It’s now been three months since I dropped DirecTV. I started with them to watch some Rugby. I had to sign up for a premiun package in order to add the $12 Setanta Sports channel. It all came to $80 or so. My wife and I didn’t get into much else; Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, The Soup on E!.
There were a few shows that we wanted to watch, but they were all on HBO and Showtime. Not wanting to jack up our costs over $100/month, we started with Deadwood from NetFlix, then Madmen and Lost. When we realized that we were watching 90% NetFlix in an average month we came to an easy decision: “What the hell are we paying DirecTV for?”
What we didn’t care about was immediacy. We didn’t care if we watched the final season of Lost now or later this year. We’ll see it sooner or later, and that’s good enough for us. We’re now streaming NetFlix and getting 20 local channels with a cheap digital antenna. Total cost is $20/month and with the savings we bought a huge (by our standards) TV.
Immediacy is apparently the only thing the Movie Studios have left. Bloomberg Reports that Studios are considering a “Premium” showing of their latest movies for up to $30. That’s not $30 for movies now in theatres, that’s $30 for movies that will be released on DVD and BluRay in a month or so. $30 for the privilege of seeing a movie in transition from theatres to disc.
I’ll grant that the industry is in trouble. Nobody’s going to theatres and nobody’s buying DVDs or BluRays. This kind of thinking will only make it worse. A whole new group of consumers will wake up one day and realize that they can live without the immediate experience. NewTeeVee has a few thoughts in that direction:
“…the at-home audience already has a wealth of choices at its disposal without having to resort to what amounts to a $30 rental of a film, even in a “recently released” film window. While theoretically the cost of a $30 VOD purchase is lower than the cost of a family of four going to the movies together — especially when one considers the cost of concessions, etc. — that $30 VOD rental will be compared to a $5 VOD rental through the same service. As a result, the amount of potential consumer demand is bound to be limited.”
So…right now I’m feeling good about my choice. I’m seeing everything I want to see and, because I don’t need to see it right now, I’m paying a reasonable price. Estimates are the 800,000 folks left the Cables and Satellites last year and didn’t move to something else. Seems like the beginning of a movement.