Goodbye streaming – why I don’t feel like watching Netflix and Co. anymore

What were those times when Netflix was the only streaming service?

Do you remember the 2000s? I don’t know about you, but I will probably remember the first decade of the new millennium as the decade of illegal downloads. And of course as the first half of the Roger Federer era – at this point a greeting to all tennis fans.

Emule, Torrent, Usenet, and whatever else they are called, were booming back then. Much to the chagrin of the film and series-creating industry. As I write this, a few wistful memories of the good old video store in my small hometown are actually awakening:

Oh, grumpy video shop with the walnut-brown pipe and the mottled gray beard, how I miss being caught by you trying to cheat my way through the right-hand front door straight into the adult area. Ok, that’s a good ten years further back, in the 1990s, but video stores were still among the direct victims of film piracy.

I have to explain to young adults and kids today why we had to walk into a store full of video cassettes and later DVDs in the first place to watch films in comparatively ridiculous quality. And yes, what VHS and DVD mean is also part of the short history lesson. Today there is this instead:

12 film tips from the GameStar editors



12 film tips from the GameStar editors

Netflix changed the world

Well, at least I can still remember the time of the illegal downloads very clearly. Of course, without ever having been part of such machinations. Promised! High and holy! I would never have dared in my life!

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At the time, one could read time and again about the bankrupt film industry, how poor MGM and Co. had been, that they had run out of money for decent films because nobody was paying properly anymore and the download button was simply pressed instead. With my conscience I couldn’t have figured out that Weinstein and company were starving.

In 2014, however, everything changed abruptly anyway: On September 16, Netflix took the stage. At least in Germany and Austria, and in the course of the same month in Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Before that, the streaming service had already become a big number in the United States, the savior of an entire industry. And not only that: also a blessing for consumers. Netflix was founded back in 1997, on August 29th to be exact. By the way, GameStar saw the light of day in the same year.

Netflix changed the world like a tsunami: First slowly swelling and then, like out of the blue, nothing could stop the newcomer. All of a sudden, illegal downloads were practically superfluous. Almost everyone could afford access for a few euros anyway. The door to sheer masses of films and series that could be accessed at will at any time was thrown open. It was a party and everyone celebrated. The film industry was happy, as a steady stream of income flowed into the box office. And many users believed that they would always have access to everything the cinematic heart desires.

Alexander Köpf

Editor Alex has not only had a soft spot for technology since childhood, but also for films and series. In his now 42 years of life he has seen more than once how quickly the industry can change. Be it the leap from VHS to DVD and Bluray to video-on-demand, or from just three public service programs to a myriad of private television stations. It’s no different with Netflix and Co. That’s why Alex is also sure that he will experience one or the other serious upheaval.

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It was clear that this could not go well for long

I don’t want to sound like I’ve eaten wisdom with spoons, but one thing was crystal clear to me back then: That doesn’t last long! Where Netflix is, I thought to myself, other providers are not far away. Then more and more and more. And where have we arrived in 2022?

Ok, in Germany we may not be as advanced as in the USA, the portfolio of relevant streaming services is still manageable here. But even with us 82 million souls it is slowly becoming confusing:

Where is what? who has this Is that still going on there? Do I have to get Disney+ in addition to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky? And what else do I need? DAZN and Apple TV+ maybe? However, the end of the road is far from being reached: Hulu, CBS, HBO and Co. have not yet arrived in Germany, but it is only a matter of time before they and other providers want to cut off a piece of the German cake.

That really gets me excited! And I’m not even talking about price increases, as has been the case for Netflix customers recently. Or that everything is being done to put an end to account sharing. I just don’t want to be filleted like a freshly baked cake with dollar signs instead of candles on it. So it’s no wonder that video-on-demand providers like Netflix are suddenly losing subscribers.

In earnest. I would be absolutely willing to spend 50 or 60 euros every month, maybe even a few bucks more, so that I can really watch whatever I want without restrictions. I just don’t want it the way it is now and is still threatening to become! And I don’t want to get carried away in the arms of Rapidgator and Co. either. It doesn’t need that!

How about some kind of meta provider, for example? A Netflix, so to speak, where I can choose what I want from all the other providers. Which then also runs on a uniform platform so that I don’t have to buy ten media adapters for the television as well. That would be something!

how do you see it? Are you as upset by the increasing flood of streaming offers as I am? Or do you take it easy and are you satisfied the way it is? Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments!