To help fix Netflix’s dwindling subscriber count, the company should look back on its own history and reconsider the importance of physical media.
With the latest news on netflixDue to subscriber issues, the company lacks an easy way to help resolve these issues. Although it remains one of the biggest streaming services in the world, Netflix recently lost over 200,000 subscribers and expects to lose two million more over the next few months. The reason for this sudden decline has been hotly debated, with possibilities ranging from rising subscription prices to a lack of consistent content. Netflix is responding to the loss of subscribers with a crackdown on password sharing, but they’re neglecting the company’s history and a simple way to help solve its current problems in the meantime.
Before becoming one of the largest streaming platforms in the world, Netflix started as a DVD rental business in the late 1990s. The company launched its streaming service in 2007 and by 2016 Netflix was available in the whole world. Its initial original content, including shows Card castle and Orange is the new black, created in 2013, and the rest is history. Over the years, Netflix has curated an impressive slate of in-house programming comprised of multi-season shows, miniseries, movies, and interactive content. They have also been instrumental in making an internationally diverse set of titles available to the masses. Their IPs include huge hits like stranger things, squid gameand Bridgerton as well as a number of Netflix shows that were canceled before they had a chance to end properly despite their popularity, such as Sense8 or Santa Clarita diet.
One of the ways Netflix has been trying to lure people into the service for years is by releasing the first season of a show on DVD and/or Blu-ray and then neglecting to physically release the rest of that show, thus forcing fans to subscribe just to continue watching their favorite content. While it’s understandable that Netflix is doing everything to grow its subscriber base and digital streaming represents the majority of its business, ignoring the power of physical media like Disney+ and other competitors have and ignoring the corporate roots is not the best strategy. Instead, Netflix should look at viewing physical media as equal consideration for its streaming service and give viewers more ways to explore Netflix’s massive library at their discretion.
Physical media aren’t dead yet. Limited edition Steelbook box sets and Blu-rays offer a fun way to collect media and reduce the frustration of finding a specific movie or show online. Netflix has made some headway when it comes to physical media, with a small percentage of their prestige films released as part of The Criterion Collection, and a selection of their shows also being available for purchase on disc. If it’s reasonable for Netflix to want to keep its big releases like The Umbrella Academy exclusive to the digital platform to attract new subscribers, there comes a time when a certain show or movie no longer brings in those new subscriptions, and that’s a prime time to provide a disc release. While it could be argued that making too much of their original programming available on physical media would eliminate the need to subscribe, one possible way around such a problem would be to provide limited-edition delayed releases, allowing collectors to possibly expand their libraries. without compromising their need for the streaming platform. Additionally, Netflix could once again offer a combined subscription for streaming and disc rentals, giving viewers even more choice in how they consume Netflix content.
The split in the streaming landscape with Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, Hulu, etc. means that finding a favorite series or movie to watch becomes more difficult every day. Collecting physical media is the same as collecting books or figurines. It is a way for the public to express their appreciation for a certain product. Yes netflix was willing to lean further into the company’s history and cater to an even broader consumer base by releasing physical media more frequently and further developing its record rental service, this would help distinguish them from their direct competitors.
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