When it comes to streaming services, the first name that pops into most people’s minds is Netflix. The streaming giant boasts over 200 million subscribers worldwide making it one of those most popular streaming services on the planet. Netflix offers its customers a mix of both content produced in-house and content produced by external production companies.
Given the amount of subscribers, it’s fair to assume that that Netflix has far more pros than cons – however, that doesn’t mean to say that the app is perfect and without fault. In this review, we are going to look in-depth at all if of the app’s plus points in addition to the things that put some people off. Let’s get stuck in.
Pros and cons of Netflix – Breaking it down
Before we look at the pros and cons in greater detail, we’ve outlined all the key points in the chart below. This will hopefully provide users with a rough idea of what’s good, and not so good, about Netflix if they are weighing up whether to subscribe to the streaming service or not.
- Home to all the fantastic TV series’ and films that Netflix produce in-house.
- Contains a huge catalogue of TV series’ and films that are produced by external companies.
- Reasonably priced, no matter which package you decide to sign up to.
- Able to download some shows so you can watch offline.
- The app will keep up to date with where you’re up to on a series or movie so you never lose track.
- The app will become personalised to your interests over time based on a rating system and what you’ve previously watched.
- Some if its best pages, including ‘genre pages’, are ‘hidden’ and inaccessible via the app.
- Some shows and movies don’t stay on the app for long, meaning they may be removed before you finish watching them.
- The home page can often appear messy with the categories being a little bit too niche and random.
- Some Netflix content won’t be available in your region.
- Some of the series and films that aren’t Netflix originals are a little outdated.
- No ownership of any of the media – a negative for collectors.
As mentioned earlier, it’s now time to take a deeper look at some of these pros and cons.
A huge catalogue of content
The sheer volume of content that Netflix possesses is impressive to say the least. Although in its early years, the majority of content on the app was content from external productions companies, in recent times Netflix has ramped up its own offerings. Popular series such as ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘You’ wouldn’t exist without the app and I think we can all agree our lives would be worse off without either of those shows.
It’s external content has always been good, too. AMC’s Breaking Bad is one of Netflix’s all time greatest hits and arguably what made the app so popular in the early 2010’s. Netflix also had a deal with marvel until Disney created their own streaming service which meant users had access to a variety of marvel movies and original series’ such as Luke Cage and Daredevil.
While the external content may be drying up, the Netflix original content continues to go from strength to strength, meaning their current catalogue of content is as vast and as quality as ever.
Reasonably priced, no matter which package you choose
Netflix does come at a cost, it would be crazy if we got everything that they offered for free! They offer customers three different packages depending on what they want/need:
- Basic: £5.99 a month
- Standard: £9.99 a month
- Premium: £13.99 a month
There is no benefit in terms of what you can or can’t watch with each package meaning that you could get a huge catalogue of shows and movies for just £5.99 a month which I find unbelievable. The differences between the packages come in the following categories:
- How many screens you can watch Netflix on at the same time
- The number of devices you can have downloads on
- High definition and ultra high definition viewing
With the basic package you can only watch content on one screen at a time and have only one device for downloads. In addition, you can only watch shows in standard definition. With the standard package you can watch on two screens at a time, have downloads on two devices and watch in HD. Finally, with Premium you can watch on four screens at a time, have downloads on four devices and watch in HD and ultra HD.
As touched on above, Netflix allows users to download content on their app meaning that offline viewing is a possibility. Not every show is available to download but if it is then you will see a download icon next to it. Once you’ve downloaded your shows while connected to the internet you will then be able to find them and enjoy them in your downloads folder. This is perfect for when you’re on a long bus/train/plane journey somewhere with no access to the internet.
You can even set Netflix to download shows for you based on your interests so that you always have something to watch in case you forget to download anything.
A personalised experience
As mentioned above with the downloads, Netflix is fantastic at making the app personalised to you and it isn’t just with their smart downloads. Each time you watch something on Netflix, the app will register the genre or type of show/movie you watched and then suggest shows to you based on that.
To gain further personalisation you can rate every piece of content you watch on the app by either giving it a thumbs up or thumbs down. Eventually, the majority of your home screen on Netflix will be shows and movies in the genres that you most like.
When looking at the cons of Netflix, it’s difficult to start anywhere other than with their hidden pages. Why they’ve decided to make certain pages hidden on their service is beyond me, not to mention the fact that these pages in question are totally inaccessible via the app. These pages are essentially gigantic ‘genre pages’ which list every single piece of content that Netflix owns within each and every genre.
If accessible, this would be of huge benefit to its users as opposed to the bizarre and overly specific genres they often use on their home page. For more information on these hidden pages and instructions on how to access them, check out this article which covers everything about how you unlock Netflix movies.
Another annoying thing about Netflix is that external content (content not produced by Netflix) often only has a limited shelf life on the app. This means that you could have something on your watchlist only to find that it’s been removed from the app and that you can no longer watch it. Even worse than this is when you are in the middle of binge watching a series and without warning, Netflix removes the shows from existence meaning you can’t finish it.
Content not available in your region
As mentioned numerous times throughout this piece, Netflix has a large catalogue of content – however, could it be even bigger? Sometimes you may want to watch a show that is advertised as being on Netflix only to find that it isn’t available in your country. This is because Netflix offers customers in different countries different content.
This may seem unfair considering the price points are largely the same across the globe and often forces users into using a VPN to watch content that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to watch. In my opinion, Netflix should offer a universal service with everything they own or have rights to being made available to every subscriber in the world, regardless of where they’re from.
One final point to make is in regard to the outdated content that is currently sitting on the app. Before Netflix started to prioritise their own shows and movies, they often had newly released films on their app shortly after they’d wrapped up in the cinema. Nowadays, the majority of films on the app are at least five years old. This is probably due to the rise of other streaming services, meaning the competition to get rights for newer films is greater than ever.
However, if Netflix could combine newer films with their own shows then they would make their service even more impressive. If you’re only interested in Netflix to watch movies then I would probably have a rethink.
We hope that this review has helped you to weigh up the pros and cons of Netflix. In my opinion, the plus points of the app far outweigh the negatives and although the app does have areas in which it can improve, it is still doing a fantastic job of offering people across the globe an entertaining service. If you don’t have Netflix already then start off with the basic package for a few months to see how you find it and then decide what you want to do from there.