#Netflix Blames Price Hikes For Major #Loss Of #US #Subscribers — Quality Does Matter; #SVOD

Quality does matter, stupid!

Last year, I asked Netflix support about the nature of the contents being pushed in the recommended shows, movies to watch, in that, they're becoming predominantly foreign — like movies made in India, China, Japan, etc. that aren't really English speaking. I noticed that it got even worst. Foreign movies are clogging up all other genres of film, like, the first couple of films would be English-speaking content followed by foreign movies. Some are even downright confusing, like, cartoons and 3D animation appearing in live-action suspense, thriller, and other non-children genres.

Naturally, I didn't got a straight answer. I was advised to use the thumbs down button to “teach” the system to not show me the type of movies I don't want to watch. But here's the thing, isn't the thumbs up and thumbs down buttons supposed to rate content after watching whether you like it or not? Won't this muddle it's content ratings?

Shouldn't Netflix show content be regional in nature? So if I'm a subscriber in Norway, I would expect to see more local content and maybe some Hollywood films, and foreign films would all be classified in the foreign genre.

But that's not the case. Netflix doesn't seem to know how to classify it's content. Surprisingly, independent films still are classified as independent, regardless if they're produced in the United States.

The quality of the shows are a hit and miss, mostly a miss. Sure, there are big hits like “The House of Cards,” “Stranger Things,” and “Bird Box”… but the rest is an avalanche of crap.

In an effort to avoid paying licenses on good content, they decided to overwhelming subscribers with whatever they can make. And if that's not enough, they redesigned their app so that each content is screaming at you for attention — auto-play previews in larger tiles — which are mostly comprising of content they produced.

Maybe that's the beauty of the cut-throat nature in the Hollywood film making business. Projects takes a while because it's sort of a vetting process. And only the really good ones raise to the top and gets made. Netflix on the other hand, is sort of like green lighting everything with closed eyes.

I did what support told me to, thumb down everything I didn't want to see — mostly foreign content.

Then I read an article about licensing. As it turns out, Netflix doesn't really recommend content based on what you like to watch, well, maybe it considers that but by a minuscule amount. What it really does is, push content that were either self-produced or has a cheaper license fee — the kind of content that are likely bad. The good ones are few because they're expensive. This is the kind of explanation I would've like their support to tell me, and I would've accepted it, because it makes sense. It's awful, but sensible. I still would've liked them to organize their genre better, granting they have plenty of cold cash to throw around. It doesn't cost much to hire some professional who's an expert in film taxonomy.

Of course, they ran their business as they see fit. But I'm glad this happened, while the SVOD industry is still pretty much in its infancy. So hopefully, the rest of the players (including Netflix) that quality of service and content DO MATTERS!

So Netflix can make up an alibi all they want to save face. Fortunately, people aren't that stupid. Netflix should be worried, Disney+ is coming. And their treasure trove is already filled with timeless, blockbuster content.

Rule of thumb: Quality over quantity.

New York (The Verge) — Netflix suffers first major loss of US subscribers in Q2, blames price hikes and less strong original content this quarter theverge.com/2019/7/17/2069….

Netflix didn’t add nearly as many subscribers as the company projected it would in the second quarter of 2019, and saw a loss in U.S. subscribers for the first time since 2011, when the company separated its DVD mail-order system and streaming platform. The company lost approximately 130,000 subscribers in the United States in Q2, and only gained 2.7 million global subscribers.

The company lost approximately 130,000 subscribers in the United States in Q2, and only gained 2.7 million global subscribers, after projecting it would add 5 million. CEO Reed Hastings blamed the stagnancy on the company’s price hikes, and a lack of original content to bring in new subscribers. The company instituted higher pricing plans in January, one of its biggest increases to date. Plan changes went into effect for both new and returning subscribers. As such, paid memberships in the United States were “essentially flat.”

“Our missed forecast was across all regions, but slightly more so in regions with price increases,” Hastings wrote in his letter to shareholders. “We don’t believe competition was a factor since there wasn’t a material change in the competitive landscape during Q2, and competitive intensity and our penetration is varied across regions.”

The news has led to an immediate stock drop for the company. Hastings’ letter to investors argues that the company’s next two quarters will see growth because of new seasons of Netflix successes like Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel (Money Heist), The Crown, and Orange is the New Black, which is getting a final season. Still, the stock drop and Disney, WarnerMedia, Apple, and NBC Universal’s race to create the first “Netflix killer” may be a sign that confidence in Netflix is waning. Julia Alexander/@verge

Source: verge, full story

 

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