Dave Winer, upon turning off his Netflix account:
I think Netflix missed the boat, bigtime. They could have been the place on the net to learn about and watch and share movie experiences. I think they could have started a match.com type service. […] They were gathering all this information about people’s movie preferences. But they were reluctant to build systems around it. And reluctant to open it up to app developers. I think we all missed out on something, because movies at least to some of us are such an important form of personal expression.
I quit cable, so I still lean heavily on Netflix. After I moved to Austin I cut my disc plan, though, because I can drive to (at least) two great video stores when I need a movie.
But I get Dave’s point. Most of the time the girlfriend and I either gravitate between a few TV series on the service1 or waste time flipping through the available list of streamers until we give up and do something else.
As my pal Aaron Hillis told me, compared to a video store, “Netflix offers a sterile, impersonal and flat-out incomplete experience.” And that’s not just because it’s digital.
In related news, I picked up a nice haul of Blu-rays on Black Friday, a few of which are currently streaming on Netflix and other services. But, you know, I still like my discs.
Right now Star Trek: The Next Generation and Cheers.↩