The State of Netflix in 2022: Reports of her death have been greatly exaggerated +2023

Christopher Nolans The dark knight To put it best, you either die the hero or you live long enough to become the villain. That’s exactly the time Netflix sunk in the past year as the country began to emerge from its collective COVID trauma. The streaming service, once lauded for revolutionizing the entertainment industry, has been the focus of several article and arguments everyone is asking the same question: will we witness Netflix’s demise?

It’s definitely an enticing tale. But as you dive into Netflix’s 2022, it’s not one that holds a lot of water. The boring truth is that Netflix doesn’t look like it’s going to fail dramatically or ruthlessly destroy its competition. Netflix is ​​indeed: fine.

…But that doesn’t mean all is well. If you take a closer look at Netflix’s ups and downs over the past year, we get a glimpse of how the streaming industry as a whole could be changing. The bottom line? Netflix is ​​still royal, but it may have to share its crown sooner rather than later.

Photo: Netflix

The “Netflix is ​​doomed!” controversy

There’s no doubt that Netflix has suffered some serious setbacks in 2022. In the first quarter, the streaming giant experienced his first loss of worldwide subscribers, amounting to 200,000 net customers. That was followed by losing 970,000 net subscribers in the second quarter, a number that fell short of Netflix’s original estimate of 2 million. Incidentally, those two quarters marked the first time Netflix’s subscription numbers have fallen. And back in August CNN reported that Netflix stock had fallen nearly 60 percent.

So far, that stock decline isn’t quite as bad as it was months ago, and this fall Netflix has seen some subscriber growth. But still, it’s not great.

Netflix stock price
Photo: Google

And if you think those numbers don’t paint a great picture, Netflix’s less easily measurable elements don’t fare much better. In the past year, Netflix has had two rounds of layoffs: 150 positions in May and 300 positions in June. This first wave of layoffs included 26 employees Part of Tudum, Netflix’s in-house publication that took a fair amount from negative push attention. This initial layoff of 150 people was also included 70 spots in the streamer’s animation studioand 30 more animation jobs were cut in September. Again: not great.

Amid all of these headaches, Netflix’s content also suffered some minor setbacks. Netflix has canceled several shows all year round, which is not unusual. But there were two shows positioned as staples that failed to secure a second season: the live-action Resident Evil; and those produced by DB Weiss and David Benioff The chair. Likewise the one led by Steve Carell space forces couldn’t secure a third season. Neither of these flops were devastating for the streaming service, but they still cost money. Spending money on failed projects never looks good.

But the biggest anti-Netflix argument really has to do with the competition. As Netflix lost subscribers earlier this year, Disney+ she won. Starting this fall, Disney+ 164.2 million subscribers to Netflix 223.09 million. Not bad considering Disney+ launched in 2019. HBO and HBO Max beat Netflix when it came to both Emmy nominations and wins. Similar, AppleTV+ — the streamer that most blatantly copied Netflix’s old strategy of giving creative people tons of money and letting them go — had a solid stake for the historically difficult-to-infiltrate Emmys. Whether you’re focusing on subscriber growth, price potential, or an arsenal of talent, Netflix has faced plenty of competition on all fronts. Combine that with its rough two quarters, share decline, and bad press, and it might be tempting to write off the behemoth.

stranger things 4
Photo: Netflix

The “Netflix is ​​fine” reality

…But it would be a mistake to write them off. If you look at the rest of 2022, most of the hand-wringing over Netflix’s fall is starting to fade. For example, Netflix didn’t lose any subscribers in the third quarter, but instead gained new ones. Specifically, it added 2.41 million subscribers, which was more than double the projected increase of 1 million.

And let’s take another look at those layoffs. Mass layoffs look bad, but they’re not always a fatality for a company. They can also indicate that a company is refocusing, especially after a poor quarter. That way, Netflix’s layoffs appear less dire and more like the actions of a company trying to get its ship back on track in real time.

As bad as the first half of 2022 was, the second half was pretty great. In 2022 alone, two of the three shows that Netflix claims have amassed a record-breaking 1 billion viewing hours were produced. those are stranger things 4 and Dahmer – Monsters: The Story of Jeffrey Dahmer (the third was in 2021 Squid Game). This year was also responsible for Bridgeton Season 2, Invent Anna the Guardian the first half manifest season 4, Ozarks final season, love is blind Season 3 and TikTok’s latest obsession, Wednesday. That’s all to say that Netflix has released a long list of shows that launched this year.

Chances are that the trend will continue as we look towards the future of Netflix. Later this month will see the premiere of The Witcher: Origin of the Blood, a prequel to one of Netflix’s biggest franchises. That will follow The Witcher Season 3, which is expected to premiere next year, along with You Season 4, the second half of manifest Season 4 and Shadow & Bone Season 2. These are all big projects with big followings that are almost guaranteed to get subscribers pressing play.

But wait; there is more! All three most watched series from Netflix – Squid Game, Stranger Thingsand monster – have been extended for additional seasons. And although we will lose stranger things, it seems the Duffer brothers have no plans to leave Netflix anytime soon thanks to their deal with the streamer. Speaking of fellow Netflix creators, Netflix’s deals with Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes are still in play, meaning these creative geniuses could drop another hit at any moment. Bridgeton has been renewed through Season 4, leaving room for another steamy hit. And although The chair may not have worked out with game of Thrones‘ Weiss and Benioff in the streamer’s courtyard are still showing promise, especially as far as their upcoming project is concerned. The three body problema popular science fiction novel series.

There are other anticipated upcoming projects to consider including live action Avatar: The Last Airbender, the live action One pieceand David Fincher’s next film The killer. And let’s not forget Netflix’s groundbreaking focus on international content. Shows how Squid Game and money robbery have proven that just because a series is made for a specific region may not prevent it from becoming an international success. This kind of global-first thinking is lacking in other streamers and is increasingly becoming a unique advantage for Netflix. Each of these projects, and the dozens if not hundreds more we’re not aware of, is an opportunity for Netflix to grow its subscriber base and reestablish its place as an industry leader. And when it comes to the latter point, Netflix really doesn’t need much help.

Even in its lowest months, Netflix has remained the biggest name in streaming. That’s because Netflix, like Kleenex or Coke before it, has become the brand standard. You don’t get Disney+ Down and Dirty or HBO Max and Sax* (*Sex). You Netflix and chill. That kind of brand awareness is hard to shake, even after a couple of tough quarters and a ton of bad press. If subscribers are looking to slash their streaming budget, their trusty Netflix account probably won’t be the first service on the chopping block.

There’s not even much evidence that subscribers are planning to cut their streaming budgets. A poll mentioned in Nielsen’s state of affairs found that 93 percent of Americans plan to either expand their paid streaming services or make no changes to them. Another survey from the same source claimed that more than two-thirds of customers have not canceled any services in the past year.

Netflix new ad-supported plan will likely also make room for even more subscribers and give the company another previously untapped revenue stream. Given all of this, it feels foolish to suggest that we’re going to witness Netflix’s demise. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Netflix is ​​fine. But instead of declaring a winner, the streaming wars may pave the way for a new TV landscape.

Charithra Chandran as Edwina in Bridgerton
Photo: Netflix

Netflix will be one of the few winners

It’s not like any service is going to become the king of streaming. There will be a few streaming kings. This is a model that harks back to the days of the Hollywood studio system. Whether it’s film or television, there has almost always been a handful of studios or networks controlling the landscape. When Netflix released its first show in 2013, it challenged the network’s tried and true old guard. Now the war is almost over, the dust is settling and it seems our new TV guides are about to appear.

It’s not crazy to envision Netflix, Disney+ and whatever Warner Bros. Discovery decides to be our new definitive industry leaders. Maybe even Hulu or Apple TV+ will make it. But no matter what, Netflix will likely be at the front of this pack for the foreseeable future.

Predicting Netflix’s demise has become a fun media hobby over the years. But these rambling narratives deliberately avoid the often boring truth. Netflix got where it is today because it’s good at finding gaps in the industry and staying flexible. So let’s put this tired argument to bed: Netflix is ​​here to stay.

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