on balancing piracy & netflix mobile subscription
I agree wholeheartedly with Louis Rossmann's recent video about the poor experience of paid streaming services compared to pirated content.
As subscribers, we expect the service and quality we receive to justify the monthly subscription cost. Instead, they like to frustrate customers.
Receiving a low-quality 720p stream despite subscribing to the highest 4K plan is unacceptable. What adds further insult is that a closed-source smart TV application provides a better viewing experience than web browsers. This raises questions about the optimization and performance of streaming services when accessed through different platforms.
Louis’ argument justifying piracy is straightforward and resonates with many, including myself.
In the past, I subscribed to Netflix’s high-end plan. However, I found the quality too inconsistent while using a web browser, often downgrading to lower resolutions partway through a show or movie. And the streaming experience varies according to the type of desktop monitor I use.
To get value from my subscription while avoiding these issues, I now subscribe to the mobile Netflix plan, the cheapest option available (exclusive to a few regions). While this limits viewing on a single mobile screen, I can connect my iPad to the external monitor or television using an HDMI cable. This way, I can still access the Netflix library on the big screen while paying a lower monthly fee.
Another reason why I still pay is that I like to watch shows and movies on the go. I don’t want to spend a lot of time curating or downloading. And I resort to pirating when I want to watch something in FHD or UHD. This gives me a better overall experience than streaming directly through a service.
Instead of relying on the threat of legal action and stringent DRM measures, these companies should aim to make their services more appealing and valuable to paying customers. Apart from comfort, paying for an entertainment service is often a conscious choice made by consumers who wish to support the creators behind the content.
When there is a stark contrast between the quality of paid services and pirated content, it becomes increasingly difficult for consumers to justify their financial contributions.
image: remix of a flork of cows comic panel.