This past weekend Netflix announced that it was not renewing its streaming deal with cable channel Epix, and as a result, movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Transformers: Age of Extinction will be disappearing from the service by the end of September. Hulu signed up with Epix instead (Amazon Video already has a deal), and Netflix’s attempt to soften the blow — "Hey guys, we’ve got new Adam Sandler and Pee-wee Herman movies coming!" — was met with swift and merciless ridicule.
Behind all the sturm and drang is a basic truth: consumers want a single subscription service that can offer all the movies and TV shows they could possibly want, all in one place. Conditioned by years of streaming music services, audiences simply expect a Spotify-style service to become a reality, and anything that veers away from that goal is seen as a momentous failure.