Apparently Verizon didn’t get the memo: If it’s Netflix versus cable, the MSOs have won. Verizon seems to think Netflix is some sort of competitor given recent FiOS TV customer outreach. As you can see in the photo at the bottom, for months, Verizon has run video on demand television commercials that prominently display their new release titles are available 4 weeks before Netflix DVD rentals. And today, I received the email below with a subject line that reads, “Want to know how FiOS beats Netflix?” Verizon does score a few points for calling out Netflix’s upcoming boneheaded division of services:
Netflix now makes you go to two places and pay two prices to watch movies on both streaming and DVDs.
Irrespective of Netflix’s upcoming split, for most of us, they’re just not direct competition to a cable company’s video on demand offering. There’s a sizable and growing contingent of cord cutters who utilize Netflix, amongst other services and other-the-air broadcast, to round out their entertainment options. But for those of us who subscribe to both cable and Netflix, the streaming service primarily and economically augments pay TV with a wide array of supplemental content — including back catalog movies or more obscure content and entire television seasons.
So while Verizon may offer a lofty 30,000 title library on demand, most folks aren’t looking for it there and their pricing can’t touch Netflix’s $7.99/month. But us dual subscribers are in need of blockbuster new release titles. And Verizon’s competition amongst the highly connected crowd seeking instant gratification is more Apple TV or Amazon Video On Demand. They’re who I turn to first. I haven’t yet been upgraded to IMG 1.9, and can’t comment on that experience. But, from Verizon’s older FiOS TV UI, there’s just way too much clicking around to access the content I want. Further, it seems Verizon new releases cost a buck more than their digital competitors. It’s just quicker, nicer, and cheaper to rent individual movies via AppleTV. (Of course, with hardware running $100 it’d take a lot of movies for the price to matter independently.)