Netflix anti-effect: streaming loses subscribers, promotions, cool series. What happened and who took the lead?
For more than 10 years, Netflix has been storming the streaming platform market, but this year it suddenly lost ground: in its report for the first quarter of 2022, the company reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers, although, according to forecasts, it should, on the contrary, increase the audience by 2.5 million people. And in the second quarter, the anti-trend to reduce the number of users continued (by 970 thousand). As a result, Netflix also lost in shares: even after the publication of the first report, they fell by 35%, then the news about the dismissal of employees from the streaming animation division added fuel to the fire. And against the backdrop of numbers with a minus sign, the company also lost to competitors with the two most anticipated premieres of this year: “House of the Dragon” and “Rings of Power” were released on HBO Max and Amazon. And although Netflix in 2022 can boast of the continuation of the Bridgertons, Inventing Anna, Tinder Swindler, not yet released Wednesday, with projects of the level of the prequels of Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings, they, of course, compete The first episode of Home, for example, received a record 9.9 million viewers for HBO Max, and Rings also had the best opening in Amazon history with more than 25 million viewers.
In Netflix itself, the loss of subscribers is associated precisely with competition, with the use of one account by several people at once (the company claims that at least 100 million viewers use the accounts of their friends, relatives, colleagues), as well as with the termination of work in Russia, which accounted for about 700 thousand profiles. Another reason is the increase in the cost of a monthly subscription in the United States by one and a half dollars. Because of this, 600,000 viewers in North America and Canada refused to use Netflix, which, however, were compensated by an influx of audience from Asia – thanks to “The Squid Game”, “We’re All Dead” and other South Korean (and not only) projects , of which streaming has made hits.
One way or another, while the past nine months are marked in the history of Netflix as the worst of its existence, and if the platform’s management associates the general decline with commerce, then the Western press is betting more on the company’s policy. ScreenRant, for example, writes that Netflix still releases all the episodes at once: this leads, firstly, to spoilers, and secondly, to the audience quickly switching to other stories. The same HBO Max – one of the main competitors of Netflix – releases episodes every week, which makes users stay longer on the platform. “House of the Dragon”, for example, is released from August 21 to October 24 – and two months of subscription is already on the company’s account.
Another stone in the Netflix garden flies for a huge number of new films and series – premieres happen on the platform almost daily, but many of them do not even receive a decent promotion and may simply be unknown to viewers. And those that do not suffer from a lack of marketing activities often do not live up to the expectations of the audience.
This happened, for example, with “Red Notice” with Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson, which cost Netflix $ 200 million and teetering on the verge of a “failed” status (the film has only 6.3 on IMDb). Or with the “Gray Man” with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, which was supposed to be a new Bond movie, but won only 6.5 on IMDb.
However, all this does not prevent Netflix from remaining the largest streaming service: with their 221.64 million subscribers, neither HBO Max (76.8 million), nor Amazon (more than 200 million in 2021), nor Disney+ (152. 1 million). How long the company will be able to hold the palm is unknown, especially since its competitors are growing exponentially: Disney + increased its audience by 20 million in just a quarter, HBO Max showed a result of 3 million, and this is even before the release on the House of the Dragon platform, which can return to streaming those 40% of the viewers who left it after the end of the Game of Thrones.
Netflix obviously understands the level of risk, and therefore the company plans to launch a new cheap rate with ads to begin with – it will cost, according to rumors, from 7 to 9 dollars instead of the standard 15.49. Co-founder and director of the company Reed Hastings explained this decision by the fact that the platform wants to give its users a choice. The platform’s management also plans to focus on improving the quality of its projects: the letter to shareholders says that they are now selecting shows more carefully, and also revised the list of already approved ones and canceled some of them. As The Wall Street Journal reported, this year Netflix has allocated more than $ 20 billion for the creation of new content – a budget that is not comparable to the numbers of any other platforms, or even major Hollywood studios. And while this amount does not justify itself – fortunately for competitors and unfortunately for the audience.