Netflix just announced that at the end of September, it will cease its DVD service. I’m not entirely surprised, but I am disappointed.
There were people predicting this back when streaming first started to take off: as more and more people streamed movies, the cost and effort involved in DVD delivery simply wouldn’t be worth it. And for a lot of people it won’t make a difference. I’m not one of them.An article I read years ago in TV Guide pointed out that many people don’t watch TV to see specific shows; TV watching is an end in itself so it’s a matter of turning on the set and clicking channels until they find something acceptable. The same applies in the streaming era: some people are happy to sit down, flip through whatever services they have subscriptions to, then watch whatever looks best.If I sit down to watch a movie (or a TV show) I’ve usually made a decision to watch something specific. Sometimes it’s a large project, like watching the Fast and Furious films or working through Alfred Hitchcock’s movies or Francois Truffaut‘s. Other times it’s picking one of my own DVDs I haven’t seen yet. While streaming makes it easy to access a movie instantly, assuming its available, sometimes it isn’t. The next film by Truffaut is The Bride Wore Black; Amazon says it’s not available streaming and I couldn’t find it anywhere else online. As it’s the one Truffaut movie Netflix doesn’t have, I wound up ordering the BluRay.
The rest I was simply going to Netflix on DVD. Now, depending on availability, maybe I’ll end up paying $3.99 a pop to stream. Or having to buy more hard copies. Same thing with Howard Hawks: there are lots of movies he made that I have no interest in owning, but are they available streaming? Time will tell (I could look it up now, but I don’t feel the need).
Another advantage of DVDs is that they’re accessible no matter who has the streaming rights. I don’t go out to the movies as much as I used to and I don’t have a Disney + subscription but I’ve been able to see all the Marvel movies by Netflixing the DVDs. A bunch of other stuff too. With the splintered streaming landscape, not having the DVD option will prove inconvenient, or expensive. Probably inconvenient: it’s simply not practical to subscribe to all the streaming services that have stuff I might want. And who knows what will be available as the streaming services become more like broadcast TV?
This is hardly catastrophic. There are more good movies out there than I have a chance of watching in my lifetime; there always have been. But I’m sure it’ll be annoying.
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5 responses to “The prediction finally came to pass. Most unfortunate”
We are happy members of Scarecrow Video in Seattle but have never tried their rent-by-mail system: however, it might be of help to you. The movie collection is astounding.
Thanks. I’ll bookmark them for future use.
I’ll also check out more from our library, I suspect.
It’s going to be very annoying for me. We do have subscriptions to most of the streaming services but a lot of older movies aren’t available streaming, so I relied on Netflix DVDs for those. And a few on my list aren’t available to buy anymore. I’m not surprised they are giving up on DVDS. Just disappointed.
Trying to figure out what I should prioritize out of my Netflix DVD list before the end is going to be mind-boggling.
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