Why I quit Netflix
Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM by Dave Winer.
  • Last week I turned off my Netflix account.
  • I have had it for at least a decade, paying between $9 and $21 a month.
  • I turned it off because I stopped using it. The last thing I watched on Netflix was Ken Burns' series The West. But I found I could get that on Amazon's video service, for no extra money, since I was already an Amazon Prime member.
  • But even before I was using Amazon, I was hardly ever using Netflix.
  • A picture named netflixdvd.gifNetflix was a great way for me to fill in a lot of the blanks in my movie-watching career. I missed a lot of great movies in the last couple of decades, while I was busy with other things. And there were all the movies made before I was born that I had of course missed. With Netflix, I pretty much could always find something I hadn't seen that was worth seeing. And I could systematically march through whole genres. It was like TCM on steroids.
  • But then two things happened: 1. I caught up and 2. They closed the DVD side of the business, or if they didn't close it, they discouraged it. I forget how I came not to be a subscriber to the DVDs. But the on-demand service just wasn't worth it to me. There wasn't enough stuff to watch, or if it was there, I didn't know how to find it.
  • I think Netflix missed the boat, bigtime. They could have been the place on the net to learn about and watch and share movie experiences. I think they could have started a match.com type service. If you're in a strange city and would like to go to the movies with someone with similar tastes, just click a few buttons. They were gathering all this information about people's movie preferences. But they were reluctant to build systems around it. And reluctant to open it up to app developers. I think we all missed out on something, because movies at least to some of us are such an important form of personal expression.
  • These days there's hardly any time for catching up on old movies. My life is filled with all kinds of entertainment, I never have a chance to see it all. Netflix played a big role in the early days by giving us access to a huge base of old movies that are worth seeing. Now it's time for something new. Maybe someone else will try to fill the gap that Netflix never wanted to fill.