Streaming's seamy underside
When I began streaming Netflix, circa 2011, my purchase of physical media dropped precipitously. That was the last season of South Park I bought on DVD. Life was great, Netflix was the game, and they had a HUGE library.
But that was a sheltered existence. With its success came followers, and suddenly a lot of licensed content disappeared. Gone to Hulu, or Amazon Prime, and now the number of streaming services is ever growing. To watch what I want to watch, I pay for Prime, Netflix, Hulu, HBOMax, Acorn, BritBox, and now Apple+.
Netflix's original deep catalog of TV shows, blockbuster movies, and the long tail of classics, and film noir is a mere trickle. Their strategy seems to be building a fuck-ton of "Netflix Originals" that for the most part are shit. Sure, a few gems in there, surrounded by a lot of poorly written, cheaply produced, and half assed stories.
That gets me to the point of this post. I originally took in the BBC production of Sherlock (with Bennedict Cumberbach and Martin Freeman) on Netflix several years ago. This weekend my wife was away on a hen's weekend, and I wanted to binge something familiar, yet re-watchable. Tired of the 4 seasons of Rick and Morty, I thought "Sherlock".
I bet you can guess what's next.
It is no longer on Netflix. It is on none of the services I subscribe to, so to watch it, I can, for a mere $3.99 an episode to rent, or $6.99 an episode to buy.
Fortunately, I have about $100 of gift cards from Amazon, and the boxed set Bluray disc set was inbound. I missed the weekend binge. But now I own it. As in OWN OWN it. Ripped to mkv files, living on my Plex server, and available to watch whenever I want.
Goddamn the balkanization of streaming sucks.