Netflix is raising fees once more. I will resume watching cable TV

Netflix is raising fees once more. I will resume watching cable TV:My experience with streaming services has been lacking, so I’m leaving.

It was a mistake to stream.

That’s the only thing that comes to mind when I learn that Netflix, another streaming provider, is increasing its fees once more.

People like me, Millennial cord-cutters, drove the initial surge of streaming a decade ago. We chose to save the little money we had—this was the never-ending fallout from the 2008 Financial Crisis, after all—and watch the greatest Netflix series instead of paying for cable TV.

Those of us who grew up on Kazaa, Limewire, The Pirate Bay, and Napster at the time didn’t hesitate to share our streaming passwords with one another.

Streaming providers have since eliminated that, which is understandable, but they’re also increasing their costs and adding advertisements to their entry-level packages. This is again rather reasonable. Streaming services will have to pay writers of shows on their platforms more for their labour as a result of the Writer’s Guild of America’s end of strike; this cost will be passed on to customers (full disclosure: I am a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, East; however, members who work in digital media were not on strike and are not covered by the contract negotiated by the studios and the guild).

It goes beyond Netflix as well. All three of these services—Disney Plus, Discovery Plus, and Max—have ad-supported levels and are hiking their costs. Hulu, Peacock, and every other service that is currently or shortly will do the same are not included in that. When you add it all up, we’re talking substantial cash, which begs the question, “What the hell was it all for?”

I’m going back to cable TV, screw it.

It’s easier said than done, even though cable providers are horrible and their plans are pricey.

Netflix is raising fees once more. I will resume watching cable TV
Netflix is raising fees once more. I will resume watching cable TV

The same reasons that in the 2010s made me give up cable TV still apply now. The pricing of cable TV plans remains high, the quality of customer service is usually subpar, and the cable providers’ cartel-like division of US states, cities, and even neighbourhoods into exclusive agreements with landlords means that the cable company you get in the US is determined solely by your street address. Your cable provider is awful? Unfortunately, it is what you get.

This kind of operation is a major factor in my decision to move from cable TV to streaming services ten years ago. You know, like when we were all still in Zuccotti Park and you could create your own cartel with your buddies and pool your streaming services together for just $9.99?

But now that password sharing has been discontinued and most streaming services are struggling to charge a fair price for their offerings, I can’t help but feel that we’ve gone back to the beginning of it all, and it’s very tiresome. At this point, the last thing I actually want is additional options. After a long day, all I want to do is watch TV and maybe catch a Yankees or NYCFC match (it’s been a rough year on both counts, unfortunately).

I keep getting logged out when I sign in on another device, so I shouldn’t have to think about what to watch, which service to visit, and what my password was for any given service.

Now that I have a life full of long work hours, responsibilities to my family, relationships, and friendships, I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much I pay for all the many streaming services I have enrolled in but rarely utilise.

Sadly, I can see the solution there in front of me. I intend to return with all my might to whichever cable company serves my Brooklyn pre-war apartment block and get a TV bundle with a mix of sports, films and premium-ish TV (not prestige, but whatever).

Ultimately, having too many options is a burden that I’m not willing to bear.

If there’s one thing we now know about the tech sector, it’s that most of them—Netflix included—cannot function without negative interest rates.

In an effort to encourage businesses to borrow money at negative interest rates in the wake of the Great Recession, the US government did just that. This contributed to the tech industry’s explosive growth as businesses that found it difficult to turn a profit on their main business strategy were able to survive thanks to government-backed financing. Although it is debatable in and of itself, it isn’t inherently negative because it aids businesses in building a path to prosperity that might not otherwise be possible in a free market.

Netflix was among those who benefited. All those fantastic Netflix series and films? fueled by US government grants for free money.

Netflix is raising fees once more. I will resume watching cable TV
Netflix is raising fees once more. I will resume watching cable TV

However, as interest rates are rising in response to inflation, businesses must now work quickly to turn a profit on their core operations. In media of all kinds, this can only be accomplished by increasing subscription costs and running advertisements. similar to how cable companies have operated for many years. They operate in this manner because it is the only practical solution.

Streaming providers will ultimately need to resemble cable companies. More charges, more advertisements, and content with a worse production quality. The days of Andor and expensive, high-production television shows that run for one or two seasons before being cancelled, no matter how many viewers they attract, are quickly coming to an end. In fact, a lot of well-known programmes are already being cancelled. Now that streaming services are required to ensure that every show earns its money back, things can only grow worse.

What’s the point without those production values? Not even in the glorious days of the 2010s are they allowing us to binge-watch an entire season in one sitting.

What once made streaming so wonderful is either no longer there or is disappearing soon, and what’s left won’t be worth the frustration. Even with cable, which is terrible, at least I know what I’m getting.

 

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