I signed up for Netflix today. For the first time. Hey, you're talking to a guy who didn't get a cell phone until 2003 or an iPod until 2005, so I'm not exactly on the cutting edge of technology.
As those of you who subscribe to Netflix know, the are several different subscription plans. The one I signed up for allows you to rent one movie at a time, with unlimited monthly rentals, and costs $8.99 per month. The far more popular option allows you to rent two movies at a time and costs $13.99 per month, which admittedly is a slightly better price-per-rented dvd.
Once you allow for the time it takes the dvds to travel by mail, I'm guessing that I could watch seven or eight movies a month on my current plan. If I had signed up for the two-discs-at-a-time plan, I could watch perhaps 15-20 movies a month (because I could always have one at home while the other was in transit). Still, in my pre-Netflix existence I watch at most two or three dvds per month, so my current plan seems generous.
How many individuals watch so many dvds that they can't be satisfied with the one-disc-at-a-time plan? Is this the cinematic equivalent of the way that soda companies now sell soft drinks in those plastic 16 ounce bottles for $1.25 instead of in 12 ounce cans for $1.00? Its a better price-per-ounce for the consumer, but does anybody really need those extra four ounces? Before they popularized the 16 ounce bottle, were people unsatisfied with their 12 ounce cans? Probably not.
I'm rambling now. It just seems kind of ridiculous to me that there are people out there who can watch more than 10 movies a month and still work a full-time job, even if watching movies is their favorite pastime.
For the record, my first queue includes the following: WALL-E, Gone Baby Gone, Rachel Getting Married, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, The Fog of War, Brokeback Mountain, Season 4 of The Wire (discs 3 and 4), and the BBC mini-series Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (starring Alec Guiness and based on the John Le Carre novel of the same name.)