When those of us who’ve had Netflix for a long time received word in our email box that our rates would go up, it seemed almost a waste of a message to those not affected. With existing members not even seeing an increase for two years, it was the equivalent of telling people someone will retire two years from now rather than in a month. But Netflix may be in to saving money right now, which may explain why they sent a blanket message to everyone rather than just to new customers.
With rumors that their business deal with Comcast cost them a pretty penny to keep the quality of their streaming service, Netflix could easily take a hit if they hadn’t raised their rates for new subscribers. We’ll have to wait and see the results whether Netflix gets an influx of new subscribers this year. Established subscribers are the ones that might have plenty more options in the next two years, even if a $1 increase then amid higher increases for other things may not seem egregious.
What Options Might Current Subscribers Take On Before 2016?
It’s been noted that Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video have kept their prices consistently low, or at least for this year. While they perhaps don’t offer as many movies as Netflix, they come close enough to make it worthwhile for people who look for any opportunity to save a few dollars. They also both have a spate of original shows and stand-alone movies that Netflix doesn’t have. As part of a give and take, both of those media services frequently come close to nipping on the heels of Netflix.
The chances are small that Hulu and Amazon won’t raise their rates over the next two years. It has to be expected, especially as they acquire more media to be comparable to the Netflix universe. Don’t be surprised to see Hulu or Amazon start expanding to a point where they finally create original shows that compete with “House of Cards” at the Emmys. So far, they haven’t really captured the imagination of the public with their shows, despite underrated titles like “Alpha House” with John Goodman. You’ll find some who think the latter series is one of the best online shows extant.
What gives Hulu and Amazon an interesting advantage is their original shows are focusing on comedy–something Netflix hasn’t quite done yet. It could be Netflix is playing it safe as commercial networks do based on how successful dramas usually in comparison to sitcoms. Hulu and Amazon should keep on with the comedies, though, because they’re likely to strike gold with one eventually. Once they do, they might be able to set a new mood in online shows where the public goes somewhere other than Funny or Die to find their daily comedy fix.
Then there’s another piece to this puzzle that could shift the tide of Netflix’s competition two years from now.
What Part Will Yahoo! Play in Online Media?
After Yahoo! made the announcement that they’re creating original online shows this year, it places the picture of the future in an interesting new light. Will Yahoo! become similar to Netflix in another two years and offer streaming media new and old? They’re also developing strictly comedies as their first online originals, and that could break new barriers before Amazon or Hulu manages to develop more comedies of their own.
If Yahoo! offered such a pay service, they’d have to price it below Netflix in order to gain a share of the marketplace. By doing that, they could siphon some of Netflix’s longtime customers away in 2016. Hulu and Amazon would equalize the rest of all those runaways.
Then again, we can’t rule Netflix out for keeping every one of their subscribers. As mentioned above, the psychology of economics may be at hand by 2016 where many families will be having substantially higher prices to pay at the grocery store, the gas pump, and just about everywhere else. Placing an extra $1 in Netflix’s coffers would sound extra reasonable considering everyone will want more entertainment than ever to escape real life. Also, like a good home, there may not be any need to jump ship, despite Hulu, Amazon, and Yahoo! managing an equal price.