Within the next ten years, all TV will be streamed. You have that option now. You could very easily forego all “live” screenings of TV shows and only watch shows “on-demand.” I pretty much do this anyway, only really watching shows that I’ve recorded on my DVR unless I’m channel-hopping and find something by chance.
It is ridiculous that I ever channel-hop anyway because I have a huge amount of choice. I have a quite substantial Sky TV package, including sports and movies and then my wife invested in Netflix as there was much more that she preferred on that service. I have benefited from Netflix too though and as I was renegotiating my contract with Sky, I did wonder, if push came to shove, could I survive with just Netflix? No Sky, no normal, terrestrial channels like the BBC or ITV. Just Netflix.
At first glance, yes. There is a huge choice on Netflix that pretty much caters for everything. The dramas are of course the biggest attraction. House of Cards, Daredevil and Orange is the New Black are just a few to consider. Add to that the “classics” like 24 and Breaking Bad and you’d soon find your hours disappearing.
The second necessity, comedy. Their sitcoms aren’t bad either. Not quite the vast collection I’d like but there is something for everyone. British classics like The Royale Family or The Office alongside Netflix developed episodes of Arrested Development. It is manageable.
Considering they’re called Netflix, movies is the area which the service struggles with. Compared to Sky Movies, Netflix pales in comparison. Sky dedicates a channel to Harry Potter, Star Wars or Bond, Netflix offers you a chance to re-watch the latest Hunger Games. Every now and again Netflix will have something great or a classic you wouldn’t mind re-watching but I’m not sure it would offer enough on it’s own.
There is some saving grace though. Documentaries are very good on the service and there are some old, obscure movies which you may have heard of but not had chance to see. Add to that their first, quite successful attempt at producing original movie content with Beasts of No Nation. Netflix could start to build something quite interesting.
So far, quite manageable but then we come to the deal breaker: Sport. Until Netflix finds a way to stream sport content, there will always be a rival for my attention. Sky has the Premier League (Football or soccer for the US readers) and that will always win. Add to that the WWE (arguably a sport and a discussion for another day) and you have at least two reasons I negotiate my Sky Sports subscription every three months.
There is also the question of choice. There will always be something better on the “other channel.” Sky Atlantic has Game of Thrones, BBC One has Doctor Who and Sherlock and of course the many movies Sky offers too. I could probably survive with just Netflix – but why would I want too?
Overall, it will soon be the case that we opt into our channels and streaming services, only paying for the channels we actually watch and when that happens, some difficult decisions will have to be made. Many people could choose to stick with Netflix alone but until they offer sports, a much improved selection of films and can rival classics like Doctor Who or Game of Thrones, I will also be “pro-choice.”