The Expansion of the At-Home Movie Theater
By Piper G
The company Netflix has been growing exponentially over the past few years. Netflix is a streaming service that allows customers to watch a variety of shows and movies without commercials for a monthly subscription. The platform itself is now expanding from one that allows people to rent movies and watch them on the Netflix site to one that produces its own shows and movies. The Netflix-produced content, called “Netflix Originals” have become very popular over the past two years. There are over 126 films and shows produced and funded by Netflix and in the past year alone Netflix has spent over 8 billion dollars producing content according to the website record.net.
Because Netflix’s popularity it has become the foremost site for watching movies and shows. When asked about how frequently she attended the movies, junior Jane-Ellen B. said, “Sometimes I go to the movies, not really though. I usually just end up sleeping or watching Netflix. Because it is sometimes hard to get a ride to the movies and then having to pay a ton of money to get in it’s usually just easier after a long day to stay home and watch something off of Netflix.”
This sentiment is popular among teens and many find going to the movies too much of a hassle compared with the alternative of staying home and not spending money. Another junior, Maggie S, shared the sentiment that when it comes to the movies. She said, “I don’t actually really do that (go to the movies) because I like to live a low-budget lifestyle and the movies can be quite expensive at times.”
Netflix appeals to teenagers in particular because much of the content on the platform is geared towards teens. Shows like Friends, Gossip Girl, Riverdale, and The Office are all hit shows found on Netflix. Plus, Netflix annually adds new shows and then removes old ones so that users will never get bored with the content. The sheer number of shows and movies on the platform is an efficient way for people to enjoy family movie nights or just have some relaxing me-time.
However, despite the popularity of the website many people have qualms about it as well. Netflix gives parents the ability to regulate what their children are watching, and there is a kids mode which only allows G or PG rated shows to be selected. However, if these controls are not enacted kids have unlimited access to all of the content on Netflix. Both graphic horror movies and movies and shows that have inappropriate scenes in them are featured on Netflix and could be easily selected and viewed by kids.
Some of the shows featured on Netflix have come under intense scrutiny, for example, the massive teen hit show 13 Reasons Why which shows graphic violence and depicts a suicide scene. Things like this have not affected the popularity of Netflix by much, but have been brought to attention.
Some other complaints about Netflix are that because every movie and show is not on Netflix people will have to go somewhere else to find a specific thing they want to watch.
“I wish that there were all of the Shrek movies,” said junior Maggie S. “There’s only one of them and I would really like the rest of them to be on there.”
Despite some complaints about the platform, Netflix seems to have become the new movie theater; one that is relatively inexpensive and can be enjoyed from the luxury of one’s own home. The 118 million subscribers to Netflix show the success of its expansion into the field of entertainment and provokes questions like what is the next venture Netflix will take on.
Photo credit- BagoGames on Creative Commons.