Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Netflix paradox of abundance

"I could have bought that movie three times, I'm sure, for my rental fee"

Lisa Snider, who added "Hotel Rwanda" to her Netflix queue after it was nominated for three Academy Awards. But it sat for two months in her home before she mailed it back unwatched.
She was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about how many people order high-brow movies from Netflix and then never get around to watching them.

The article cites an experiment in which a "group of volunteers were asked to choose movies to rent from a list of 24 videos. Their options were a mix of what researchers termed "low-brow" movies -- including "My Cousin Vinny" and "Groundhog Day" -- and "high-brow" offerings, such as "Schindler's List" or the subtitled "Like Water for Chocolate." The researchers found that when people chose movies to watch the same day, they often picked comedies or action films. But when they were asked to pick movies to watch at a later date, they were more likely to make "high-brow" selections.