I stumbled across something that gave me some cruel insight into how media companies who start out as your friend become big, hungry money monsters that win your trust and then spit into your mashed potatoes.
I found an old cable bill. $7.95 per month for 31 channels. My Grandma had the wires and converter box installed for a one time fee of $9.50. The year was 1986, and TV was still a new enough medium that some people had black and white TV’s in their kitchens. Her first ever cable invoice, which included the install fee, was still about half of what it costs just to get the QVC network today.
I discovered this ancient cable invoice, its age verified by the dot matrix track holes on each side, and shuddered, as my brain, always helpful as it is, made a connection. “This is exactly what Netflix is going to do to you and your innocent friends. Start small, all smiles, affordable fee, great value. But guard your mashed potatoes or…SPIT! You must warn all people immediately.” That was about 10 months ago. Seeing that Netflix is now fulfilling my cerebral prophecy only makes me regret not saying something sooner, though I doubt it would have made much difference.
Anyway, I won’t rehash any of the details, since I want all of us to have a wonderful day. But I will spell out my idea on how to make Netflix better.
Here’s my plan to fix Netflix:
–Begin by offering VHS tapes. Who doesn’t love that warm, analog sound?
–Continue down the path of awesome by releasing new movies on BetaMax cassettes. So much better than VHS!
–Start selling VCRs again, like old times. Starting price: $5,000.
You might be thinking that this is a horrible idea. You are right! But, I think it holds true to their new direction and merely plays their business model out, namely, to ignore the customer and help your company quickly shut down so that people will go back to pirating movies again. Terrible. Immoral. But true.
Someone will emerge and offer something new yet similar, but don’t expect it to be as sweet and as cheap as it was. And remember, there’s always QVC.