One of the most successful business models of the last decade seems to have gone into a tailspin. Why is Netflix losing more and more subscribers? The data from the first quarter of 2022, in which a drop of 200,000 subscribers to the platform was reported, are just a warning sign of a trend that looks like it may continue to drag on for the rest of the year. The factors that have influenced this loss of ground are several, and all have aligned to create a perfect storm that the company founded by Reed Hastings will have to start weathering.
Netflix gained a competitive advantage by getting it right in its conversion from a DVD rental company to one of the pioneers in the world of streaming entertainment. However, over the years, several heavyweight competitors have landed in this market, such as HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus, all of them with their differentiated offerings and subscriptions.
The greater number of alternatives, with companies that have been referenced in the more traditional business model of audiovisual content, has opened the range for the consumer, who on many occasions. Although many overlap several subscriptions, the percentage of users who opt for a single streaming platform is notable, so many have ended up replacing Netflix with one of its rivals.
Loss of Quality in the Catalog
Netflix users increasingly denounce a greater loss of quality in the catalog. It was quite frequent two or three years ago that its series and movie releases were very popular and grabbed the headlines of the press and the public conversation on networks, but that phenomenon has been fading with time.
Having had hits such as La Casa de Papel, Stranger things, Gambito de dama has meant notable benefits for Netflix and many subscribers to its platform, but maintaining that impact over time is a challenge that is not being achieved with the latest releases.
Inclusion of Advertising
The transfer of users who have abandoned traditional television for streaming platforms has been produced, in large part, by the absence of advertising that would cut the rhythm of series and movies. The poor subscriber data and the fierce competition mentioned above have led Netflix to start evaluating the inclusion of ads in its content, something that has frightened many users.
Change in Lifestyle Habits
It may seem surprising, but the return to normality after the COVID-19 pandemic is not entirely beneficial for streaming platforms. Society’s return to habits that were interrupted during the lockdown such as face-to-face work or a greater social life on the street also affects the consumption of users, who have less time available to watch series or movies.
Public Image Battered
Finally, it is undeniable that today Netflix has a battered public image. Some news, such as the will to prevent account sharing to capture more subscribers, is having a negative impact on the reputation level. If Netflix forbids account sharing with the people closest to you, includes ads, does not improve its catalog and, in addition, starts laying off employees (with the loss of human talent that implies), the outlook could be quite dark.