We just saved $4/month because Kara is currently a college student. If you or your significant other are currently enrolled in a college course at a Tier IV college, then Hulu has partnered with SheerID to verify your status and then you can save $4/month off the Hulu monthly subscription.
Older movies on streaming services — all of the major services, not just Netflix — are very poorly represented in their archives. It’s like the licensing started in the late 70s and newer, increasing in volume after 2000.
As streaming subscription prices increase, subscribers will rightly analyze if the service they’re paying for has content they want to watch.
The back catalog of movies is thin if you enjoy the classics — someone should tell Netflix that there’s an entire century of movies that were made prior to the 2000s — and the number of films that are there seem to be shrinking at the expense of the Netflix originals the streaming service wants to put front and center.
Is this a wise strategy for subscriber longevity and reducing retention? Yes. At the same time, their back catalog of movies is shrinking and as their prices increase, subscribers will need to ask the question the Tom’s Guide writer and his family asked: do they have enough of what we want to watch to stay subscribed?
Was it enough to keep you subscribed? Was for us. Would we like to see them add more classic movies to their back catalog? Yes. Will they? Probably not. Will having less of these movies make us more likely to unsubscribe? Probably not. What about you?
If your reaction to Netflix raising their monthly subscription prices again is, “didn’t they do that not too long ago?” we’re with you. Raising prices for any streaming channel in the current times is a risky bet.
In fairness, based on the amount of new content Netflix is adding compared to all the other streaming services, they are worth the extra money.
The company’s decision to raise its standard plan by $1 per month, from $12.99 to $13.99, and its premium plan by $2 per month, from $15.99 to $17.99, is an essential part of Netflix’s long-term strategy. It’s why Netflix has a market valuation of $218 billion on just $2.8 billion of net income in the last 12 months.
Of course if you’re #1 already in your field, that will lessen the blow. And Netflix has a pretty good lead over just about everybody else, from a standpoint of a stable of ready new content and existing movies and TV shows to binge-watch.
The problem with adding too much is something new usually only gets one chance to be “new.” Then it can get lost in the archives. There are exceptions like TV shows that get to be new every time a new season, special or episode is released. Movie-wise, though, that one opportunity can be fleeting.
We like seeing around 3-5 new movies per week open in theaters. Right now due to the pandemic the number of new releases is one per week, sometimes two.
If I was in charge of organizing new movies for streaming channels, I’d focus on promoting and releasing 1-2 quality new movies (max) per week for the channel. If every streaming channel had one feature new movie per week, that would still be more than most moviegoers could see, but at least it wouldn’t be saturated.
What I mean by “quality” is very subjective. It’s not just a question of the budget, which we can go down a rabbit hole arguing larger budget equals higher quality, something I generally disagree with in concept. Yes, a larger budget can have bigger name actors, more special effects, but it doesn’t mean the story is going to be great. It could also mean a great story without any name actors or decent special effects won’t draw as large an audience. Special effects needed will vary upon the type of films being made of course.
For example, I’d label most of what Blumhouse is producing as “quality.” They shoot for lower budget and not all of their films are good, of course, but there is definitely an emphasis from that studio in getting the bang for their buck. Some other studios making movies on Netflix do not have as high filmmaking standards with similar or larger budgets.
As for a marketing and promotional strategy? Promote these new releases starting with an active campaign 90 days from the release date (release the first trailer, then a second trailer 45 days before) and increasing the amount of promotional activity incrementally until the week before and during which should be at the height of movie lover engagement. Would also buy ads in movie theaters, if allowed, even if it’s during that extended period before the previews begin. The Noovie segment, I think it’s called.
How many new movies would you like to see your favorite streaming channel release per month?
We ditched cable a long, long time ago. I was one of the earliest cord cutters at the time when it was sacrilege except in the geekiest of tech circles to ditch cable TV. Then, I would toy with bringing it back several years later, only to keep it for a couple years and then ditch it again.
What’s more, the trend toward getting you to sign up is getting more intense when it comes to streaming media. The spectrum of apps and services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, Showtime and YouTube, is about to get even more crowded with the advent of Apple TV+, HBO Max (from AT&T), Peacock (from Comcast/NBCUniversal) and Disney+.
That is basically our strategy of how to watch movies and television. We subscribe to what we want to watch, sometimes for as little as the free 7-day trial, then cancel, sometimes staying for a month or two. Staying long enough to see everything we want to watch.
These are the movie/TV-related subscriptions we currently have:
High speed cable internet ($100+/mo.) – when we ditched the TV the price of the high speed internet doubled. They want you to bundle in TV, internet and phone (which why on earth would we need a cable phone when we have cell phones)?
Amazon Prime ($119/year) – for movies, this service is used more than any other. Since August 12, 2019, we’ve watched 122+ movies through Prime Video and various add-on channels.
Netflix Family Account ($17/mo.) – we don’t watch Netflix for movies as often, but do enjoy the TV shows and some of the original content. With Disney+ coming in November, I’m probably going to recommend we cancel this and pick up Disney+ instead for the grandchildren. We’ll save $$$ .
Starz ($8.99/mo.) – we have this premium add-on channel at the moment, but will be getting rid of it in a month or two. We have a rotating system where we go through the premium movie channels, watch all the movies we want to watch, then cancel and choose another
Shudder ($5.99/mo) – recently signed up for this one and may convert to annual subscription ($50/year roughly). Lots of horror genre content here, including some good shudder-only content like the reboot Creepshow anthology series. Totally for me, Kara has no interest in this channel.
Lifetime ($3.99/mo) – was paying $1.99, but the price increased to $3.99/mo. so it’s been canceled. This is Kara’s guilty pleasure.
We currently have no live TV subscription. Haven’t had one for quite some time, other than a brief free trial with Hulu a year ago. We also tried PS Vue for live TV for a couple months and then canceled. We just don’t watch live TV that much. The primary live TV I enjoy is professional sports, but that doesn’t justify the monthly or yearly bills.
What streaming subscriptions, if any, do you have?