Losing 200,000 subscribers represented less than one tenth of one percent of Netflix’s estimated 222 Million subscribers; but the stock market saw the decline as apocalyptic –wiping out $50 Billion, or 35 percent of Netflix’s market value in a single session. Now media-watchers are wondering if the entire streaming business is in for a shakeup. In the case of Netflix, the drop in subscribers was inevitable. After years of having the market mostly all to themselves, suddenly well-heeled competitors started grabbing market share. Now the marketplace includes Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu. Paramount+, HBO Max, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video. The streaming service pie is getting bigger, no doubt, but not fast enough to prevent individual streaming services from losing customers to each other.
The other problem for Netflix is content—it is getting stale. Netflix added 42 new titles in the last week. Only one movie—Brooklyn—was a genuine Hollywood hit. There were five Canadian movies—only one of which, the Art of the Steal, was even rated (watch Kurt Russel walk through the elevator lobby at Hamilton City Hall, past the washrooms). There were three documentary series and seven subtitled foreign films. Credit Netflix for presenting foreign films to a new North American audience but also credit Netflix for revealing that just because a film is foreign doesn’t mean it isn’t crap.
By grossly overspending on content, (see Harry and Meghan) Netflix has single-handedly driven up the cost of filmmaking. Streaming analyst and author Matthew Ball (The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything) told CNBC that Netflix was shifting to a more traditional — i.e. Hollywood — (film) development hierarchy while also reining in who had green-light authority in the room.” Don’t look for a quick turnaround Ball told the blog, Vulture. “This sort of reset takes three to four years to take full effect, even when done right,” Ball says. “Your next year is in the can, the year after is still mostly tied to what was in development before the change, and in the third year, most of your shows are still returning ones.”