Ever since human beings have become lazy in relation to technology making things easier, there has been the demand for comfort. As society progressed, this need for comfort has integrated another ideal that is pretty complicit with laziness. I am talking, of course, about instant gratification, and I think as an entity of entertainment, Netflix is the epitome of these ideals.
Would you rather go out and have to drive or walk to a movie theater where you pay a ridiculous price for a ticket, or would you rather relax in the comfort of your own domicile and choose from a bevy of wide-ranging films that can cater to whatever genre you’re in the mood for? What about not having to endure a slew of ads before the film you want to see comes on?
Now to be fair, I am casting a trip to the cinema in a bad light because in all honesty, I would much rather go to a film and really experience it with some people who’s company I really enjoy.
I am also pretty tired of the phrase “Netflix and chill.” It is this irritating, blanket term that is unfortunately a pretty accurate description of my generation.
Hollywood is not very happy about Netflix and how they’ve been able to break ahead of the pack and produce high-quality, easily digestible entertainment at a fascinating rate. No major studio could even really come close to producing the same amount of content in such a short span and putting it on a platform that is readily accessible and, not to mention, ad-free.
According to an article published on Bloomberg Technology just a week ago, Lucas Shaw described how “Netflix plans to release 1,000 hours of original video next year up from just 600 this year.” Not to mention, they “plan to spend $6 billion on programming next year, up 20 percent from last year,” Shaw added. This coupled with their already reliable and well-known brand, could not only cause trouble for film studios, but also television as well.
I could see many people forgoing cable subscriptions in favor of Netflix, not only because they have a lot of original programming that is easily bingeable, but also some of the most renowned shows on cable and otherwise. A few notable examples are “Breaking Bad,” “Lost” and my personal favorite, “Mad Men.”
So many individuals could choose a monthly $10 subscription over a pricey cable bill that would give them access to full series and some of their favorite films.
This could be problematic for both film and television studios in the regard of not just pawning their employees, but also some big-name stars who would like to break free of their obligatory studio contract that doesn’t allow them much work outside films or shows besides with that studio. The pawning of employees I just mentioned is already happening, as 20th Century Fox has recently sued Netflix for actively trying to get some film market executives to break their contracts and sever ties with the studio.
“Netflix is defiantly flouting the law by soliciting and inducing employees to break their contracts,” the film studio said in their official statement that Shaw quoted in the same article.
Another thing that comes to mind is whether a buyout involving Netflix is inevitable. This happens all the time, and of course I have to refer to the most recent mega-deal of AT&T acquiring Time Warner Cable for eighty-five billion dollars.
This just being latest in their quest to take over the ever-changing media landscape as we know it; they acquired DirecTv in 2014 for a whopping forty-eight billion dollars. So who knows, maybe another giant media company might swoop in at any time and try and reap the rewards of the lucrative Netflix brand.
In my opinion, Netflix and streaming in general need to relax for a while, or even, dare I say it, chill. The overwhelming onslaught of media that I already encounter on a day-to-day basis is enough to make a person’s head over the age of forty explode.
The last thing I need is one of my friends telling me, “Dude, you gotta check out this show. It’s fire.” Like, sheesh man, I’m trying to read a book every once in awhile, but it doesn’t look like Netflix or streaming in general will slow anytime soon.
It’ll be interesting to see how companies and other facets of media adapt. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I guess i’ll just watch some Netflix.
Josh Biase can be contacted at Jbiase@kscequinox.com