Netflix and "perceived value"
Hunter McDaniel's comment on my previous post inspires me to look at the perceived value of Netflix versus other forms of entertainment. Hunter says "my brother-in-law pays $75 per month for a satellite package, and ends up mostly catching the last half of movies he has already seen 10 times. Nonetheless he thinks he's getting a good deal, and thinks he doesn't have enough time to get his money's worth out of an $18 NF subscription."
With Netflix, we think in terms of "perceived value," in other words, whether we are getting a good deal. With other things, like water, electricity, cell phone minutes, cable TV, we value these things according to how much or how little we need to use them. But with Netflix, the utility, and therefore, the perceived value, of the DVDs is connected to how many we can get and watch in one month. This makes us feel as though we need to increase utilization in order receive the value we think Netflix "owes us," which, as Hunter pointed out, is where the idea of "throttling" has its basis.
Netflix has other valuations, other than how many discs you get per month. I think Hunter's brother-in-law doesn't feel that he is wasting money on satellite TV, because "he has 500 channels." I don't worry about throttling, because "I have 60,000 movies" through Netflix. Netflix is the greater value to me.