That's just a handful of things that raise in price every so often. Some quicker than others. Some more exponential than others. But they all raise.
So when I hear everyone throwing a tantrum about Netflix a) raising their prices for DVD rentals, and, b) the more recent "fix" of spinning off their DVD business into Qwikster.com, I just have to laugh.
Netflix did what??? They raised the cost of my DVD rentals??? The cost of shipping with the USPS has gone up and now WE have to PAY MORE for someone to deliver me a scratched up laser-encoded disc that I have to stick into a machine just so I can watch it!?! Yes, I KNOW that I go ONLINE to update my queue. But I'm doing that so I can sit around and let someone else BRING ME a DVD. Don't you worry about it if I just leave them on my coffee table for an average of 5 months, I WANT THE DAMN DVDs AT THE SAME PRICE! Screw inflation. Screw increasing delivery costs! And while I'm bitching, since when did Whoppers cost MORE than $0.99!?!
That's what it sounds like to me. And the complaint that you have to now go to Qwikster to get said DVDs? Okay, I get that one 25% of the way. But Netflix probably can see the light at the end of the tunnel – the light that says DVDs are becoming obsolete and digital streaming is the future.
Back in May, Netflix accounted for 29.7% of internet traffic. For those counting at home, DVDs don't figure into that number. With more and more consumers getting broadband at home, why wouldn't Netflix want to reduce the amount of money they spend on shipping, mail centers, printing and resurfacing centers?
It makes sense to me. At the very least, it makes business sense to me.
For those upset, stop making a big deal out of this. Just cancel your account and go to Blockbuster – I understand that they're offering deals for upset Netflix users. But be careful when you get excited about the "unlimited in-store exchanges," because as of April 2011, Blockbuster is down to 2,400 stores and was planning on closing 700 more by the end of April (WAY down from a peak of 9,000 in 2004). And should we mention that Blockbuster declared for bankruptcy in 2010 and is now owned by the Dish Network? Nah.
Soon I'll be canceling my DVD portion and will find new releases at the Apple iTunes Store, Redbox, cable Pay-Per-View or even Blockbuster's OnDemand service. I'm not a business man. I don't own a movie rental company. But right now, my money is on digital rentals. And, it just so happens that my monthly fee is, too.