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.