|Take a final look at High Fidelity|
That's right, August isn't even over—with a lot of great titles set to expire tonight at midnight—but there's enough going on to warrant an early look at September's upcoming losses.
The news continues to be bad for anyone who enjoys Netflix for its back catalog and older titles. The recent announcement of the company's decision not to renew its licensing agreement with Epix only affirms Netflix's reluctance to pay for content it doesn't exclusively own. That means more original shows and movies, fewer classic titles, and (in the long run) more Disney, Marvel, and Weinstein titles. The latter, the result of more recent contracts, isn't necessarily a bad thing—who doesn't like Disney and Marvel movies?—but for those of us who still go see such fare in theaters (quaint, I know), that's hardly the kind of content we crave for home viewing—where the older, more intimate, and more obscure can shine. And is there anyone besides Netflix content honcho Ted Sarandos who thinks striking a
There's no denying this makes good long-term business sense for the company given the outrageous (and escalating) costs of studio licensing fees. But by the same token it represents another huge nail in the coffin of the Netflix I once cared about. Will I miss the latest Star Trek, Transformers, and Hunger Games movies? Not at all. But there are more than enough older, better, and more interesting Epix titles getting the axe (not to mention those yet to come) to make this a true cause for mourning. Combined with everything else that's been taking the fun out of Netflix lately, I've pretty much decided to cancel my subscription before the year is out—in fact, as soon as I finish streaming Breaking Bad, which I finally started watching this month (a latecomer as always).
Ironically, even before I heard the Epix titles were being picked up by Hulu (arriving on October 1), I was already planning on keeping that service for its Criterion films and recent TV shows. But now there's yet another reason. At least the movies there (unlike the TV shows) don't have ad breaks. And there's none of Netflix's awful pre-play. Or post-play. Or, worst of all: the looming threat of new Adam Sandler movies.