A few days ago, during a conversation with a filmmaker friend, this writer learned that most streaming platforms (read Netflix) were done with their attempts at creativity (read signing big name actors without a concept to boo, push agendas that seem alien to local audiences, etc.) and wanted some great ideas to explore.
The demagoguery of Netflix and the like, where they thought they knew what was best for the local market, is now all but a thing of the past. This is not limited to India per se, which is more than evident from how quickly Netflix lost both subscribers and its stock market value.
In an April 2022 report, the company reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, its biggest loss in more than a decade. Between April and June 2022, Netflix lost an additional 970,000 subscribers. Netflix stock has also steadily declined. It went from $300 billion to less than $90 billion in less than a year, a loss of more than 70% of its value.
Experts believe that such a shift could have several reasons. However, one of the big factors contributing to this loss is the way a giant like Netflix has taken it upon itself to set the local entertainment agenda. Either way, the once need for a prime audience has now gone vocal and told the company in more ways than one that being awake no longer cuts it.
Few companies have managed to step out of their core business, an area where they were not just industry leaders but, for all intents and purposes, synonymous with the business and adapting to changing times in the world. same core business. Beginning as a home DVD rental facility, Netflix survived the critical shift in the core aspect of the business in which it found itself – the shift from physical products such as DVDs to online products – and became the leader in market in its new avatar.
He preyed on the movie industry by pumping mega dollars into global productions that would never hit a theater near you. It has attracted some of the biggest names in the industry to partner on dream projects. When mainstream film festivals refused to consider films produced by online streaming giants due to non-theatrical releases, Netflix bought a chain of movie theaters to tick that box. There was nothing that could go wrong with him, and soon he started setting the agenda – which he didn’t feel cut off in terms of social messaging (reading wasn’t awake enough) , he rejected it.
More than external factors such as increased competition and, more importantly, the loss of content to other platforms in the form of a backlist or new material, is there an internal factor who caused Netflix greater harm? Believe it or not, the streaming giant’s “awakening” could be a reason subscribers are dropping it. Netflix had come under heavy fire after its show cute which objectified prepubescent girls in September 2020, which also started the subscriber cancellation process.
The backlash for its sexualized depiction of children has been accompanied by reports that Netflix will also top the film in search results. He later backed the film and called himself a “content driver”. In October 2021, many Netflix employees expressed an issue with the platform producing and featuring comedian Dave Chappelle for his transphobic comments. A few months later, in an internal memo, Netflix surprised observers by asking offended employees to leave if they were having trouble putting up with the content.
Pushing the boundaries is a common creative refrain. There’s a time and a place for that, but things tend not to be so black and white when viewed from a broader perspective. At first glance, Netflix might be a content space, but its budget power and access to TV screens make it more than just an exponent.
He can define the narrative, and that’s what he was trying to do with shows like cute – imagine a film criticizing the sexualization of young girls using images of young girls, some of them as young as 12, wearing cropped tops and striking provocative dance poses. He makes you see the very thing he asks you not to see.
A few years ago, Netflix didn’t have competition for local content, but that’s a thing of the past. People preferring content quality over production level — Panchayat and Nirmal Pathak Ki Ghar Wapsi — are just two recent examples. Netflix and others need to understand that just establishing a program that might have worked in one corner of the world, however short, in another part of the world could be such a good idea.
The writer is a film writer and historian. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the position of this publication.
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