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That would be really bad if it's true. I'm guessing Ebert doesn't know what he's talking about. I love the selection of indie films on streaming. Maybe it's a different definition of indie??
Whenever all the experts agree on something...I run the opposite direction. That the press is so unified against Netflix is almost a perfect sign to me to buy more Netflix stock. I certainly think Netflix made some big mistakes this year, but I like companies that are willing to make bold moves, and whenever they do, it is inevitable that some of those moves will be huge mistakes (Google Buzz, Amazon's first Kindle, etc). I don't think this year's mistakes are irreversible. Most of the customers they lost were the low-end, dorm room $8/month customers. Not a disaster. After having used Netflix for 3-4 years, I finally bought stock. Of course, it immediately went underwater. Oh well. I'm sticking with them. As a customer, I cannot see any other choice. Vudu and Apple are far too expensive with their pay-per-item model (we watch a lot of TV). Amazon Prime streaming has a feeble selection. Nobody comes close to the Netflix service, and the movie studios being so prickly means that no one else can swoop in easily and take Netflix's business model away from them. One financial blogger stated that Netflix doesn't have the cash to ante up to the studios' inevitable increases in fees. That could possibly cause an issue. But the studios are beginning to "need" Netflix, much to their own chagrin. It should be interesting. But I am doubling down on Netflix.
Personally, I love the strategy. Let's get as many movies onto the streaming platform as soon as possible. Very few people need to see movies within 28 days of DVD release. Most of the movies we watch are 2 or 5 or 15 years old. Who cares, as long as it is worth watching?
We dropped our $100 cable bill for NetFlix downloads, Hulu and the like. If Hulu started charging us, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I'd prefer something like $25/year, rather than a monthly charge. But I'd expect it to be commercial free if I paid. Having Hulu on the Roku player would be fantastic. I wrote an article about how we made the switch if anyone is interested.