The Availability Gap: What We Lose When Netflix Wins
The shift to streaming technologies is often viewed in terms of democratization: No longer do art house-deprived viewers have to wait months to see the movie their social-media friends in New York are raving about. But it’s hard to think of anything less democratic than a state of affairs where the price for a single viewing of “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” or any of the untold numbers of movies waiting to strike a digital deal, has effectively jumped above $20. […] With a few blissful exceptions, video stores are dead, and no amount of bemoaning over the current state of cinephilia will bring them back. What we can do is pester providers like Netflix to expand their offerings, maybe even at the cost of paying more than $2 a week, and pony up for alternatives services: Hulu Plus, MUBI, Fandor, NoBudge, Vyer Films, and on and on. It’s a supply and demand marketplace, but when a movie vanishes, it takes more effort to make that demand heard. – Sam Adams,indieWIRE
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