November 20, 2018

Netflix Is Spoiling Us

“Netflix Inc. has spoiled us.

It accustomed viewers to the prospect of a relatively cheap video service without advertising interruptions and with what feels like an unlimited assortment of TV shows and movies that can be watched at any time. It did this at the expense of an economic business strategy, prioritizing customers over profits.

Whether Netflix’s approach is viable in the long run is up to either its subscriber growth or the appetite of debt holders, both of which are changeable. And yet, despite being a business that continues to spend beyond its means, just about every established media company — and even some non-media giants — is trying to mimic Netflix as best as their own profit-sensitive investors will allow.

All of them are falling short in some way. Free service? Then you must endure ads. Subscription? Chances are it’s more expensive than Netflix, or it offers less variety. I did an informal survey of 100 people over social media to see what’s more appealing to them: paying up to not have ads or paying nothing and having to sit through ads. For many, it comes down to the price, and for those where it didn’t, ads were still an unpopular option…”

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