Netflix Service and Students
Justin Sullivan
jsull828@uwsp.edu

Netflix, an online digital stream­ing service and DVD-by-mail pro­vider, could possibly be changing the way some students consume their media. In April of 2011, Netflix claimed that it had over 23.6 million subscribers in the United States and 26 million worldwide. Netflix also claimed $1.5 billion in revenue from digital sales in 2011.

Rachel Wisniewski, a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point sopho­more, has both cable television and Netflix but said she watches the streaming service more often than traditional cable television.

“I can watch what I want, when I want—versus watching television where it’s scheduled—and watch it away from home. There is never any­thing good on T.V.,” Wisniewski said.

Wisniewski mainly watches tele­vision shows on Netflix such as “The Walking Dead,” “Gossip Girl” and “The Office.”

Brooke Walsh, a junior second­ary math education major, lives with roommates who have both Netflix and cable television. Walsh said that their cable television is watched more.

“It is easier [than Netflix]. I don’t have to plug in a computer or anything, and I don’t like watching things on my computer,” said Walsh, who enjoys Food Network and the History Channel.

Farrah Lisa, a senior English major, canceled both her cable and Netflix services because of monetary reasons but felt that Netflix was lack­ing in its content. Lisa said that she wanted to more choices with contem­porary movies and television shows.

“I don’t think it’s worth it,” Lisa said. “The choices suck.”

Junior communication major Cassie Scott has neither cable nor Netflix.

“I don’t watch anything on Netflix, except at some of my friends’ houses who have the service.

It is handy, but a lot of times we have trouble finding a good movie to watch because the newer ones aren’t on there,” Scott said.

Scott opts for the free streaming services on a network’s website to catch up on the few television shows she would otherwise watch on basic cable.

“I don’t watch a lot of televi­sion because I absolutely hate real­ity shows,” Scott said. “I rent movies from our gas station back home. They have a lot of options and are only $3 a night for new releases.”

With so many students opting for Netflix over cable television, universi­ties across the nation are experiencing issues concerning bandwidth usage on campus. Because networks have become so bogged down with stu­dents streaming, students who need the Internet for educational purpos­es are finding themselves having to wait. Due to this, some universities have blocked access to Netflix during finals week.

Last year, Netflix drew the ire of students when they split their DVD-to-mail service from its streaming service, increasing the price from a $9.99 monthly fee into two separate $7.99 fees.

Students are continuously looking for ways to cut expenses. Although Netflix is useful for many students, others view it as just another service to be cut.