However, in the 16 years Netflix has been around, a plethora (yes, an excessive amount) of online streaming and VOD services have surfaced -- some with a specific niche, some just for the sake of competition. The selection can prove almost overwhelming.
You can take a deep breath now -- the Geek's got a resource that distills the mass to the 19 most popular services.
19 of the Most Popular VOD Sites for Film and TV Addicts
Thanks to the advent of home theater systems, the convenience of VOD services, and Internet-enabled TV devices (Roku, Boxee, Xbox Live, PS3), more and more people are skipping the film theater nuisances (ringing phones, texters, crying babies, talkers) and creating their own experiences at home.
As a result, video-on-demand has permanently shaken the film distribution model (mainstream and indie alike), causing a trend of simultaneous VOD-theatrical releases to expand filmmakers' reach.
And viewers have spoken.
According to the Washington Post, All Good Things (starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst) made $6 million via VOD compared to its meager $600,000 theater run. Wall Street thriller Margin Call was about even: it earned roughly $5M each via VOD and in theaters.
While some film purists (including the Geek) prefer the theater experience, it's impossible to deny that money talks -- people favor convenience, and quite frankly, they also favor cost effectiveness. $9.99 is much cheaper than $15 (not including concession snacks).
So which sites matter in the sea of noise? This slideshow will help you out.
So which service do you use? Have you switched services before? Let's chat in the comments below.
Flickr photo by Marcus Kwan.
About the Author: Mellissa Thomas is a freelance writer, blogger, web content writer, copyeditor, proofreader, and authors three blogs: E.i. Geek (Blogger), her writing blog Mellifluity Inc. (WP), and The Tenderfoot Files, the online platform for her 5-ebook suspense series (WP).
She has also self-published two books: a weekly devotional entitled From a Babe: A Weekly Devotional, and the first ebook of her 5-ebook series, Abstracted: Episode 1 of the Tenderfoot Series.