The joys of Netflix

I subscribed to Netflix about a year and a half ago for a good reason: I had to watch several films for a philosophy class (like Watchman and Idiocracy — I found it to be a ridiculous class). There were screenings of these films on campus for our class; however, there was one issue: there was only a single screening time for each film…and I had class (statistics, nonetheless — and that class was rough). I never felt like I could get away with not going to class in order to see the films. As a result, I purchased a subscription to Netflix. My original “plan” was to have one DVD sent to me at a time with the ability to watch as much as I wanted through their online streaming services. It worked perfectly. The original price? Something like $7 or $8 (I can’t quite remember the exact amount).

I kept the service following that semester as I took an Introduction to Film class, which also had the class watching films (go figure for a class titled “Into to Film”). These films also had on campus screenings. Fortunately, there were more of them (seeing as all 8 sections of the course had to see the films) but they were pretty inconvenient for my class schedule and some even conflicted with my classes. Netflix remained a handy tool for completing this class.

Since then, I have kept the service simply because I enjoy watching all kinds of movies and often get bored with the choices I have here at home. I enjoy putting on a movie as I take a nap (I often find it hard to sleep in silence…at home, I have Jon snoring and at work I have a radio squawking) which, fortunately or not, finds me having to watch the movie more than once because I am so good at falling asleep during them. However, even as much as I enjoy my subscription to Netflix, recent changes have made me seriously consider canceling all together or simply reducing the services that I get.

Back in January, Netflix increased their rates for their existing customers a bit (it started a month or more earlier for any new subscriptions). It wasn’t much…just a dollar or two (again, my memory seems to fail me here). Now, beginning in September, existing customers will be charged a higher rate for their services. Here’s what’s changing:

You can still get DVDs and streaming bundled together…but the bundle provides no benefit. They will begin charging $7.99 for unlimited streaming only and $7.99 for one DVD out at a time (with unlimited exchanges). You can get these services together for a price of $15.98…or you can get the individual services you want. You can also get up to eight DVDs at a time (without streaming) for $43.99 a month. If you were to add streaming, that would cost you a whopping $51.98 a month (ouch! …and who needs eight DVDs at a time??)

So now, in order to keep the same services I am currently receiving, I will have to pay more that 50% more than I currently do…and twice as much as I did when I first got Netflix. While it is certainly not necessary to have this service, I (and Jon) quite enjoy it. But these continual rate hikes make me seriously consider utilizing other options for movie services and leave Netflix by the wayside.

Is it worth it?