents it for $3.99
Netflix doesn't have it at all for streaming but I can get the disk as part of my monthly fee (I still do disk + streaming)

Netflix still offers all the top movies, but only as disk rentals.

Amazon offers SOME premium movies as streaming rentals (pay per view) but I suspect the studios refuse to allow most of it, hoping for digital sales instead (e.g., THOR -- available on iTunes and Amazon for $14.99. No rental options and Netflix doesn't have it for streaming but they DO have the disk.)


I just don't think most of the country is interested in buying movies for $15 or renting them for $4 when Netflix is a far better monthly deal, even after the price hike. 1 disk at a time is $7.99/month. Get 1 disk every 2 weeks and it breaks even with Amazon (actually, if you want to limit yourself to 2 disks per month, there's a $4.99 plan just for that). iTunes doesn't "rent" so they aren't even in the picture.

This is part of how Netflix destroyed the DVD rental industry.

I also think everyone who angrily quit Netflix over the price hike is going to come back, if they haven't already. There are / will be competitors out there but nothing is nearly as good or as affordable as Netflix right now.



At least domestically. It's the overseas scene that's hurting Netflix and I'm not as familiar with how things work there.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:34 pm 
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I swear you don't read my posts, because I know we had this discussion just recently. :) iTunes does rent movies, has done for years. Red Tails is $3.99. Thor isn't availble for rent, as for Amazon, so it's probably a per-studio thing.

Netflix's movie rental business (as opposed to streaming) is dying, and they know it. Reed Hastings is always talking about the need to transition to the more profitable streaming service as fast as possible. Plus Redbox is stealing a lot of their business.

I agree people prefer the "all you can eat" option Netflix has, but their streaming movie selection stinks recently. The studios have raised their prices, and they can't affort to pay for the content anymore. Amazon has much deeper pockets, and will probably win in the long run.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Grieve wrote:
The studios have raised their prices, and they can't affort to pay for the content anymore. Amazon has much deeper pockets, and will probably win in the long run.

That still doesn't make any sense though.

It doesn't matter how deep Amazon's pocket's are. It's cost vs revenue, not money-in-bank vs revenue, unless you are trying to sink a competitor and don't mind losing a lot of money to do it.

If Netflix can't afford to stream good things for $7.99/month, Amazon certainly can't afford to do it for $79/year, especially when most of that is probably covering their 2-day shipping costs for Prime. If studios want to charge a ton of money, then you won't see it on Netflix but you also won't see it on Amazon Prime. You might see it on regular Amazon and iTunes, but it'll be a $4 pay-per-view rental.

Or to put it another way, yes, Netflix's "single price package deal" does have a limited selection, but it's an order of magnitude better than Amazon Prime's selection and infinitely better than iTunes, since iTunes has no such deal. If Amazon wants to get serious about competing with Netflix, they'll need to charge more, and possibly break it off of Prime.



I actually think streaming is ahead of its time right now. I doubt it's a coincidence that Netflix's main Euro competitor, LoveFilm, follows the same model as Netflix: streaming + discs. While I think it's smart to stay ahead of the game, streaming today is "ahead of the game". Interesting article:
http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/25/netfli ... d-margins/

Netflix makes more revenue from streaming, but more actual profit from DVD rentals. The future is streaming but the present is still DVD rentals.

The iTunes model, as Vanraw's article seems to imply, is "stuck in the doldrums" with "virtually no growth".

Particularly in a down economy, I think Netflix will trounce iTunes, UNLESS, and this is a possibility, Apple decides to eat some red ink for a while and obtain a lot of exclusive deals purely to kill Netflix. Not sure Apple's stockholders would overly approve of that, though. Streaming just isn't Apple's money maker.


For me, in thinking about Netflix as an investment, the main threat I see is LoveFilm. I don't have a feel for how that competition is going to turn out. I'd be especially curious to see if LoveFilm had plans on coming to America. Maybe they're waiting to see how they fare in Europe before trying to beat Netflix on their home turf.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:15 pm 
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Not sure how Lovefilm would threaten Netflix, its online portion really sucked. Shitty selection and you couldn't change the language of the streaming content, which is not a good selling point in a country where there tend to be a lot of different language speakers in your markets. It didn't have much competition which allowed it to do fairly well, but I don't think it brings anything to the table in the US that isn't already covered - not to mention that they would have to start from scratch to acquire licenses to get the material in the US - a lot of which are tied down by Netflix and Amazon and Hulu now..


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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:24 pm 
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The point of competition is still valid. Frankly I find myself watching Netflix less and less, and my DVDs sit on the shelf. Netflix still has the huge delay in availability compared to others. I tend to rent from zune as they release to DVD. So the DVDs I want from Netflix is by default lower.

Others I talk to say the same thing.

competition is still on the way, and i'm not talking about other rental offerings. Verizon agreement with red box is going to mirror Netflix service, plus streaming rentals which Netflix still lacks.

Remember the market trades on future.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:40 am 
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The RedBox plan doesn't sound all that interesting to me, although I suppose it depends on how big their streaming content is. All the words coming from them seem to indicate a continued focus on the kiosks, which I'm not overly fond of. RedBox kinda takes the old physical rental problem and makes it much worse in that you have to return it the next day to avoid a late fee. It's cheap, but the selection is extremely limited and it's not cheap if you don't return the disc within 24 hours. Part of why Netflix won the war with rental stores is because you CAN sit on the discs for a long time (I do this all the time too, but "lazy returns" is a great feature to me).

Essentially I agree that competition is coming but if you wait until it settles out then it's too late to place your bets.

Hearing that LoveFilm sucks gives me some more confidence as well. Any idea how Netflix is in Europe? Apparently LoveFilm is locking down all sorts of content (Warner, Sony and Universal) but that might just make them go out of business faster if their model is flawed. (And apparently the Universal deal is for "UK streaming", so presumably Netflix is not locked out of the rest of Europe.)

Sounds like Netflix is only just getting rolling in Europe this year though so maybe it's too early to guess how it's going to go over there.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:19 pm 
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Interesting that Netflix stock price is running against the grain. Market is flat and they are up over 2%.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:16 pm 
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NFLX has certainly been interesting in recent days. Huuuuge jump in the stock today, presumably on the news that they are now the #1 "channel" -- more people watch Netflix in terms of hours-per-day than watch any network, including broadcast and cable: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-0 ... cmpid=yhoo

Analysts have been bashing NFLX lately, mostly on things that I have previously argued against (and continue to do so). e.g., Apple is in a position to beat Netflix. But that's comparing, well, apples to oranges, as Netflix's $8 streaming buffet offers fewer big name choices but still a pretty nice spread for $8/month whereas Apple offers you everything available on digital but at high expense. Same for Netflix vs On Demand or Amazon. And I still don't think Netflix competition should be discussed without bringing up a comparison of interfaces: Netflix still blows everyone else out of the water in term of helping you browse to find "something to watch". iTunes and Amazon are fine for finding a show you already know the name of but if you're just bored and browsing, they're basically crap.

Apparently the market agrees with me more than they agree with publicized analysts. Stock up 13% in one day, on a down day for the Dow, after a series of slow rises since the end of June.


I still think Netflix has a good potential future ahead of it. If nothing else, I still see a good chance of someone buying it. Certainly I'd still like to see Amazon buy them, if they promise to keep the Netflix interface and not the utter crap interface they use for Prime. I think if nobody buys them in the near future, though, it's possible that Netflix will simply outgrow the "easily buyable" phase. They're by far the best streaming option out there and it sounds like the customers they lost are coming back, and more.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:06 am 
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I was also watching the run today (and enjoying it - I still have a Netflix call spread). Definitely they are doing a lot better than the pundits expected.

Having said that, I've been really disappointed with them recently. Apple TV has a screen that shows you all the recent additions, and I used to check it every week or so and always find a bunch of new movies show up. Now I check it once a month or so, and there's nothing (except old tv shows). Okay, they had Thor last time I checked, but that's the only newish "name" movie I've seen in ages. They need a new movie content deal badly.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:55 am 
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I dunno. If you wanna give people entertainment, a TV show with 3 seasons is worth a heck of a lot more time-value than a single big-name movie and probably costs less to get the rights to.

They have every Star Trek series, for example. iTunes seems to have most of them but I'm looking at TOS and it's $2.99 per episode (lol).

If I want to watch a movie I can rent it through iTunes or Amazon. If I want to sit down and "watch something", Netflix is the way to go. Way more bang for the buck than trying to use the pay-per-view services for casual TV watching.


Or to put it another way, I don't think Netflix can make their money offering 2-8 hours of entertainment per month as people watch big name movies. The value is in getting them to watch an hour of TV every day, spreading it around on various shows and older movies. Incredibly good value for $8/month.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:56 pm 
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That's a fair point, and they are good on TV shows. It's just they used to focus more on movies, and I miss that (more a movie than a TV person).

Stock was still up today, despite the crappy market - impressive.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:22 am 
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Do any of you understand the revenue made by publishers that give netflix rights to show old shows. Star trek for instance. What is the model / break even point between forcing a show on a "buy a episode" to what netflix kicks back when someone watches it?

Is it a flat payment agreement, or a per showing agreement for netflix to pay publishers?

There seems to be a point where new shows will get more revenue from a network doing direct streaming or renting via zune or apple tv, then when they just turn it over / retire it to netflix.

I keep waiting for netflix to announce (or acquire, or be acquired) some sort of a premium rental capabilities. it floors me that they dont have it, so I can only assume there are legal restrictions in place preventing them from doing so.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:46 pm 
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Starz tried to force a premium model on Netflix, and when Netflix refused, that's when Starz bailed on them.

I prefer the Netflix model to the one from, say, Hulu. Simplicity works best.

I agree, it seems to me that withholding shows/movies from streaming services would bring in more money (via DVD sales or rentals), but part of it may be a guaranteed revenue stream. It's like magazine subscriptions...they may generate less money (especially when a yearlong subscription is $10 and a single issue on the news stand costs $4.99), but predicability is very important to a public company.

I seem to remember the deal Netflix cut with AMC for Mad Men was something like $1m per episode, which is pretty high. I think they only do that for "tentpole" shows/movies, though. Mostly it's a case of buying rights to a bucket of stuff (good and bad) for a fixed price. God knows Netflix has plenty of crap mixed in there...

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:34 pm 
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Hulu lets you watch new episodes though, does Netflix do that with anything?


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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:00 pm 
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Yeah, I have no idea what the Netflix revenue model looks like. I have to imagine they are paying a flat rate to stream a given show for a given amount of time. I imagine it's similar to how HBO must work. "Here's a pile of money, we want rights to show your movie for 1 month."

From a content owner's perspective, I have to imagine the money from Netflix looks attractive relative to their other options: DVD sales for a show that's 10 years old (I imagine most people who were going to buy Star Trek have already done so) or advertisement dollars if they can get some channel to air it again. That can't be worth a lot of money either way.


I don't think Netflix carries any show as it airs. Hulu does.

On the other hand, Hulu's selection is spotty and I'm not sure they even attempt to do movies. Hulu and Netflix probably don't compete that much because I doubt there's much overlap between them. If I watched more live TV, I'd probably get Hulu Plus. On the other hand, if I watched more live TV, I might have just kept cable.


One thing I didn't realize is that Hulu is a joint venture by:
NBCUniversal
Fox Entertainment Group
Disney-ABC Television Group

Pretty good basis for an online television network. Also probably explains why they don't do movies.


Really I could see Netflix and Hulu being big players. The old school players like HBO, Showtime and Starz don't seem to notice which way the wind is blowing (or are somehow hoping to stop it) and are missing their chance to stay relevant.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:17 am 
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Netflix is down 22% today.

As Grieve said...when a 3.5B market cap company is trying to compete with a 100B cap company...guess who I'm going with.


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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Netflix isn't in competition with any large companies. Really I don't think they're in competition with anyone at all. Apple is in a completely different ballgame. You might as well say Blockbuster is competing with DVD sales at Best Buy as suggest that Netflix is competing with Apple. I think the depth of competition there is pretty shallow.

I think the fall today was based more on Netflix's predictions of slow growth this year than anything else. Their numbers for the quarter were right around the middle of what analysts predicted and their revenue and subscriber base was up.

Basically I think NFLX as a stock is suffering more from miscalculations by investors than anything real. The idea that they are competing with Apple is a prime example of the sort of miscalculation driving the stock down while the company itself appears to be doing fine, and is growing. (Maybe Apple COULD compete with Netflix but I don't know of any ala carte streaming package in the works from Apple and I don't think it's the revenue model they're interested in.)


Amazon's threat to Netflix is more debatable. I don't think Amazon Prime, which is more analogous to the Netflix model, will ever be a serious threat because it's spread too thin. For $79/year you get free two-day shipping, the Kindle lending library and free streaming videos, but the streaming video selection will necessarily always suck because $6.58/month only affords them so much money for licenses especially after you deduct the free shipping and book costs from it.

A bigger question may be this:
If all movies could be rented online for $2.99 per viewing, would everyone continue to use Netflix or would they ditch it in favor of pay-per-view? Pay-per-view rentals is something I could see as a potential Netflix killer, assuming people preferred that payment model.

The point is moot at the moment, though, because the selection of pay-per-view movies is always really terrible, presumably because movie studios don't like it. And Netflix DID defeat the old pay-per-view physical DVD rental places already, based on their physical rental half of the business, which they still have.


Bottom line, I think NFLX is a good buy right now and I think analysts agree.

I think you'll see them back over $100, though I wouldn't expect to see that until next year. They need time for their overseas efforts to get rolling. They're still operating with no real competition in America, though.

I plan to stay long on Netflix. Even if another ala carte movie streaming service shows up tomorrow, they have a lot of ground to cover to seriously compete with Netflix and I just don't think any big companies are interested.

(In the event of a real collapse, I do think Amazon or MAYBE Apple would buy them out because in the wider view, Netflix helps drive sales of tablets, which is what Amazon and Apple really want, albeit for different reasons.)

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:40 pm 
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I bought more options today as a low risk bet, but I think Netflix is in trouble.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:49 pm 
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I was speaking about Amazon as the direct threat, not Apple (altho with a 540B market cap, they could buy Netflix tomorrow with but a yawn). There is nothing stopping Amazon from simply gobbling up Netflix if they really wanted too.


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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:16 pm 
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True, but I don't think they want to.

Amazon, like Apple with iTunes, just wants to sell you stuff. You give them money, here's your thing, done deal. That's the business model they want. Apple could buy Netflix but they could also buy Dollar Stores and Baskin Robbins. Point being just because they can buy something doesn't mean they ever will or have the slightest interest in doing so, especially when it's pretty far removed from their current revenue model.

Streaming video is a subscription service and, as Netflix demonstrates, an expensive service to run and potentially risky. I don't think either Apple or Amazon have an interest in this. (True, Amazon has Prime, but they've had a couple years to expand this and haven't done so. I think to them it's purely a small value add and will never be a full service. The real point of it is still 2-day shipping. They would rather sell you digital movies or rent to you as a single transaction.)


At least not so long as Netflix continues to survive. I don't think Apple or Amazon would let ala carte streaming video die because in the end it I bet it helps their tablets sell. Which does, I think, highlight my point that Netflix exists in a vacuum. If Netflix died tomorrow, there would be no streaming video offering out there that takes its place. If you cancel Netflix, I think you're easily going to pay 5x as much for similar TV time. (Granted after paying 5x as much you will own more stuff outright but how many times are you really going to watch 'Batman Begins'?)

Netflix is the only monthly subscription game in town for movies. Hulu competes on TV shows but "competes" is kind of a stretch, I think, since I think Hulu's goal is more to bring you current shows from the backing studios and not be an all-encompassing entertainment venue and archive like Netflix.


Basically what I'm trying to impression upon people is that there is no competition for Netflix right now.

If Netflix fails, it's because it's just not the right time for monthly subscription streaming video to succeed. If Netflix can't do it, neither, I think, can Apple or Amazon. So if you think this format has no future, then I'd agree with you that Netflix is a bad investment. If you think the format has a future, then Netflix is the only place to put your money for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:45 pm 
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I do think there will be a time where Netflix gets bought. Even more likely if the stock continues to just tumble.

But agree with Slamz on Amazon and Apple, The one thing these guys do is stay focused on the core business they want to be in. Its probably the single thing that has made them both successful.

Who would benifit from netflix purchase?

Perhaps some manufacturer like Samsung or Sony. Hell if Sony bought them it would be a great deal, because they own so many rights to movies.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:18 am 
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Hmm, who would want to buy Netflix...

My current bet would be Google, actually. They already own YouTube, so it's not that far off what they're already doing. If Google's plan is "acquire stuff that gives us more data about people on the internet" then buying the #1 streaming service may be right up their alley. They could maybe even take it "free to play" by using Google advertising to drive ad revenue in place of or as an alternative to subscriptions.


It would be neat if several movie studios banded together in a Hulu-like venture to take over Netflix. That would probably make more sense than trying to create a competing venture from scratch. I have a hard time seeing that, though, because I think there's too much evidence that major movie studios just don't "get it" when it comes to online offerings. They still think online offerings are the devil, stealing from their precious physical DVD sales.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:35 pm 
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Netflix just a made a deal with Disney to get exclusive first run rights for ALL Disney movies (including Pixar, Marvel, and presumably the new Star Wars films). That's pretty big - stock is up 14%.

The down side is that this doesn't come into effect until 2016 (!), although they get some of the Disney back catalog right away. But I still think this makes Netflix a buy - it's been so long since they had a major deal to announce. In fact we were just about to cancel or subscription, but now I'm going to stick with them (kids love Disney flicks...)

I was tempted to sell my Netflix options at the end of the day, but I'm going to hold on and see where this goes. Hopefully the shorts haven't finished covering. The risk is we later find out that Netflix paid some ridiculous amount of money for these rights (and they outbid HBO, Starz, and so on, so it's not going to be chump change...), and either won't have enough money to stay afloat all that time, or will have to do a secondary share offering to raise cash (which now I think about it seems quite likely...)

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:53 am 
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I'd be curious to see you cancel Netflix, but then keep track of money spent on alternatives. I'd be willing to bet you'd spend 3-5 times more. Even though this extra money likely gets you digital purchases, they are all DRM based so you never really "own" them and 20 years from now they'll be worthless one way or another (if they don't simply become obsolete then the central store that controls the DRM for the movies you bought may be defunct).

Netflix's top competitor is probably "piracy", but then you're just wasting time instead of money, trying to work around all the pitfalls of pirate sites (mislabeled movies, shitty quality, missing pieces, the only person who has it shared out is apparently on a 2400 baud modem, etc).

I did finally cancel cable, too. I don't miss it. Netflix + Hulu with the occasional addition from Amazon covers my TV time. My queue still has dozens of hours of things to watch that I can't seem to find time for.

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 Post subject: Re: Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:53 am 
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I would like to cancel cable. Right now I seem to have become a HBO addict for the Sunday night shows. And I have sworn off the Piracy methods. The other thing I would miss is the news options especially the financial news in the morning when I channel surf between CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox business.

Other then that, I have no reason for cable.

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