The prediction finally came to pass. Most unfortunate

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.

#SFWApro. All rights to images remain with current holders.


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5 responses to “The prediction finally came to pass. Most unfortunate

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Pingback: Thank you Netflix! | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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