Netflix: Revolutionizing the way Americans watch TV

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Zach Plahn

Many Americans are turning to Netflix for entertainment. Credit: Michael Morales/The Foothill Dragon Press
Many Americans are turning to Netflix for entertainment. Credit: Michael Morales/The Foothill Dragon Press

Netflix: 90 million subscribers, over a billion hours worth of TV that has been watched on it, and I have never come across an individual who says that they don’t like it.

It seems kind of expected. We’re Americans, and we watch TV. We give in to major corporations and companies because it’s just easier. Companies like McDonalds, Walmart, and Starbucks have made necessities convenient. Netflix has made television even more convenient.

Why would I decide to watch Netflix? Why would I want to support the corporate monster that consumes me, my time, and even my family? Wouldn’t it just be easier to order cable?

Netflix is easy to navigate, it has almost any show I want to watch at my finger tips, I can watch it from almost any mobile device, and I can depend on Netflix to deliver my shows. They’re always there, and I won’t have to wait until 10:30 Eastern Time to watch them.

Over the past decade, Netflix has literally revolutionized the way people watch TV. Instead of waiting for a new episode to come out every week, viewers can now watch their favorite shows in bulk. Full seasons of TV shows are available for viewing at any time for members. Netflix has molded together two things Americans adore: Television and immediateness.

People want what they want when they want it. People don’t want to wait until 10:30 Eastern Time to watch an episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” and why would you when the first seven seasons are available on your laptop, phone, gaming system, iPod, or E-reader? You don’t have to wait. You can watch it right now.

Another aspect that makes Netflix loved by so many is discovery. If you finish one TV show, it’s on to the next, new, exciting, suspenseful, funny show. Often times, I find myself up until 12 a.m. on school nights, watching Netflix on my iPod. Once I’ve started, I find it hard to stop. Why would I stop? If I am watching a show like AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” I need to know what happens next. If I am watching USA’s “Psych,” I want to laugh more. I don’t want to fall asleep.

Netflix is like a drive-thru Starbucks. It’s fast. It delivers a comfortable, enjoyable product in a matter of minutes. And like Starbucks, it has taken over its industry. Netflix is the product of Blockbuster, a company that used to dominate the movie rental industry. Now, because of Netflix’s total and utter dominance, Blockbuster is bankrupt. There is really only one real difference that makes Netflix stronger than Blockbuster: The use of the internet. Blockbuster depended on people wanting movies so badly, that they would get in a car and drive to stores in order to get them. Netflix depends on people to open their computers, and type in a name. Netflix is simply convenient.

So, as Americans, should we be so occupied with Netflix? Should we adore it as much as we do? After all, over 90 million of us use its services. It’s almost like we’re addicted. But hey, Netflix is like any other television provider, they just do business differently. They do it better. If Netflix somehow vanished, we’d just move on to the next most convenient option. We’re Americans, and we watch TV a lot. Netflix is just making it easier. 

What do you think?