Category Archives: Entertainment

In the spirit of fairness: The Netflix 1800

While I probably should have found this in my search for sources when I wrote yesterday, I’ll chalk this one up to being rusty behind the wheel of a blog.

It looks like there is a lot more going on with the titles being removed from Netflix, and oddly enough, many of the titles that I could not access yesterday (May 1st) appear to have returned.

Here’s the meat of what The Verge had to say about the roughly 1800 titles that Nexflix is losing:

…the service will be saying farewell to 1,794 different titles in May. That number includes 15 seasons of South Park, old horror movies like Audrey Rose, and James Bond classics like Dr. No and GoldfingerAccording to Slate, the drop comes because several licensing deals Netflix has in place with studios like MGM, Warner Bros., and Universal are expiring.

While it has been posited that the titles were disappearing because they were heading to the Warner Instant Archive streaming service, that appears to not be the case. Warner Instant took to Twitter today to emphasize that… …it [does] not carry titles from MGM or Universal…

With that said, it looks like I’m off in search of some other minor conspiracy theory.  Good day to you.


More thoughts on the removal of 1800+ titles from Netflix

After writing my previous post about the removal of 1800+ titles from Netflix thanks to Warner Brothers, I’ve been looking into the finer details.  I’m not the first person to say it and I won’t be the last:  If you want to find the motive, follow the money.

As I mentioned in my last post, it appears that the majority of shows being pulled from Netflix are from NBC Universal, having been produced by Warner Brothers.

So who stands to gain?  Or better yet, if Netflix and other similar services keep gaining market share while cable companies continue to hemorrhage cable TV subscribers, what are their options to fight back (not including just providing customers with a little more of what they want so they won’t look elsewhere)?

There are two business developments that seem very relevant to this situation:

Warner Brothers is part of Time Warner, which operates cable companies throughout the US.   This series of mergers happened quite some time ago, and I’m not sure when Netflix came into the picture relative to this merger.  Among other things, Time Warner produces content and operates a very large cable TV empire.

More recently, NBC Universal merged with Comcast.  This occurred after Netflix was already very successful and had been for quite some time.  While NBC also produces content and operates a huge cable TV empire themselves, they also have a huge network of NBC TV stations.

With Netflix bringing a far more enjoyable user experience free of commercials while delivering the exact same content, albeit after their initial TV release in most cases, it only makes sense that they would pull their content from a medium that is far preferred by customers.

This is clearly an attempt to take customers back from Netflix.  I have to wonder if Netflix knew this was coming when they dished out a ton of cash to Comcast recently to ensure that Netflix subscribers wouldn’t have their viewing experience throttled by the media giant.

This whole thing reeks of dirty business and a contemptuous disregard for customers.

Netflix loses 1800+ titles as Warner Brothers pulls content

You may have noticed that your Netflix subscription is lacking a bunch of titles today that were there yesterday.  This is because a ton of content is being pulled by Warner Brothers own streaming service, Warner Brothers Instant Archive, a service that offers their content for 9.99/month after a two week free trial.  The best part is that they went ahead and launched the service without getting an app onto Apple TV (much less apps for android or iPhone), so for those of us who like to watch TV on, say, our televisions, we get to lose access to this content until someone at Warner Brothers takes some initiative and pushes apps out there.  Way to go!

Some popular TV shows that will no longer be on Netflix are Parks and Recreation, The Office, Scrubs, Bones, Gossip Girl, Frasier, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alias, as well as some decent children’s programming including Caillou and Curious George, and roughly 1,790 others.  It seems like most of the casualties are from NBC, with FOX, CBS, and ABC appearing to have a large amount of their content still available on the popular video streaming website.

As a consumer, I know how I feel about this:  I hate it.

Certainly Warner Brothers has a right to decide how their content is viewed and it’s not like I’m bound by contract to remain a Netflix subscriber, but this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  If these video streaming services are supposed to offer superior content delivery with a better interface, why not just keep things in the same place and let Netflix users subscribe to different levels of streaming packages if these studios really want more money?

If I want to watch all of my favorite series and avoid the hours of commercials being shoved down my throat on cable, I can now subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus (with limited commercials), Warner Brothers Instant Archive (no idea if they have commercials), Amazon Instant Video, and whatever else…   I would probably still come out ahead on price using all of these services over the equivalent channel packages on cable TV, but only until these content producers figure out how to squeeze even more money out of us.

Maybe I should just go outside and take a lot of walks until Mitch Hurwitz produces more original content for Netflix in the hopefully not too distant future.