Everything on Demand

Everything on Demand

Shocking examples of big businesses abusing their workers. The most predatory business practice. Consumer abuse Widespread consumer abuses Reporters complain about business. We rarely cover the good things businesses do. The constant improvements that happen slowly. Here’s a new video essay by Sean Malone of the Foundation for Economic Education that does exactly that. When I was a kid my TV broadcast options were PBS, Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS, and depending on the weather, it was hit or miss whether or not they were even watchable. To choose a movie We literally had to rent a VCR along with two or three movies we could get on VHS from Blockbuster but now just about anything I’ve ever wanted to watch is available at the click of a button for almost nothing. It wasn’t the big studios that figured out how to deliver movies and TV shows right into people’s homes. They dragged their feet, the same way they did when the VHS format first came out. Instead, the astounding wealth of home entertainment options we have today are the result of entrepreneurial start-ups. Like Blockbuster. 20 years ago, Blockbuster dominates the rental video space, charging a dollar or two per movie, but tacking on substantial fees for returning movies late. $40 in late fees at Blockbuster annoyed Reed Hastings enough to start a new subscription based company built around mail-order movie rentals with no late fees called Netflix. Meanwhile, Blockbuster was busy charging their customers over $800 million in late fees. By giving customers like me an unpleasant experience, Blockbuster was really just creating more and more opportunity for competition. By 2005, the company had lost 75% of its market share. There is an economics lesson in that. When entrepreneurs face competition, they may lose, but the fight makes life better for almost all of us. Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter explained how that works. He introduced the term “Creative Destruction” as a defining feature of free market economies. We see this in action with the story of streaming media. Older companies like Blockbuster have to become more innovative themselves or be destroyed by their competition. This process is how our standards of living continually increase. We see this in most every industry. Think how much our phones have changed. So high tech, it could only come from Motorola. The first flip phone cost $1000, and couldn’t do the things we expect phones to do today. But competition drove innovation. We got the Blackberry, then the iPhone. Way smarter than any mobile device has ever been Now we have budget smartphones that are even better. Of course, not every new idea is a good one. And that’s why markets, and prices are important. Prices are not just money, they’re information. They tell us where to put our money. The entrepreneur is always going to think their idea is great, but as consumers, we’re the ones who get to decide which businesses succeed and which fail. This is the biggest reason why trying to centrally plan an economy just doesn’t work. Politicians and bureaucrats don’t know what people are going to value, they pick winners and losers based on what they want or what they think is going to earn them the most important allies. I consider the fact that the internet and internet-based businesses have remained largely unregulated to be one of greatest strokes of luck in history. By 2007, Netflix became a fully-fledged streaming video service. And that’s the moment you see tons of other companies trying to catch up. Around the same time, Jeff Bezos had just launched a small movie streaming app called Amazon Unbox. A year later, NBC Universal decided to put its big library of content into a new service called Hulu. 2 years later Blockbuster, once the indisputable king of home video entertainment, filed for bankruptcy. That’s something to think about now, when people call Facebook and Google monopolies. A few years ago, people said that about Netflix. They had what a lot of people might have thought of as a monopoly over streaming media. But that monopoly disappeared almost as soon as it formed. I don’t want this season to end, what happens next? [music] Without government suppressing competition, Netflix had no way to maintain its temporary hold on the streaming market. Other companies caught up real fast. Hulu introduced Hulu Plus. A restructured Blockbuster also launched a streaming service but by that point it was really just too late. Consumers had spoken. I have spoken. By 2015, you have stuff like Shudder, Playstation Vue, and SlingTV. Woo-hoo! None of this was the result of any kind of grand, coordinated political plan. It’s something that could only happen in a market economy. With no central plan, no political decision making, enterprising individuals like Reed Hastings offered consumers a service that they believed would be valuable. And those consumers are free to choose whether or not to use that service. Our choices actually mean something. TV shows and movies at your command but please watch responsibly. When I was a kid, a basic cable package cost around $73. Now we get much more choice for 1/10th the price. We have Disney+. The sheer wealth of quality content available on the platform is amazing. And you get all this for 7 bucks a month. Disney+ is amazing. So is Netflix. And Hulu, and Amazon Prime. And they’re all getting better and better. As long as politicians don’t do something stupid, the future looks really good. You can watch the full video here on the Foundation for Economic Education’s YouTube channel. 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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Fair enough but when these companies such as Facebook and YouTube start destroying people's constitutional rights and dictate speech the government should step in and shut them down.

  2. Hardcore Absolute Fact: Technological Advancement and Ease Of Use and Creature Comfort has ZERO VALUE if businesses are not paying livable wages to everyday Americans to tap into all this technology!!!!!

  3. IF there is no affordable housing and 1 bedrooms apartments, THEN there is no money left to enjoy technological advancement! No livable wages = Technology is garbage!!!!!!!!

  4. DARPA actually started the internet decades ago. Now it is being used the way they originally planned it to be after convincing people to use it. Next is a cashless society to be able to track people better.

  5. Funny that you quoted a book which basically says " the end of communism is coming and socialism is gonna be the future"

  6. Libertarians worship material goods, just like how leftists worship equality.

    "Drill that oil for my car! Mine that metal for my boat! Give me stuff, give me stuff!"

    What a pathetic religion. Many unfortunately dont understand that all the stuff they love are simply being used to fill that void of meaningless most people feel about their lives. No, having multiple streaming services does not improve my life or give me satisfaction. It is simply something that can let people relax after having to spend another boring and meaningless day making someone else rich.

  7. So many streaming channels it’s like having different tv channels and we’re back at the exact same spot with the exact same price lmao people are such sheep.

  8. When I was a kid their were three channels. Six if you were industrious enough to fashion a decent UHF antennae out of a coat hanger. It's not always better or cheaper now (was almost free then), but it is nice to have effectively, a million channels. Like this one!

  9. China has proved,that central-planned economy works.Socialism,capitalism,and communism can all work if responsible and smart people are in power and corruption is penalized very harshly,mainly with death sentence.

  10. Pay attention, millenials. Don't fall for Bernie's garbage. Politicians just can't keep their hands off free market rentals, passing rent control in some states where it's never been before. They try to regulate Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, et al. Why? All to protect entrenched competitors, and because their sheer arrogance tells them that THEY know better. Right. Just look at any heavily regulated market and tell me how successful it is. You can't.

  11. On the fence about the Netflix example. When they were the only streaming giant, you didn’t have to be paying for multiple monthly subscriptions to different streaming services. At this point, if you want everything at your fingertips you have to almost go back to a cable model except in the vein of streaming.

    Still better than cable, but I don’t necessarily think it beats when Netflix was the streaming standard.

  12. May we always equate our standards of living with ease of access to a wealth of distractions and one day may we all become like those great rulers of old. George III, Caligula, Zhengde, Henry IV, Nebuchadnezzar II, etc.

  13. Please, please!!! Where is that American inventive to bend over and put down Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc. These monsters are the real threat for our democracy and freedom of speech.

  14. I am 'old school' when it comes to entertainment…I firmly believe that things should be like they were in 1970…FREE TO VIEW, so to this effort, if I can't view it free…I'll wait until I can view it free. The Internet facilitates my ideology quite-well, in fact…

  15. "On Demand" Feh, Whatever. I keep demanding John Stossel appear whenever I see something fiscally suspect but he still doesn't!

  16. Stossel you are under a spell or on a drug…movies on demand? I had Netflix and cancelled after a while because they do not show all they have so try to find it. Good luck. We cancelled our DirecTV since they raised their price monthly and forced us to buy electronic boxes while showing nothing of import…
    So I had just had Netflix again and I saw few things but had to hunt for it but the real kicker besides the constant searching is they had one (1), yes only one Coen Brothers flick. That is wrong and I do not care what Netflix thinks is "trending" either, not in the least.
    You know there is free TV called Pluto? Go to pluto.tv , lots of channels but not all top of the line but free. 24 hours of MST3K is one channel!

  17. Is it any wonder the giant tech platforms agreed with lawmakers that the industry needs regulation during the hearings – even offering to help them write it.

  18. You can bet, if it doesn't need fixing politicians will break it then step in and try to fix it and then pat themselves on the back saying look at the good I've done.

  19. No, no, no…it's a trap! Businesses only give us what we want so they can own and control us, and charge outrageous fees! That's why they keep lowering their prices! [/sarc]
    But seriously, I'm so sick of the abuse and misuse of the term 'monopoly'. That, and people who absurdly think that freedom = tyranny. The market offers goods and services to consumers, who are free to choose who they spend their money with. The government uses force to limit and control what businesses and individuals can do, punishing those who step out of the political boundaries. And yet people think markets are tyrannies and governments protect liberties???

  20. Innovation happens inspite of the government. Government is the problem and does very little to help us. Let's keep the government small, transparent, and accountable.

  21. getting better…sure but now that every channel will has its own app you need to pay for, it'll be so convoluted people will go back to cable tv. they should have stuck with their parnerships with Hulu. everyone would make more money. I'm not subscribing to 15+ different subscriptions. pain in the ass

  22. The link did not work and you should put a link in your discretion ..btw you ever going to make some long form Video's? I got really excited with your last one …but I don't see you making anymore..

  23. The (at the time of this comment) 165 state representatives that have thumbed down this video should be outed. Who else but your local federal representative would take issue with this content?

  24. Communists are so fucking dumb! You dont have to be an expert to understand how we have all this awesome stuff be of capitalism

  25. Socialism will cure this idea of satisfied consumers and let the government make all of our consumer decisions for us. Time for Socialism!! NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Imagine if the healthcare industry had the same freedoms. Just the price drops from interstate competition alone would be amazing.

  27. I cut off my cable and internet about a year ago. Now I go a few times a week to get movies and use the internet. It saves me one less bill per month.

  28. I am trying to live within my means and having the content on-demand is great, but the cost of so many streaming services makes me feel like I did before cutting the cable and only going with internet-only services. Currently, I have Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and while that is much cheaper than a cable tv option. My goal was to lower my costs and while I have done that. It feels like one after another after another is adding up to my old cable tv bill.

  29. So far there's been 171 sad and angry people that came here just to downvote this, if they are so bored they should get off unemployment/disability and go be a productive member of society.

  30. In just a few more years, electronics such as TVs, Laptops & Tablets will be sold for almost free, thanks to rising revenues from services! Capitalism is going to provide us with free stuff so that we can spend more money on content, subscriptions and other value-added services.

  31. I grew as a latchkey kid. At 25, I put multiple bullets in my television. And have refused to buy another one for 20 years. I don't miss it at all. If you truly love your children, you would do the same.

    Advertising is a way to circumnavigate your intelligence, just long enough to extort money from it.
    But what if they're not trying to extort money? What if we apply this technique, to the sexualization of children? So we rewrite the sentence. Advertising is being utilized to circumnavigate your intelligence just long enough to extort your child's sexuality from them.
    What if we apply this texting to Freedom? Let's rewrite the sentence.
    Advertising is a way to circumnavigate your intelligence, just long enough to extort your freedom from you.

    "If you keep men distracted with football and gambling, they will never miss what has been taken from them" George Orwell.

  32. The problem is that “Creative destruction” has leaked into social institutions and is eroding the social order (much more important than the economy) of America.

  33. There's one problem starting to happen. The streaming services are becoming too fragmented. When it was just a couple streaming companies people who were using pirate sites were finally switching to legal services. But now that they've fragmented they're going back to pirating instead of having to pay for so many different services.

  34. Be kind, please rewind.
    Everything on demand.. except happiness of course. I’d go so far as to say the more choice and availability there is of cheap plastic crap the more miserable people become.

  35. You know what john? Competition is good, great even, but exclusivity is not, imagine paying every one of the streaming company for just watching 1 exclusive content, This is a di*k move, and we are forced to pay because of this malicious practice of exclusivity. This need to stop.

  36. Sooner or later there will be ten streaming services costing 7 bucks each, so back to $70 per month. Then they unite again for 30..

  37. 5:42 Why TF would you put a cartoon of some guy giving head to another in a Documentary about streaming services. Is sucking dick part of the whole streaming concept?

  38. It is getting harder and harder to find anything good to watch on Netflix. Who and the hell is deciding what movie choices to put on there? They also raised their prices saying that it was so they could put on newer movies, but instead created more content, which mostly sucks.

  39. Ironic…. I have to see a freakin Bloomberg Political ad while trying to watch John Stossel ??!!
    Bloomberg Sucks. He should have John Stossel tutor him about the constitution & being a Freedom loving American !

  40. Except justice, it never seems to come on demand or ever. We seem to love our dirty pedo politicians so much we can't even try to get rid of them. Turn off your tv programming.

  41. You ain't seen nuthin' yet when it comes to "everything on demand". Just wait 'til 3-D printers and desktop CNC machines become as ubiquitous as microwave ovens.

  42. We do not stream, watch sitcoms, reality TV, or go to the movies. My husband works at Frontier. We get a discount. No need to cut the cord. If they make good movies we go back. If theh take the gays and Evil off sitcoms we watch them again. We will never watch reality TV. Until them no thank you.

  43. At the end of the day all this easy access is not good for us as a society… All it teaches is impatience. One of the main things that makes us resilient as humans is practicing patience… It helps us get through almost all of life’s struggles. Nowadays if we don’t have instant gratification … We’re onto the next thing.

  44. Except I don't want to have to sign up for every service just to watch a handful of shows or less for each service. Amazon's selection was terribly small with no way to stop showing shows that you were not interested in, thus exposing their shady business practice of making it look like they have a large selection when in fact you are just combing through the same shows you didn't want to watch the last 5 times you searched for a new show to watch.

  45. Love me some John Stossel but wtf is this? Who is narrating this thing? I became so lost in who the narrator was that I could barely discern the message. Worst Stossel production to date. I thought I had two windows open simultaneously. Something about Blockbuster???

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