Netflix launched in Ireland on the 9th of January in 2012, and since then it has rapidly grown in popularity with nearly 200,000 paying subscribers by the end of 2014.
In fact, it is projected to have over half a million subscribers by 2020. I have joined the ranks of Netflix users as of only a few weeks ago.
But what makes Netflix and other online streaming services like it seemingly so much more popular than traditional live TV these days?
On demand watching
Is the choice of what to watch just not satisfying you tonight? No problem. Just pop open the laptop, plug in the headphones, search for something that really does tickle your fancy and boom, you’re away with it for the evening.
You get full control of what you want to watch, and while there are limits- if the show isn’t available for example – for the most part, you can watch what you want, when you want.
Many people complain about the difference between the Irish and US Netflix, but there’s still a wide enough choice at your fingertips.
Whether you go for a blockbuster of a movie like Iron Man, want to reel in the years with Monsters Inc. or feel like starting one of Netflix’s acclaimed original series like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black or Better Call Saul, there is enough to keep even the most pedantic watcher entertained.
Location, location, location
As long as you have an internet connection and some form of power source, where you watch Netflix could be almost anywhere. You could watch House of Cards while sitting on a train, you could watch a movie in bed, you could watch a documentary while having breakfast – the list is endless.
What’s a break?
With Netflix, there are no advertisements. A break? Don’t be silly, I’ll just continue watching uninterrupted for 50 minutes, two hours or however long the show is.
No longer do you have to sit through “Bang and the dirt is gone!” thanks Barry Scott, but no thanks. No longer are you left frustrated by the awful timing of a break that leaves you wondering how bad a day the producer was having to be so cruel.
Online watching of TV shows is quite often done when one is by themselves. Therefore, there is no one else to argue with, only yourself about what you feel like watching on a particular evening. Peace is maintained and everyone is happy.
Even if you are in a relationship there would still be no arguments, as we all know the girlfriend always wins!
As entertaining, easy, flexible, wide ranging and peace-making as Netflix is, there are one or two potential side effects.
A bad internet connection can lead to many anger related issues. If your connection is prone to cutting in and out like a bad cyclist on a road, then you may want to invest in a stress ball or two.
Watching online TV can also lead to increased amounts of late nights as you think, “sure one more can’t hurt.”
That one more leads to the whole first series and the first half of the second being finished in one sitting. Many a night will be given over to watching Frank Underwood on the hill, Piper Chapman in prison, a blind lawyer protecting his city and much more once you get hooked.
Thankfully you have the whole summer to ruin your sleeping pattern and still have enough time to fix it (kind of) the night before you start back in September. Enjoy it while it lasts guys.