Netflix is currently facing the biggest challenge in its history, with two million subscribers set to cancel their subscription this quarter. I plan to be one of them.
Don’t get me wrong, Netflix has brought so much joy into my life over the past decade. I spent my teenage years falling in love with comedy on their platform after school and college.
At the time, it felt like they had everything. Whether it was The Office, Arrested Development or That 70s Show, it was going to be on Netflix. If you didn’t have a DVD box set, you’d be stuck praying which episode you wanted to watch randomly on TV.
Netflix was enjoying the glory days, they changed the landscape of television after proving with the originals Orange Is The New Black and Stranger Things that television could strive on an internet service.
In the mid-2010s, it felt like everyone was starting to launch their own steam service. None of them seemed to really stick, who even uses their Amazon Prime account?
Things took a turn for Netflix when the pandemic hit. Of course, everyone was staying home and consuming content, but a small platform called Disney+ was launched.
The Disney+ family arguably has a stronger platform than the one Netflix has built since launching in Ireland in early 2012. Preferences aside, this was the first time we’ve suddenly realized Netflix doesn’t was not our only option.
Content is everywhere online these days, unless it’s a Netflix original, you’ll likely find the program you’re using on another platform. It’s like opening a McDonald’s in a rural town. When it opens it will be devoured, but once the Subways and Burger Kings start surrounding it, it will never taste so good.
A huge problem for me is that Netflix’s library is taking a massive hit. I’m the type of guy who watches anything and even struggles to find a half-decent movie to watch at night.
Considering their big-budget movies are the headache-inducing Red Notice and a new weekly 4/10 action flick starring a random Hollywood star, that leaves a lot to be desired. Outside of their award contenders, the Netflix original movies are pretty terrible.
When it comes to the television side of Netflix, there haven’t been many originals that have struck a chord with viewers. Outside of Squid Game and Bridgerton, which are rightly celebrated, other shows like You and Emily in Paris are guilty pleasures at best.
Netflix faces streaming platforms with better originals from every angle. Apple has Ted Lasso. Amazon Prime has The Boys. Disney has MCU and Star Wars shows, in terms of popularity you will never compete with these IPs.
Now I’m not just considering leaving Netflix because it’s in a tough spot, that’s totally understandable in the growing market. What I won’t accept is a platform, taking advantage of their audience.
Without their users, Netflix would be as relevant as Quibi (Google it). Yet, with the streaming war heating up, this is the moment they bizarrely backfire.
The price hikes keep coming, despite the lure of the platform running out. Having a “premium” package, at €17.99 per month, is disconcerting. The only way to afford it is to share an account, but Netflix doesn’t want that.
Netflix is cracking down on friends and families who share an account. Some of us have to share the cost in order to enjoy the luxury. Without it, Netflix subscribers will surely decrease. Who wants to stay with a streaming service that wants to block them from accessing it?
While we’re here, the plan to introduce ‘cheap tiers with ad media’ is an insult to me and anyone who’s fallen in love with Netflix. Netflix boasted that ads are not necessary to enjoy TV when they launched, they badly damaged the TV and movie industry with this claim.
I’m not paying for what is a cleaner version of the RTE player. I’d almost bet at home that the Netflix package with ads will cost more than the streaming service’s $6.99 when it launched a decade ago.
If Netflix continues down this path, it’s only a matter of time before they become obsolete like the DVD companies they’re killing. No matter who you are, outgrowing our boots will always lead to your downfall.