Volume Four: Dude, Where's My DVD? (Part Two)

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

The Netflix And Chill Generation

This is more than just a social trend for teenagers. This is a lifestyle choice that is encouraged by social media users.

But the story behind Netflix and chill is a lot more than just some social trend. Netflix has taken the video service industry by storm, becoming a staple of the culture. And why wouldn't it. Binge watching Netflix shows and movies is America's new favorite past time, and with the continuous watching option, it can suck you in and hold onto you until you have officially wasted days of your life watching three seasons of The Office.

I speak from experience. Kind of. The total was more like one season.

But why is Netflix so much more than just a movie streaming site? Is the future of entertainment going in a positive direction with Netflix?

The Advent of Netflix

While some people may not remember Netflix in its more fledgling days, I can remember when watching movies from Netflix was nothing more than ordering physical DVDs and then watching the movie you want days after the fact.

I mean who remembers that? Having those flimsy little Netflix envelopes that you were supposed to send your movies back in. How does that make any sense. Many times I either lost it or accidentally destroyed it.

While this envelope strategy was not maybe the best, it was a start. And when the streaming became more prevalent, the movie/show catalogue become bigger and better. And as this started to grow, so Netflix's offering of services.

Netflix Today

For Netflix to get to where it is at today, a number of things had to happen. Firstly, people had to agree that they are willing to pay the monthly cost of a Netflix subscription in order to watch their shows, meaning again, that Netflix had to fill their catalogue with selections that made sense and that people wanted to see.

Once people agreed to this, Netflix was set. Because what Netflix lives off of is other people's content. And I mean really thats the craziest part about Netflix. Netflix is a company that makes money by renting other people's content for a blanket price, giving them the rights to use it for X amount of time.

And Americans have made Netflix one of the highest paid businesses in the world, even worth more than the vaulted Walt Disney Corporation for a short period of time. And it's not that surprising to see how they are so successful.

They make a catalogue of shows and movies which people love, and they circulate content in and out regularly so there are always new options. Netflix is taking things that people love and, by making it available on demand, they have turned Netflix into a multi-billion dollar company.

But what these TV shows don't do for Netflix is give them staying power. With social media, it is so easy for trends to come and go. For people to change their opinion or to adjust how they wish to spend their money. And in that moment, Netflix could lose all of their subscribers.

How do you beat that then? You create your own content. You offer people some of the much needed content they love. But you also get people to take you serious as a studio powerhouse for releasing high quality movie content.

Whether this means signing Adam Sandler to a movie contract deal, or signing Disney to have the rights to put out movies like Star Wars or Disney cartoons. Netflix is capitalizing on fame now, using it to make them a world super power, not just an extreme trend.

Is Netflix Harmful

This is a multi faceted question. In many respects, you could argue at least three potential major negative side effects from Netflix, starting with just physical fitness, and ending with the disappearance of movie theaters and stores, as I discussed in Part One.

So let's look at the other two negatives, starting with the physical/mental health aspect.

1. Health

The most obvious health issue may very well be the creation of a timer between show episodes, which has made it hard for a lot of people to shut off Netflix, meaning that with a busy schedule, you may be forced to run on very little to no sleep. And no this isn't based on some statistic, it's personal experience and conversation.

You could then argue that a lack of sleep can lead to mental health issues. And mental health issues can to lead to your life spiraling. In case you wanted to cheer up, Netflix is killing you. Okay, maybe a little extreme. But moderation never hurt anyone.

For more information on how Netflix may hurt your physical health, check out this link.

The main idea is that over indulgence has caused society to create new problems for themselves, making our lives harder just so we can binge watch Orange is the New Black. And it's not just adults either. Young kids are growing up with their favorite shows on demand, which means that they are getting the instant gratification of what they want to watch.

And according to a study by the National Institute of Health, excessive TV viewing by children:

“has been linked to a range of adverse health and behavioral outcomes such as obesity and overweightness which in turn may cause increased risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other metabolic diseases, some cancers, depression and various sleeping difficulties and decreased sleep length.”

2. Cord Cutters

The cord cutter trend is a much more interesting change. And its not necessarily negative or positive, but it looks to be a major trend in the industry.

The cord cutting trend is one that I would like to see continue on personally. Because the reality is, we are heading to an on demand streaming platform for everything in our lives.

Which sounds kind of awesome to me.

Think about being able to just pick and choose what you pay for. The extra cable channels you never use or really actually care about. As a sports fan, I want to be able to customize and establish my TV package so it reflects exactly what a want to watch, not what the cable companies think I should watch.

The true meaning of cord cutters is a lot less awesome right now. It's really as simple as people leaving cable companies and using streaming services as their only way of watching television series and movies. This is why John C. Reilly said that Netflix was trying to run the movie theaters out of business. Because Netflix isn't just going for theaters, they are going for cable companies as well.

According to research firm eMarketer, 2017 saw 24.9 million cord cutters, and expected there to be 33 million unsubscribing by the end of 2018, or 32.8% drop in the number of consumers paying for TV. And with sports leagues creating their own on demand platforms, the sports packages cable providers can offer doesn't really help to keep people either.

It remains to be seen if Netflix can turn into something like a personalized cable option for providing content, but it is an exciting future for television streaming.

And this isn't just Netflix. Hulu and now Amazon Prime are becoming major figures in the streaming game, with Hulu's pairing of spotify for college students helping to offer the most bang for your buck. Alternatively, Amazon has made another major push into the originals, with their Jack Ryan series headlined by former Office star John Krasinski bringing some star power to the show.

For more information on cord cutters, visit this Forbes article.

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