In September 2014, Netflix, the American VOD giant landed in France. After a rather promising start, thanks in particular to its first month free of charge, the service has not been as successful as expected. Last February, according to several analysts, Netflix had between 250,000 and 700,000 users in Hexagon. Since then, the number of subscribers has been stagnating according to them.
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I’m one of those who tried Netflix. I didn’t immediately adopt the American service, I’m still waiting for the first fallout when something new comes along. For six months I hesitated to take the plunge, tossed back and forth between those who felt that the catalogue was too poor, that the films were more than three years old because of the media chronology law, and those who had found their way and saw in Netflix the future of television.
After six months of hesitation, I took the step. The first month being free, I told myself that I wasn’t taking any risks and that if I didn’t like the service I wouldn’t continue the adventure. Today, I use Netflix daily and I really couldn’t do without it. Here’s my testimony.
Before getting to the heart of the matter, I think it’s essential to draw my viewer/user profile to understand why Netflix appealed to me.
Before subscribing to the service, I have been deploring the quality oftelevision programmes for many years now, whether on public or private television or on cable. Like most French people I have a quadruple Play offer which gives me access to many TV channels.
To me, that’s money down the drain. I would dream of being able to choose between several bouquets that really interest me because to this day thanks to my box I only watch Bein Sport.
Whoa! Quickly Netflix flies to my rescue!
Most of the programs I watch on my TV are DVDs or movies rented on iTunes that I watch on an Apple TV. Like everyone else in the past, I tried downloading content in torrents, and then as I got older I became more responsible, believing that it was not consistent to ask for quality programs and not remunerate those who create them.
This is undoubtedly a reasoning which is linked to my great passion since my childhood for cinema, both films and series. To sum up, before Netflix I used to watch TV for sport, and I chose my films and series on DVD or VOD. And of course, as a great film enthusiast, I go there very often, from one to several times a week depending on the films on the screen.
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It is also important to talk about my taste in terms of cinematographic works. Why does it matter? Because the Netflix catalogue is often criticized for its poverty. In my opinion, the catalogue is very rich even if it only offers films that are three years old.
So I must say that I’m not a fan of American blockbusters even if sometimes it relaxes me a lot. Let’s just say that I don’t like them any more than a good auteur film, a silent movie with Chaplin or Keaton, or a good old movie with Michel Audiard’s replicas of the genre, at random, ” Les Tontons Flingueurs “. So much for my profile.
So six months ago I embarked on the Netflix adventure. After all, I had nothing to lose, the first month was free. I opted for the €12 package which gives me access to HD content, which is essential for me, and to several screens. So I use the service on my Apple TV, my computer and a tablet. A smartphone screen is too small for me to watch a movie properly.
During my first days of testing I was immediately seduced. The interface is fluid, clear, ergonomic and intuitive. The referral system is excellent. Being very open and curious I decided to trust Netflix recommendations and I have rarely been disappointed. I was able to discover or rediscover old classics or films that had escaped me.
To those who will say that the film catalogue is poor, I would answer: false. In my opinion the catalogue is very rich and even if I was sometimes disappointed not to see certain works, I find that the service is generally well provided.
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Yeah, there’s only movies over three years old, and… If I want to see more recent films I can also go and see them at the cinema on the day of their release. Admittedly, cinema is a certain budget, but there are many cards or subscription formulas that considerably reduce the price of a ticket.
And then personally, I feel a certain pleasure in not contributing to the success of the distressing programs of Cyril Hanouna and his whole gang (I have nothing against this presenter in particular), or other “Secret Story”, “The Angels at Pétaouchnoque” or other alienating debility for a whole generation. I prefer to pay 7 to 12 euros once a week for a good film I’ve chosen.
Apart from movies, two types of programs particularly surprised me on Netflix. First, the series. The Netflix catalogue is full of excellentseries, mostly American but I am looking forward to the arrival of Marseille in March 2016.
The great strength of Netflix is its in-house series such as “Orange is the new black”, “Daredevil”or the excellent “Better Call Saul”, spin off of the best series of all time (in my opinion), “Breaking Bad”.
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The only small reproach on this point: sometimes one or more seasons are missing for some series that were broadcast a long time ago. And of course I deplore Netflix’s mistake of having transferred the rights of “House of Cards” to Canal+. Nothing serious though, you can always buy the DVDs or rent them on another platform.
The other surprise is the number of very well made documentaries. I used to watch a lot of these kinds of programs, but the quality of those offered by Netflix is really interesting. I have a habit of telling people around me: “Netflix, if you like series, movies and documentaries, you can go for it.”
Because honestly, 12 euros per month for a catalogue of 10,000 diverse and varied contents, is not much to pay. That’s less than one DVD per month. I have been using it daily for the past 6 months and I still have dozens of series, films and documentaries on my list of contents to watch. I chose the 12-euro formula but there is a 9-euro one, and it’s really worth it.
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In my opinion, Netflix, Canal Play, HBO Now etc. are the future oftelevision. The channels are right to fear these video-on-demand services. I am well aware that not all users agree with me, but in my opinion the future of TV is to be able to choose its programs everywhere, all the time and on any medium. It’s about being able to choose bouquets à la carte.
I would dream of being able to pay Netflix, Canal Play, HBO Now and Showtime every month and see the price of my box go down. Well I know, maybe I’m dreaming a bit but for me Netflix is just the beginning. Today, I can’t do without it anymore. What about you? Have you tried Netflix? Have you discontinued the service or are you still using it? You also testify.