Netflix and other on-demand Internet streaming media providers

In Personal thoughts by Lasse Koppeli

I recently started my free 30-day trial with Netflix after thinking about if I really would need it. Perhaps not, but thinking about the enterainment point of view, it isn’t that bad of a decision or is it? If you live under a rock then you might not have heard about Netflix. Netflix is an on-demand Internet streaming media provider for series, movies and documentaries which can be used with multiple devices.

Netflix is going to block VPN

Couple days ago I saw news about Netflix blocking VPN to their services which would allow person who doesn’t live in US to appear to be there even when they actually live in Europe, basically allowing users to mask their locations. With this arrangement person in Europe would be able to see the content that Netflix offers to people in US. Which is way more than Europe has.

I fully understand why Netflix is wanting to prevent VPN to their service (not saying that Hollywood is forcing their hand or anything but I may just hint it). But even though I understand that, I still think that it is a bad move. Mainly for Netflix itself. This isn’t research data but I would think that because of VPN, Netflix has large number of subscribers. What happens when they take VPN option away from them? Will the people stay or will they go?

In Finland the selection isn’t that big, just being honest, and the movies include some of the worst that I have seen. I understand that every customer is different but Netflix should think that other countries, other than US are the “whales” of the business and will pay the same monthly fee for content that isn’t that large. Just to make it clear, I hope Netflix doesn’t think that but I hope you understand what I am saying. Same monthly fee which is right on the money but content should be there too.

Lets say, that I want to watch Supernaturals from Netflix, which by the way is one of my favorite shows, then I would think that I am able to watch all seasons. Well, no, I am not. There is season 8 and 9 available, not 1-7 if I would like to start from the beginning. I’m not saying that Netflix is doing something wrong but I am. Supernaturals has 11 seasons and Netflix is allowing us to see only 8 and 9. I see a problem here and this is just one example of many, Sleepy Hollow 1 season.

Netflix went and blocked VPN

Since I didn’t publish this at the time I wrote it, I had to add couple things, like this one. Currently VPN is blocked by the Netflix and I am still a subscriber. Am I a happy subscriber? Yes and no, selection is growing which is good but still there are shows that I want to see but I can only access couple old season that I have seen in the past. I am hoping that the change won’t take 5 years, that’s way too long. For everyhing other than clean fusion power.

On-demand Internet streaming media services and piracy

What makes people pirate series and movies? Easy access. Is Netflix or HBO giving us that? Yes and no. Yes, it’s easy to watch some shows or movies but the problem is that they are either are from the stone age, only few are available or bad like Sharknado (ok, that’s really bad) unless some of them are made by Netflix or HBO. These companies and Hollywood (and similar at other countries) have the power to do something and prevent piracy but are they? No. I don’t really think that this is so great of a challenge that they can’t find a solution for it. There is more money in saying ‘yes’ for global access than there is allowing piracy to continue or am I missing something?

From my point of view, they are able to stop it but there is not time like now. People won’t wait 5 to 10 years to get the global access. I don’t think that the Sharks or Dragons would invest to a company that has something to offer in 5 to 10 years if they did, they wouldn’t be Sharks or Dragons for long.

Let’s say it like this, if movie comes to Blu-ray or whatnot then it should be available online too.

What did Spotify do for music piracy? It almost died, as far as I know. For me Spotify is must have. Netflix or HBO Nordic aren’t even close. Better step it up.

I know this isn’t rocket science, it’s more like 1+1=2 unless you are greedy then your math may be flawed.

“As of October 2015, Netflix reported 69.17 million subscribers worldwide, including more than 43 million in the U.S.” is said on Wikipedia, so let’s go with that. So it understandable that they would focus on US? Yes, will this current content tactic grow their customer base in other counries? No, more likely if this continues it will go down from 26.17 million. If they would offer content equally to all? Then that number would climb. Going to China? Not with the content they offer to other countries outside U.S. and not with blocking VPNs.

In the end is Netflix worth it?

Yes. But I would hope it would get a lot better within a year or so. I really want to follow Supernatural again. It has been so many years since the last episode.

*I have mentioned only Netflix and HBO (nordic) as they operate in Finland. Hollywood is mainly for generalization of companies that produce movies and series.

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