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The Hilltop


Is Netflix Really Taking Over?

By Nancy Vu, Life and Style Reporter (@RaiderNancy)

Netflix recently announced that it would be breaking into the world of comedy. As a precursor to its comedic debut, Netflix placed billboards throughout Los Angeles and New York City with large black letters stating, “Netflix is a joke.” The streaming service made its big reveal during the 2017 Emmy’s with a commercial featuring Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres. The comedians were integrated into the network’s biggest shows, including Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards and The Crown. This elaborate advertisement strategy was Netflix’s way of announcing the upcoming stand-up specials that the comedy stars have all agreed to do.

“[Netflix] has always been in the comedy world,” said freshman Aryana Williams. “It is simply an outlet that allows any type of movie to be seen. But I do really enjoy Netflix for what it has to offer.”

It seems that Netflix has not left any genre untouched—from drama to horror to romantic comedies and animation and now finally, comedy. Netflix has broadened its viewing range to appeal to customers with varying interests. The rise of Netflix allowed consumers to say goodbye to renting or buying DVDs. Now, all one has to do is allocate time to watch their shows, grab their favorite snack and binge-watch for hours at a time until one is satisfied. But where does this leave Netflix’s competitors—movie theaters, other streaming services, and traditional television? Is Netflix completely knocking their competitors out of the ballpark? Not exactly, and here’s why.

While having a membership with Netflix has many advantages, offering the newest content is not one of them. Going to the movies still reigns the supreme method to watch the newly released movies. Netflix has always had an issue with uploading brand-new content, excluding Netflix’s original series. Economically, however, Netflix’s $7.99-$11.99 plans are cheaper than the average movie ticket usually priced between $8.65-$19.69. Also, Netflix allows one to watch the same titles over and over again for free.

Many moviegoers, such as freshman Somer Benton, prefer the big screen experience rather than watching a movie from their phone or laptop. Benton states that she doesn’t “really watch Netflix,” and that she prefers to “watch movies and TV on those respective outlets.”

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Freshman Rachel Edler agrees with Benton. “I personally think that movie theatres will stay up and running because there is nothing that can compare to the experience of physically going to the movies,” said Elder.

In comparison to other streaming services, such as Hulu and Amazon Prime, Netflix offers unlimited streaming with a variety of TV series and movies, all while being commercial-free and complete with a personal recommendation system. However, other streaming services offer advantages that Netflix does not offer.

For example, Hulu offers a wide selection of TV series and constantly updates their content to make their selections as current as possible. Amazon Prime Instant Video also provides a wide content selection and pairs their streaming services with other Prime benefits, including their own original content and an extensive selection of HBO shows. HBO GO/HBO NOW offers award-winning original content, quality movies, and even original news programming.

Netflix is, by far, very different from traditional television. Traditional television has a set program schedule that consumers must adhere to in order to keep up with their shows. However, it does offer content that Netflix does not offer. Public news broadcasting, primetime shows and movies that Netflix does not stream along with new content are all offered on traditional television. Although cable services may come with a steep price, traditional television will continue to serve as one of the leading frontiers for offering new content to the public.

Although Netflix has gained prominence for being the leading streaming service, its competition will never cease to fight for the top spot as the number one streaming service.

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