It’s Official: Netflix Lost the Streaming War

Sep 14, 2020 | Business, Movies, Technology, TV

I canceled my Netflix subscription this week.

I’m sure I don’t need to explain why. While Netflix still has a few good assets, the overall quality of the platform has undeniably gone downhill. I’ve been considering the move for quite some time.

However, one recent event was enough to push me over the edge. I do not wish to mention the specifics of the controversy, as those are already known far and wide. But I cannot in good conscience keep giving money to a media company that produces material that is, frankly, illegal.

And the material is illegal. The movie in question violates not only all forms of decency, but a number of laws. If stills from that movie were found on a person’s hard drive, they would be arrested, serve prison time, and be forced to register as a sex offender. That Netflix feels entitled to distribute such material bodes badly for the company.

Where Will You Go Now?

Honestly, I’m probably headed for Disney+.

A lot of people have tried to dissuade me from this move. And truly, Disney has made some creative missteps in recent years (especially with Star Wars).

But those failures are failures of creativity and imagination, and they are nowhere near as bad as what Netflix has turned out to be.

And since Disney+ is bundled with Hulu, it will give me access to shows I’ve been missing from Netflix, such as Archer and Frasier.

What about Your “Netflixing” Miniseries?

I haven’t written a real Netflix review in a long time.

That said, the “Netflixing” miniseries found on this blog is likely due for a rebranding. Most of the shows and movies I reviewed are available on other platforms. Regardless, I can no longer associate the “Netflix” name with my brand. My hand is forced. I will be retroactively renaming every entry in this miniseries to purge the Netflix taint from this website.

What Netflix has done truly is beyond the pall.

Is There Anything Netflix could Do to Win You Back?

Not really.

Modern internet etiquette states that you need to give a company 48 hours to apologize and backtrack from a bad decision. Netflix has already exhausted that window.

That said, there are conditions where I would forgive Netflix. Forgiveness, however, does not mean that I would resubscribe to their service (especially if I’ve already hitched my wagon to a different platform). Nevertheless, there are conditions where I would publicly announce my forgiveness.

These conditions are as follows:

  1. A complete renunciation of their behavior. Not an apology, a renunciation. Meaning that Netflix would have to admit that their actions were absolutely indefensible, that they were entirely in the wrong, that everyone who criticized them was correct to do so, and that they deserve punishment.
  2. The firing of everyone involved in the production and/or acquisition of the movie in question. No holds barred. No second chances.
  3. A pledge to cooperate with local and federal law enforcement in the prosecution of the filmmakers and all parties fired from the company in step 2. The remaining people in the company must, according to the discretion of the authorities, testify against their former partners and coworkers in court, and ensure that all guilty parties are brought to justice.
  4. The company must divert a significant chunk of its billions of dollars in assets to efforts that prevent and expose child exploitation and human trafficking.
  5. The company must examine the rest of its catalog, and thoughtfully purge all pornographic material from its rosters. Quite a few titles, including Netflix Originals, will have to leave the platform forever (and from all countries).

If Netflix does this, it may yet survive as a company. Though, based on their current belligerence, I doubt they will accomplish even one of the above points until a judge forces them to.

And naturally, if they only perform the above points because they are forced to, then that doesn’t count, and I won’t forgive them.

Your Move, Netflix

Honestly, I’d be happy to find out that the FBI raided Netflix’s corporate offices and shut them down tomorrow. I have no loyalty left for the platform.

Furthermore, I am ready to make a prediction: Netflix will lose the streaming wars.

When the streaming wars started, Netflix had the first-mover advantage, which, if they’d played their cards right, would have been insurmountable.

They have now sacrificed that advantage, and they have no others. Better companies with longer pedigrees will destroy Netflix. It will be forced to sell itself off, piecemeal, until there is nothing left. The company will become a footnote in the history books, forgotten by everyone.

And, honestly, there’s probably nothing Netflix can do to stop this doom from befalling them. They waited too long to stop it. Now such a feat is beyond them. But their loss is literally everyone else’s gain.

Good riddance.

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