Story by Jonathan Rudnick
Photo by Courtney Fishman
Many Drake University students turn to online video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime to watch their favorite shows.
First-year Brooke Costigan prefers Netflix for her streaming services.
“It’s so much cheaper to pay $8 per month for Netflix than $3.99 on Amazon per movie,” Costigan said, who favors Netflix over Hulu for its user-friendly interface and better selection.
This system has proven profitable for Netflix, the largest video streaming service available today.
Stock price have risen more than 350 percent in the past year.
Netflix, which is worth nearly $4 billion caters to more than 30 million customers.
The streaming giant began airing original series for its subscribers this year, including Emmy-winning series “Arrested Development” and “House of Cards.”
Costigan, like many students, shares her Netflix account with her family.
She believes this practice is not detrimental to the company, as her family members would be unlikely to create their own accounts were sharing not allowed.
Despite using these services outside of college, many Drake students say their accounts get little use while at university.
First-year Katie Filosa said that she has not used her Netflix account once since she arrived at Drake.
Costigan, however, can only find time to watch during break or on the weekends.
First-year Rose Crowley only uses the service for a few select series. She said Netflix is “good for rewatching old shows, and for watching new ones.”
However, she said it is too restrictive and not updated with new seasons.
Because of these problems, illegal downloading, and more recently illegal streaming, have both grown in the last decade.
Despite the illegality of the act, many Drake students do not view it as a problem, and some even believe it may benefit the industry.
“Streaming could help you decide if you want to buy a movie or not,” Costigan said. “I have to watch a movie before I buy it.”
This belief isn’t far from the truth.
Last year, the Office of Communications, the United Kingdom’s regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry, found that the top-10 percent of illegal downloaders spent 300 percent more on media than those citizens who did not infringe at all.
“Illegal streaming would be less prominent if things were made more accessible to the public,” said computer science major Nicholas Giuliani. “Buying one season of a show these days is ridiculous.”
Giuliani believes the victims of this practice are not the artists, but rather the companies which produce them.
“Artists make most of their money on concerts, the company takes most of the money on CDs,” Giuliani said.
Other companies are plagued by these difficulties. HBO, which offers its streaming services only to subscribers who buy a cable package including its television channels, saw its headlining show “Game of Thrones” hold the title of most downloaded media product for the past two years, with each episode downloaded more than five million times from a site.