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
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
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.