While Netflix has taken a bit of a beating in the press and online, from critics to consumers, people are not happy with their recent rate hike to get both a disc and the streaming service. This week, they continue to prove why they can raise their prices and still stay on top with a few different news items.
The company is behind a bill currently working its way through the system that would allow subscribers to share their favorite stuff with friends. So instead of just suggestions from your own stream of previously watched movies and TV shows, but suggestions based on what your friends are watching. Right now, the Video Privacy Protection Act requires permission from the user to share that information (except on stuff like GetGlue, where you agree to share that stuff when signing up) and they’re trying to get that changed.
The only problem with Netflix has been their status as a gigantic company. They make moves like this, that major corporations make, but in the interest of their customers, even if it might be slightly against their will. Up to this point, they’ve done everything imaginable to expand their demographic, and it only seems to get bigger each day, and their library grows accordingly. The argument against such information sharing is the fear that what we watch speaks a lot about our sexual, political, or religious interests, and people obviously don’t necessarily want all of that shared.
Verizon has been busy lately, first trying to develop a streaming system of their own, but now reports are coming out saying the media giant is possibly interested in buying the company, although experts are saying it would be cheaper to buy their customers outright than the company itself and its steady growth rate. While it remains a possibility, I doubt Verizon will buy them, although I don’t rule out the possibility of a special Netflix/Verizon team up project or more integration for Verizon customers.
Last but not least, Netflix has picked up the show Hemlock Grove from Eli Roth who will produce and direct the show. Brian McGreevey and Lee Shipman will write the show, based on McGreevey’s forthcoming novel of the same title. It will be the third original series pick up for the company, after House of Cards from Kevin Spacey and David Fincher, as well as a new show from Jenji Kohan (Weeds) called Orange is the New Black.
So while people will bitch (and rightly so) about raised prices, it’s all in an effort to better the service overall, and find new ways to bring shows straight to the consumer, who won’t notice a difference in delivery if the end product is quality, and based on the pedigree of the people involved with these shows, I’m sure they’ll be quite popular.