I had just got off the phone with Cox cancelling some services when I saw that Netflix was doing some shuffling, changing their billing that just about everyone else called raising fees. People are pissed.
I wouldn’t say I’m pissed as much as I am vexed at how dependent I have become on media in general. So I began to think about how much I spend on media a month and, as a household, it came out to more than half what I spent on my mortgage. And I don’t even have one of those smart phones. It’s as much as myself, Romy and Tulane University spend on healthcare for us.
I thought a little more about the value of money and considered whether I would half the square footage of my house just to keep my internet, phone and television. Certainly not. Would I give them up if it meant I could add another half to my home? Probably so considering I could keep my digital rabbit ears and get the public TV.
But in the end, I wouldn’t give up my Internet. The Internet is worth it. Cable TV? Fucking forget it! Way overpriced for me. About right for my mom and dad though. They watch that stuff.
Of course, my predicament is my fault, my tastes have become so weird as I have aged that I’m pretty damn far down the long tale. I recently watched this, this and this. Would Cox have been able to predict that?
Netflix, or more importantly Netflix and an internet conection is everything a weird bastard needs. I spent an insominiac’s hour on Google Earth the other night tooling around the Dalton Highway and looking at strange formations in the tundra (Hey Maitri, what caused this? and reading about little towns and their double digit populations along the way. It was like a little road trip.
Netflix is fantastic, it is far superior to what Cox offers with their pathetic DVR and InDemand services. Those are a joke and that was covered here.
Netflix streaming needs more titles but its vastness has made a spoiled little prick out of me. Even though I have more than a hundred hand-picked titles right out of my own long tail, now I cater what I want to watch to every little nuance of my mood, whether it’s day or night, whether I am up or a little down, am I reflective or unchallenged? Is it that boring Monday through Thursday stretch or the more carefree weekend? What season is it? As obsessive compulsive as it sounds, that’s what occurs when one lives in a country where most of their needs are filled. They have long tails in their long tails like fractals. People don’t have these problems in the third world and they don’t love it if they do.
I still think the streaming is a good deal and it caters to my need not to watch more movies/TV but to watch better movies/TV. That’s where Cox lost me. That’s where movie theaters lost me. That’s where radio lost me. They are wisely going after the thicker part of the long tail.
So long as the rates aren’t nearing the cost of housing or health care, they can get away with it. But it should align with Maslo’s heirarchy of needs. Speaking from a sociological standpoint, shit at the bottom of the pyramid should be most valuable and cost more, shit at the top less valuable and cost less. So, health and shelter should be what we spend most of our money on and Netflix and cable, which could fall under love and belonging needs (social networking) but more appropriately belong under “need to know and understand” because we don’t need Facebook for love and belonging despite what seems to be happening to some of my friendships.
So as the Cox representative was trying to convince me why I needed more movie, sports and variety channels I had to cut her off and just said I was going to read and socialize more and she audibly chuckled!
And remember what Brother said about one of those…
(My viewing of The Wire made possible by Cox and Netflix.)