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April 22, 2022

Is Netflix Dead?

Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers last quarter, and had actually projected a gain of 2.5 million.

Whoa. Kind of overshot the mark there a little bit.

Furthermore, they now expect to lose an additional two million subscribers next quarter.

Netflix on Tuesday reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers during the first quarter -- its first decline in paid users in more than a decade -- and warned of deepening trouble ahead.

The company's shares cratered more than 25% in extended hours after the report on more than a full day's worth of trading volume. Fellow streaming stocks Roku, Spotify and Disney also tumbled in the after-hours market after Netflix's brutal update.

Netflix is forecasting a global paid subscriber loss of 2 million for the second quarter. The last time Netflix lost subscribers was October 2011.

"Our revenue growth has slowed considerably," the company wrote in a letter to shareholders Tuesday.

No shit, do you think?

"Streaming is winning over linear, as we predicted, and Netflix titles are very popular globally. However, our relatively high household penetration -- when including the large number of households sharing accounts -- combined with competition, is creating revenue growth headwinds."

Netflix previously told shareholders it expected to add 2.5 million net subscribers during the first quarter. Analysts had predicted that number would be closer to 2.7 million. During the same period a year ago, Netflix added 3.98 million paid users.

Co-CEO Reed Hastings said the company is exploring lower-priced, ad-supported tiers in a bid to bring in new subscribers after years of resisting advertisements on the platform.

And while #Canceling the entire country of Russia was part of the problem, it wasn't the whole problem: That was only a matter of 700,000 subscriptions.

Their plan to right this sinking ship? Cracking down on people who share passwords.

Yeah I don't think that's going to be enough.

I don't have Netflix but I notice that barely anyone I know is talking about it, and they used to talk about it incessantly.

I don't watch much TV. I don't like TV.

I'm going to get grief for saying this, but: TV is made by women, for women. It's not for men. It hasn't been for years and years.

(One thing that bothers me about women's determination to take over every male movie franchise: You already have all of TV. Why do you need to also take over the five movie franchises men enjoy?)

The stories on TV are for women. They mostly now star women.

They are almost entirely about evolving relationships. And they are about slowly evolving relationships.

Stories that really should be told (if it all!) in a two hour movie are now all all bloated out into multi-season series and told at a glacial pace because supposedly we get so much more out of "hearing the silences" between actor's words and watching not-very-important plot points play out over four or five episodes.

This ineffable slowness is supposed to be a mark of "prestige" TV. Quickness in storytelling, paciness, is now, I guess, a sign of low quality.

Low quality, schmoe quality, I don't have eighteen hours to commit to a single fucking story here, ladies. Let's speed things up here, huh?

And frankly, I think TV is now written with the idea that there is a necessary peripheral device: the computer or phone. I think it is written with the idea that most viewers will be multitasking -- scrolling through twitter, reading through a newsfeed, etc. -- while watching TV.

That's why I think people don't mind the very, very "decompressed" storytelling -- decompressed meaning "allowed to spread itself out into many many hours." I think people now don't so much watch TV as graze it, occasionally looking up as they play around on the computer. If they think they missed one of the one or two important things that happened this episode, they'll just rewind for those one or two important things, then go back to FaceBook.

I don't even know if people actually can watch this glacially-slow paced TV if they're not multitasking with social media (or folding clothes, or on the treadmill, or whatever) at the same time. I don't think you can get through it, just watching the paint dry.

Anyway, I have absolutely no interest in this.

But a lot of people have -- or rather, had -- been very interested in this type of TV, and had been telling me we're in a "Golden Age of TV" and boy oh boy was I missing some of the finest art ever produced in the entirety of human history if I wasn't watching Quality Premium Cable TV Shows.

Especially Netflix. Netflix, the Queen of Arts!

But they're not saying that anymore.

No one's talking about Netflix anymore, it seems to me.

It also seems that way to YaBoiZack, who just wrote:

Comics MATTER w/Ya Boi Zack 1 day ago

I've been a Netflix subscriber since back when it was a competitor with Blockbuster for the Rental-DVD-By-Mail market. I remember when it first started making original content.

But over the last 5 years it has devolved into the most bland & boring streaming service out there. Almost every show they create feels like it was made by the same people with the same POV. They even use the same filters on shows with vastly different tones, settings & style.

Why does a workplace comedy, a romance set in the 1800s and a sci-fi horror all have the SAME filter? And are the "hits" grassroots or astroturf? Did you ACTUALLY like SQUID GAME or did you feel like you were expected to like it?

You can predict entire plotlines from the initial announcement. Everyone knew that He-Man would be sidelined in MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. And they were right. Netflix has become a predictable & stale streaming service for woke suburban moms.

I did see Squid Game and I think I might have been more in the "felt like I was expected to like it." It was very meh. I gave it a lot of passes because it was foreign and I didn't want to disrespect a foreign culture's preference for making shitty TV shows. I liked like three parts of it and the rest was lame and/or strained.

Otherwise I'm not sure what's on Netflix.

Oh -- Cobra Kai. That's on Netflix. That is definitely worth sharing passwords for or just buying. That actually bucks the "decompressed storytelling" trend and hits its story beats with reasonable paciness so I guess that means it's not "prestige."

Otherwise, I have no idea what's on Netflix and no one is telling me "You have to watch ___" and four years ago no one would ever shut the F*** up about Netflix.

Anyone else have this same sense? That no one is talking about Netflix anymore?

Is your own Netflix viewing down?

Marvel "Prestige:" They tried to make the boring Marvel superhero shows "prestigious" by making them slower than hell, too.

Ya Boi Zach complains about this sequence I grimly remember: One episode of Daredevil spent like 15 minutes of Karen Page investigating an auction of a bankrupt business' office furniture.

Boy oh boy, it was exciting as it sounds! All the excitement of a bankruptcy auction combined with all the intrigue of office furniture!

But man, was it prestigious! The grinding slowness of it all really made you think -- think about things like how poorly you're living your life and spending what precious few hours God has given you on this earth.

Ultimately people resort to doing their own editing, editing the show's director should have done himself: We just start fast forwarding through two thirds of the show, looking for things that might, possibly, be interesting.

And then we give up, realizing, what is the point of this? What are we doing?

There are a lot of shows that people -- women, I mean -- try to sell me on. Like, say, Yellowjackets. Women talk about Yellowjackets. Plane full of highschool students crashes in the remote woods of Canada, they have to survive.

And I'm like, yeah, I guess I'd be kind of interested in that, if you could guarantee me I'd be in-and-out in two hours... but you can't can you?

You can't even guarantee me the story will be over in an eight or ten episode season, can you? If I start watching, I'm on the hook -- for what is really a movie premise -- for a five year haul, aren't I?


We need to talk about this phenomenon, which started about ten years ago, of Hollywood taking failed movie pitches and turning them into TV series.

I'm not a fan of that.

But we can talk about that some other time.

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:07 PM

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