Netflix Love

James Ledbetter has a nice piece in Slate about why Netflix is really a stronger company that people think they are.

(from Flickr user

I first subscribed to Netflix back during college. I had four weeks off for winter break and needed something to keep me amused for a while. Netflix worked out perfectly. At the end of the break, I suspended my subscription. I re-activated it again the following winter during break. It was incredibly simple, and I was impressed with the fact that Netflix's billing only charged me for exactly what I used.

People talk about Netflix and how it's doing so much better than its competitor, Blockbuster Video. I don't think that's entirely fair though, because Netflix is way more than just a video rental service. Netflix's main competitor, from my perspective, is cable TV.

When I think about Netflix now, it's a question of whether I want to re-activate my subscription, or sign up for cable. When it comes to price, Netflix is way more affordable, as cable just seems to keep getting more and more expensive. And when it comes to service, I already know Netflix will treat me well, and I know Comcast is infamous for poor service and billing. It doesn't seem like such a tough choice, after all.

Most of my favorite TV shows are on network TV, so if I really wanted to see them, I wouldn't technically need to subscribe to cable anyway. The beauty of cable used to be that it provided entertainment when there wasn't anything interesting on regular TV. Now Netflix does that too - and it seems to do it at least as well.