Ready, Fire, Aim! - Mihail's Public Blog: Netflix impasse

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Netflix impasse

Just as I've been thinking of this problem...related to the last film we received, "Good Night, and Good Luck" which has sat on our entertainment center for weeks...while we've paid for and watched a handful of other fluff/commedies. According to this Wall Street Journal story (subscription required):

Netflix Inc., which boasts nearly five million members, often trumpets how its all-you-can-eat rental model is changing the way people are watching movies. But Netflix may also be changing the way people don't watch them. Through its Web site, Netflix makes it easy to comb through a massive catalog of 60,000 films. It offers access to everything from Charlie Chaplin's 1921 silent tramp movie "The Kid" to recent Academy Award-winners like "Crash." And some members admit that when browsing the Netflix backlog, they overestimate their appetite for off-the-beaten-track films. The result: Sometimes DVDs languish for months without being watched.

"It's a paradox of abundance," said Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of culture and communication at New York University. If people aren't pressured to see a movie in a specific time frame, he said, viewers tend to put it lower on their priority list. "When you have every choice in front of you, you have less urgency about any particular choice," he added.

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