Netflix Loses Subscribers: Errors and Successes of the Platform

For the first time in history, the Netflix streaming platform loses subscribers. What is happening?.

Netflix app on an iMac

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LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Netflix pierde suscriptores: errores y aciertos de la plataforma

It is clear that talking about Netflix is referring to a service that completely changed the way we consume content. For years, people who wanted to see a movie or a series had to wait for the premiere in the cinema or for the tuning in on television. Now, it is possible to consume “on-demand”, which provides comfort to the user.

With a new business model, Netflix began to become enormously popular in the 2010s. However, in recent years competitors began to appear that questioned that hegemony, such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, HBO Max or Apple. TV Plus, for example.

Now, Netflix currently reported a drop in subscribers for the first time since 2011, with some 200,000 less clients. This situation generated a 40% drop in the stock market, while also calling into question the system itself. Given this situation, here we will discover what has been done well and what things have been done wrong in recent years.

The Positive

Let's start with the positive, because although Netflix shows signs of exhaustion in some of its formulas, it has also had great successes. Mainly, because of many of the original series they have generated, which in many cases have become authentic “cult phenomena”.

For example, the creation of BoJack Horseman was a true revolution in animation, with a story that mixed comedy and tragedy in a wonderful way. The same thing happened with Love, Death & Robots, which is an animated anthology series that touches on sensitive issues from a fictional perspective.

Likewise, it is necessary to consider exclusive successes of the platform itself, many of which were Spanish. Mass phenomena, such as Money Heist, Elite or Merlí caused a "sensation" and even began to talk about the success of the great Spanish television stories.

As for the other productions, it should be noted that Netflix achieved very successful plots beyond the United States and Europe, as happened with the “boom” of The Squid Game. And, in addition, extremely popular franchises in the world were also highlighted, such as Stranger Things, Ozark or Better Call Saul.

Some license purchases have also been very interesting. For example, Black Mirror, which came to this platform, was expanded with more chapters and even an interactive story. The Witcher was also very successful on the platform, after acquiring the original license for the books.

In addition, we must highlight 2 other virtues. The first has to do with the miniseries or documentary series format, which Netflix has brilliantly exploited. For example, productions like The Last Dance, Queen's Gambit or Unorthodox were automatically successful on the platform.

It should also be noted that Netflix was the pioneer in bringing cinema to the Oscars, with films almost exclusive to the platform, such as Roma or The Irishman. In other words, the platform managed to attract the attention of renowned directors, such as Alfonso Cuarón or Martin Scorsese.

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The Negative and that could be improved

Now, what are Netflix's problems? We start with one of the most notorious: cancellations. For example, productions such as Altered Carbon, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Tuca & Bertie, Spinning Out, The OA, House of Cards, The Killing, Daredevil, Mindhunter or Anne with E stand out, all suspended before a certain end.

Many of them were a "rage", but they never gave very specific explanations about the causes of the cancellations. Unfortunately, it does not seem that things are going to change, since Netflix has paused other productions indefinitely, such as Bright 2 and Trouble.

Continuing with the drawbacks, the famous “Netflix formula” is also present. Much of the content on the platform does not seem to be of the right quality, as there is an abundance of low-budget, clichéd productions that are profitable for the platform.

Another mistake seems to be in some particularly famous stories. An example happened with Cowboy Bebop, which was the adaptation of one of the most famous anime in history to a live-action version, but which was canceled after having a "failed" execution for not respecting the original essence.

Similarly, Netflix seems to be pouring a lot of money into anime, through buying iconic licenses and generating new stories. However, they have preferred quantity over quality and so far they haven't completely caught on with the public either.

In turn, many users complain that Netflix is more concerned with raising ideological flags than generating quality content. In other words, much of the content on the platform seems to be aimed at a progressive audience, with combative messages, but with poorly worked, stretched or too forced narratives.

Finally, some ideas seemed interesting, but did not materialize well. Perhaps the most distinguished is Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. This was an interactive film that meant a revolution for the medium, but it was not up to the task. Although the attempt is appreciated, the story left little flavor.

In short, Netflix has made mistakes, but also many successes. And you, do you think there is still room for improvement?