Has Netflix Ruined our Traditional TV and Film?

Photo: DigitalTrends
Photo: DigitalTrends

Lawrence Dushenski, Opinion Editor

Remember when you had to plan your entire week around your favourite television show? How we would line up to see movies the day that they came out because that was our only chance to see them in high definition? Most of us are happy that those days have come and gone and we have the ability to dictate our own schedule rather than being beholden to the network and studio executives.

Our generation is cutting the cord of classical television subscriptions and licenses at a rate that few imagined possible even five years ago, and the only people that seem to be upset are the corporations who expect the money to continue flowing ad infinitum. 19% of American households are now living without cable television and few of them are experiencing cord cutters remorse.

Not only do we now have the ability to watch what we want, when we want and for however long that we want, we are able to save money doing it. Having a Netflix account is barely more than five quid a month, compared to at least fifty that we end up paying for cable for the hundreds of channels that we never end up watching anyways.

For the naysayers that feel like our traditional television and film have been ruined, you can point them towards the era of high quality production of television that we are currently living in. Shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Mad Men are able to attract the highest quality talent with the attractive proposition of character development over the course of fifty plus hours of production, rather than the ninety minute experience of a film.

The move away from cable television packages and towards a la carte dining benefits all consumers. If you only want to watch cooking shows and reality television, then you can pick only those stations to subscribe to. Is it only sport that you want? You may have to pay a premium, but you won’t have to flip past the nightly news to get to the match. HBO and Showtime have proved this model to be successful in the United States for years, as their customers are more than willing to pay the fee in return for high quality production value on a nightly basis.

Netflix has taken things a step further and are trailblazing in the world of streaming services. Not only can you watch the shows and movies available on their service, but they are now producing their own content at an alarmingly high rate of quality. Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards have both been critically acclaimed, and the way in which the service makes an entire season of episodes available at once lends itself to the viewers binging the entire season in a few sittings rather than losing interest with a network show after missing the allotted time on the weekly schedule.

Viewers have become addicted and immersed in content immediately and they soon realize that they no longer have a need for a television license or a trip to the theatre.

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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