We have written before about valid reasons to avoid Netflix, and many of them still hold true today — Netflix isn’t for everybody. But the Netflix of today isn’t the same Netflix of five years ago, in good ways and bad, so if you aren’t a current subscriber, it may be time to reconsider.
At the risk of sounding like a shill, Netflix is the only bill I’m happy to pay. And no, before you ask in the comments, Netflix did not sponsor this article. I watch it for an hour or so every night and I still haven’t managed to empty my Watchlist. Netflix rocks. Here are the biggest reasons why I’m still subscribed and think you should consider it too.
1. Netflix’ Original Content
Over the past few years, we’ve seen Netflix shift away from licensed content to producing its own content. Remember when Netflix dropped half of its catalog to free up funds? A reasonable move, considering how much Netflix spends on original content.
To be fair, the original TV series on Netflix are a little hit and miss. For every Narcos, Stranger Things, and Mindhunter, you get duds like The Get Down, Gypsy, and Hemlock Grove. The original movies are way better in general, including masterpieces like Beasts of No Nation and Mudbound, with the occasional eye-rollers like Death Note and The Discovery.
But hit and miss content is okay. The fact that Netflix experiments with ideas and stories that Hollywood won’t touch? That alone is worth the price of admission. And the amount of exclusive content on Netflix is only going to skyrocket in the years to come.
2. Not Just Movies and TV Series
While feature films and TV series are what put Netflix in the headlines, Netflix actually offers a lot more than just that. You’d be surprised to know how much niche content (even fringe content) exists on the platform, and it’s this content that will keep you hooked to the service long after you’ve binge-watched Black Mirror and American Vandal.
You can explore what I’m talking about in our articles on the best documentaries on Netflix, the best stand-up comedy specials on Netflix, the best anime series on Netflix, and our quide to Netflix’s experimental “slow TV” genre.
3. Still No Advertisements
Netflix debuted in 1997, which means it has now been around for two entire decades. By this point, most other companies would’ve sold out and injected advertising into every nook and cranny they could find. For example, Hulu and CBS All-Access are both subscription-based with advertisements (i.e. pay more to remove ads).
But not Netflix.
I love throwing on a show and getting right to the action. No having to sit through 30 seconds of cringe-inducing marketing like on Hulu or YouTube. No mid-roll ad breaks ruining the immersion and suspense of a narrative. Just on-demand entertainment. As long as Netflix stays this way, I feel no regrets supporting the service.
Note that some Netflix shows and movies exercise product placement, but I’m okay with that because I don’t find it intrusive or disruptive.
4. Multiple Profiles, Multiple Devices
One of Netflix’s best quality-of-life features, which surprisingly doesn’t exist on many other streaming services, is the ability to create up to five different profiles on one account.
Since Netflix analyzes your viewing habits to make recommendations (more on that below), it’s nice to have one profile for yourself, another for your spouse or roommate, and more for anyone else sharing your account. This way you won’t get unwanted recommendations for reality shows and horror films just because someone else watches them.
And if you grab a Standard or Premium account, you can simultaneously watch on two or four separate devices, respectively. Not a bad way to cut the cost of Netflix if you share and split! It’s too bad it isn’t possible with the Basic plan, which limits you to one device.
5. Searching the Library Is Now Easier
Let’s be clear: Netflix’s built-in features for browsing the library and discovering new content are woefully lacking. It’s always been this way and Netflix has all but said outright that this won’t be changing any time soon. It’s a pain in the neck, to say the least.
But plenty of third-party resources have sprung up to bridge the gap.
We highly recommend these tools for checking which movies can be streamed as well as these tools for finding Netflix movies you’ll love. And don’t forget about Netflix’s secret category codes! I personally prefer JustWatch for checking availability and the “Best of Netflix” subreddit for discovering new content.
That said, Netflix’s own recommendation engine isn’t all bad. I’ve found some cool titles through it. Learn more about how Netflix knows what you want to watch.
6. Incredible Value for the Price
The Basic plan for Netflix only costs $8/mo. For the price of a single Chipotle burrito, you can have 30 full days of on-demand entertainment at your fingertips. I can’t think of anything else that offers so much to do for such a low price.
If you want to stream in HD and on two devices at once, then you’ll want the Standard plan. At just $11/mo, it costs less than a single cinema ticket and unlocks an entire library of high-resolution feature films to enjoy whenever you want.
Even the highest Premium plan, available for $14/mo, is affordable. But most users probably don’t need it. The only extra benefits are the ability to watch certain titles in 4K Ultra HD and the ability to stream on up to four simultaneous devices.
The value-per-dollar is insane. Which is why we would truly be happy to pay more for Netflix.
7. Netflix Is Fighting for Net Neutrality
In 2017, Netflix stepped on a lot of toes when it claimed “we are now popular enough with consumers [to not need net neutrality rules anymore].” After lots of backlash and feedback, Netflix doubled down on its commitment to fighting for net neutrality.
After the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality laws, Netflix opted to stand alongside other internet giants (including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft) as they help fund the ongoing lawsuits to bring net neutrality back to the United States.
Your First Steps Once You Get Netflix
If you’ve come this far and want to give Netflix a try, consult our ultimate guide to Netflix. We recommend learning how to download Netflix videos for offline viewing and bookmarking our page on the most common Netflix issues and solutions.
If you aren’t subscribed to Netflix yet, why not? Is there a particular issue that’s holding you back? Please let us know in the comments below!