NetflixisGreat tipped me off to a "lively discussion" on Palo Alto Online, where they debate if the town should provide a free Netflix subscription to every residence.
There are 20,000 residential units in Palo Alto. If the city were to buy a Netflix subscription for all of them the cost would be 1.44 million dollars per year.
But since Netflix would pick up 20,000 subscribers with zero marketing expense, would not have any deadbeat problems and would have the opportunity to upgrade all of those subscribers to higher level plans, it is likely that a discount of 50 percent would be in order.
I don't know how much it costs the city to buy, shelve, track, check in, check out, DVDs. Consider also the very large space required. It wouldn't surprise me that the city could save money and provide better service by outsourcing DVDs.
If libraries could offer a discounted subscription to library card holders, is that a good idea? Should libraries be renting movies in the first place?