You Had Me At Instant Watch
Back in mid-July of last year, I wrote about my Netflix usage [or lack of it] and how I loved their service, but was thinking of quitting.
On October 8, 2008, Netflix sent out an announcement to subscribers that they will be charging an extra $1 per month for Blu-Ray rentals. Here’s the announcement:
“Thanks for a being a loyal customer. Now we want another $1 per month.”
Upon reading this, I thought, “Ok, it’s time to quit!” I mean, Netflix offers Blu-Ray delivery as a free option earlier in 2008 [with no extra cost to mail the disc], then ends up charging us Blu-Ray owners an extra fee each month later in the year. Get me hooked, then tack on an extra buck. I don’t think so. Where’s that cancel button?
Okay, so maybe I’m making a big deal out this. I’ve been with Netflix since November 1999. That’s almost 10 years. Plus, thinking about the actual dollar amount, that extra $1 per month (plus taxes) isn’t really that much, at least when compared to the extra fees that my cell phone company [Sprint] finds a way to add to my cell phone bill every few months. On top of that, it’s not a requirement, as I can remove the Blu-Ray option from my account [shaving off that $1 fee in the process], leaving normal DVD mail delivery and Instant Watch, which at the time were only viewable under Windows. [which I don’t like, since I am a Mac user and rarely run Windows for personal tasks]
Instantly Mac – it’s about time
But then came another email on December 3, 2008. This time with good news. Instant Watch is now on the Mac. It’s using Microsoft’s Silverlight technology [similar to Flash], which is actually not that bad and has a very small footprint. Movies are pretty decent in quality and on a decent broadband connection, I only get one or two buffering segments. And I’m watching a movie per week, which is progress for me.
Stick It Out
So while I almost pulled the plug on my Netflix account, I’ve decided I’m going to keep it around for a bit longer. I like getting Blu-Ray discs, plus now having the option to watch movies instantly on my Mac fits my distraction habits. All that’s left now for Netflix to do is offer Instant Watch over my PlayStation 3. One can hope it will happen sooner than later in an effort to keep this Netflix subscriber happier for the long haul.
I was a customer for a few years but kinda left it behind and forgot about it after my divorce. There was nothing wrong with the service and I have nothing but good things to say about Netflix in general, just my situation prompted the cancellation. So, thanks for the reminder that I need to resubscribe again at some point.
kevin – I know what you mean with the cancellation. They do have an option that allows you to put your account on hiatus for a few months, which I have used a couple of times before. Nice when you need some down time from movie rentals, but still want to keep your account.
The best thing about “Watch Instantly” for me is that I can put it in my queue and watch it through Tivo. I mean hello, can it get any more convenient than that?
Sure, they don’t always have the newest titles but when I’m in the mood for a little horror or some older movies that I’ve never seen, I am so there.
I love Netflix but I would have gotten rid of it a long time ago if it weren’t for the “watch instantly” option. I’m a PC guy, by the way.
The PS3 option probably isn’t too far off. I bought some friends of ours a Roku player for Christmas and they are addicted to it like crack! I don’t have a blue-ray DVD player or Tivo HD or an Xbox 360 so I am waiting for the PS3 option as well. Or I may just buy one of those blue-ray players that they work with.
Despite my intention of avoiding Watch Instantly via TiVo due to stability issues, I’m back to using it. So far, so good.
hilly – You mentioned the part about Instantly Watch that I forgot to add in my entry… that it’s not newer titles available (at least for now), but like you, I like to instantly have available to me some great older titles that are fun to watch.
b.e. earl – The watch instantly kept me from calling it quits, too. Ahh.. another PS3 owner waiting for the instantly watch addition. From what I’ve read, I’ve heard it’s not far off either. I heard that Sony was complaining there about adding it, but I think Netflix should be able to get past that.
ren – That’s right… you just posted your Netflix/TiVo blog post the other day. Glad to hear it’s at least working well enough for you to use it again. I wonder if Hilly has had any stability issues with her Netflix/TiVo combo.
Just as you thought the innovative company was getting stale, they surprise you all over again. Yay for sticking it out with Netflix.
nilsa – It’s these little extras that Netflix does that keeps me around.
I know what you mean…it is the princible of it. I have t mobile and even though I am always under everything my bill always comes out to be a different amount. They have a service fee charge…that for some reason isnt calculated in the actual service fee charge of 39 99. That charge changes with the wind.
Oh to have time to watch movies! I remember those days, before my kids took over my life!
Instant Watch does sound pretty cool, especially for someone like me. I never know when I will actually get two hours to myself, that could be a good solution.
amanda – Yep, you got it. I don’t mind paying extra for good service, but when it’s obvious they could just suck it up and consider it part of keeping customers happy, then that’s when I question it. And the cell phone companies can charge whatever, as you’ve discovered. Trying to keep that bill down is a regular challenge.
beth – I’m now managing my movies better. This instant watch is a good thing, at least for me. I recommend it. Of course, you still need time to watch a movie, but it’s now available in more places than just the TV.
Wow. This sounds very close to the conversation my husband and I had about Netflix. We joined at the same time you did. Too bad long-time members don’t get some sort of perk. We opted to keep it (for now) because of the Mac access.
becky – Welcome to the blog. Wow… very similar… nice to know I wasn’t the only one that was in that decision mode. Us long time Netflix customers should get some sort of perk for sticking with them for so long. Of course, they think we are already getting perks with Blu-Ray and Instant Watch on the Mac.
I might give netflix a try for the games. At least, I hear games are an option (PS2/Wii).
whall – I think Netflix only does movies and TV shows. For games, try this site: http://www.gamefly.com/
I didn’t know Netflix has been around for 10 years! Why did Steven and I not get it until now? 😉
I hope they make more movies available to watch instantly. What a neat option!
kilax – Yeah, Netflix started right when the DVD was making it’s big push into the consumer world. I paid almost $500 for my first DVD player (seems pricey now).
Me too. I think their goal is to have every movie instant watch in the next few years.
This might be a cool thing to finally try on my trip.
kapgar – I recommend it. It works very well. Hopefully you’ll have some good bandwidth at the hotel.