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Netflix Envy Broke Television

Photo: Netflix

There’s too much television to watch, a lot of it isn’t great, there are too many platforms to watch on, and writers are striking because they say they aren’t getting paid enough for making it. We can agree that TV’s streaming model is broken. But who is to blame? “Netflix is, and ‘Netflix envy’ is what did this,” says Vulture’s Josef Adalian. He told Into It that Netflix just did what disruptors do — they destroy things and make something new. “What’s really to blame is everyone’s blind allegiance to thinking they could duplicate the Netflix model without realizing they weren’t Netflix.” Turns out there’s plenty of blame to go around, and viewers should get some of it too. “We expected too much,” Adalian says. “We expected that we could get all this TV at a low cost and somehow not pay for it, and unfortunately the house always wins.”

What was the alternative? Adalian says there really wasn’t one. The model for cable television was incredibly lucrative, but it was starting to fade even before Netflix really got going. “But where I do blame these companies is in the way they competed,” says Adalian. “Instead of trying to make it a more controlled demolition of the whole cable model, it was just sort of a complete collapse all at once.” For more on this moment of streaming, and how the future looks more and more like the consolidation of all these platforms, listen to the full episode here and subscribe below.

Into It With Sam Sanders

Netflix Envy Broke Television