Two decades ago, the idea of loading up a computer and watching your favourite shows was an idea that was mostly stuck in the world of science fiction.
Sure, we had computers, as well as Internet, but the computers were incredibly slow, and the Internet was only in its infancy. If we wanted to watch a series, it would mean sticking to the television.
For films, we’d usually need to venture to the local DVD or VHS rental place, which also meant having to deal with physical media, meaning a night of disappointment if the VHS tape didn’t work due to damage.
When Netflix first hit the scene, it was an instant hit. For the first time ever, the average person was now able to simply load up and watch anything they wanted.
It completely changed the way that we consumed media, and it’s been spreading like wildfire ever since. It’s now even available on smart phones, along with other media such as games, e-books, and even betting apps.
In today’s world, Netflix can be found on every continent on the planet, and while the selection of media is different from place to place, the premise remains the same: being able to watch high quality media from the comfort of your own home.
Netflix quickly gave rise to several other, competitive streaming services, and while Netflix may currently be the reigning king of home streaming entertainment, many in the industry feel that it’s changing for the worse.
The Coming Changes
The first in a long line of changes that Netflix has put into action is raising the price. It’s an extra dollar for the normal service, and an extra two for the premium. This doesn’t seem like such a big ask, especially when competitors have already been charging the same prices.
The increased cost also comes with a new announcement: Netflix has devoted a huge chunk of money to produce more original content ($8 billion), and for most viewers, that’s a good thing.
On the other hand, this has had a knock-on effect, where many of the bigger names in media, such as Disney, are starting to pull away from Netflix as a whole.
For many, then, Netflix is starting to look very much like the TV networks that have dominated the channels for the past few decades. Rising costs, total control of a specific domain, and a bundle of original content from Netflix means it now has more in common with a TV network than a streaming channel.
Is It a Bad Thing?
As a whole, it doesn’t seem like it will have a negative impact on the average user within the next five years. We’ll still be able to pay for Netflix, which is often a fraction of the cost of cable television, and it allows us to watch all the latest and greatest from our couches.
The fact that Netflix is looking more like a network is a simple evolution that most big media undertakes. It has to find a way to accommodate hundreds of millions of people, while still keeping prices low and providing original content on top of what it already offers.
What exactly the future holds is uncertain, but for now, Netflix still remains the top choice for the latest films and series.