Jonathan Poritsky has a really interesting thought about Netflix, their original content, and the archival-less nature of streaming-only services:
But what happens when I fall out of love, or when they hike prices again? What happens when the company starts developing films and keeps them exclusive to streaming as well? And what if they fail and fall into obscurity? If released on disc, they could at the very least be preserved by fans and collectors.
I’d argue that so long as services like The Pirate Bay exists, we won’t need to worry about not being able to archive streaming-only content. That said, this is a really good question.
Without original content, Netflix is just a distributor to production companies. With original content Netflix now has a role in creating works of art (if you believe films and TV shows are works of art, I do). This is an interesting problem for Netflix and film buffs alike as more and more companies like Netflix spring up to make works of art.
Likewise too with Instagram — how many historic photos may be in the grips of Instagram that will be lost when/if the service dies?
Ditto Mixel — what if there were truly great works of art on the service, never again to see the light of day.
With streaming, with cloud hosted, with digital itself — we have such a huge risk to lose really important stuff. Important, historically and more.
Same with this blog. If I stop paying the hosting bill, it all goes away. Not that there is anything that important, but there are websites that are that important.