Friday, October 28, 2011


"Oh noes!"

OK I can't get my Wordpress login to work at Big Hollywood so I can't comment there, and I have this bully pulpit to make my case so here goes. John Nolte in general writes well and has interesting points about movies and entertainment from a conservative perspective on the Big Hollywood site. But I've noticed something about him: he hates Netflix.

He's posted repeatedly, a dozen times or more about how bad Netflix is for raising prices, how stupid they are for doing this and annoying customers, for thinking about splitting off the DVD mail and direct to TV, on and on. He never brings up Netflix without attacking it with scathing, contemptuous terms. I figured maybe he was just upset and burnt because of the price increase, but then there's this post today:
In case you haven’t figured it out already, one of the pleasures of Redbox is that it is both a way to see the latest offerings from Hollywood and a way stick your finger in Hollywood’s eye at the same time. A two-fer, if you will. And who doesn’t love a two-fer?

I don’t hate Hollywood (my hate is all burned up by the mainstream media), but I also don’t like it very much; therefore 20 cents seems like a small price to pay to support the enemy of my enemy.
So he doesn't actually have a problem with a company rising its prices, he even defends it and points out its a small price to pay to somehow poke Hollywood in the eye by buying their product through Redbox.

And that smacks to me of less a principled stand than just brand loyalty. Netflix and Rebox do the same thing: give you at home viewing of film content. Both raised their prices (Redbox by 20%, 60%). One is defended as a fair price to pay, the other continually attacked as outrageously gouging for charging you 19 bucks a month for unlimited movies and entertainment 24 hours a day.

Consider: to use Redbox as much as you can Netflix, you would end up spending much more. The average movie is around 100 minutes long. You can only really watch movies about 14 hours a day, presuming no work and time off for food, sleep, and bathing. And since few people would sit like a zombie and watch that much, lets cut it back to around 8 as a realistic maximum. That means roughly 5 full length movies a day on average, or $6 a day for Redbox.

That means over a full month, you'd end up paying around $180 for Redbox. Assuming you turn them back in on time, or you pay $1.00 a day for late fees - unless that's gone up to $1.20 also.

So Netflix is a tenth as expensive as Redbox for the same content. Which begs the question: what's Nolte's problem? Because he mocks people who complain about Redbox fees going up and attacks Netflix in scathing terms for the price increases - and he's not the only one at Big Hollywood who does so. Why?


Eric said...

I don't begrudge Netflix raising prices, but I thought they went about it in a stupid way. When they started charging seperately for streaming content vs. delivered, I looked at our subscription for the first time in years and figured out that in spite of it having a much better selection, we rarely used the mail-in movie service anymore. So I cancleed it. Had they simply raised prices for the existing service by a few dollars, I may not have even considered chanigng it. Instead I sort of felt like I was being asked to chose between the two, and I did.

I've never used Redbox for the exact reason you mention... they seem to be a more expensive and less convenient way to do the same thing I do on Netflix.

And BOTH are less expensive than the money we used to spend at the video store (our small town video store is still 24-hour rental only, and I don't think I've ever rented a movie there that didn't end up costing me $6-$9).

Mother Effingby said...

Meh. I just haven't had any desire to watch movies or much television, aside from Barefoot Contessa, Red Eye and the various crime shows on The Various Crime Shows Channel. Since we're talking prices, my couple of times a week watching those shows sets me back about 130 a month. I could avail myself of more flotsam for the flooz, but it's damn expensive