In the first quarter of 2022, it finally happened: Netflix had a poor quarter. It lost more than 200,000 subscribers and acknowledged that newer rivals like Disney Plus and HBO Max are effectively ending the way the company has been doing business for nearly a decade.According to from hollywood reporter.
You know, what most people in Hollywood are already doing.
a major takeaway Hollywood Reporter’s One is that while Netflix doesn’t seem to be sure what it wants to do, it just wants to be more thoughtful than it has been for the past decade.
But over the past decade, not just to rapidly build a library in an attempt to rival those of Disney and Warner Bros., the area has been flooded with content. It’s also about Netflix trying to bring some tech thinking to Hollywood. In Hollywood, caution is key. What makes Hollywood stand out from Netflix’s ephemeral mid-range movies is that Hollywood has found bigger, more consistent returns in blockbusters (often involving some kind of superhero or an actor playing a superhero in another series).
With its then-nearly limitless source of cash, Netflix had the ability to produce a wider variety of content to win people’s subscriptions each month without needing to please publishers or theaters. It could further rationalize huge spending as it tries to better understand its audience through nuanced analysis of audience data that its competitors don’t have access to.
Netflix should change Hollywood. Instead, it’s turning to the same practices that made its rivals giants, just without the lucrative franchises, fanbases, and huge back-up catalogs that the same rivals enjoy.
Netflix is already working to create a new ad-supported subscription tier to secure more subscribers unwilling to spend money in the streaming wars. Peacock and Paramount Plus both already have similar tiers, and Disney Plus and HBO Max also plan to add ad-supported tiers.
Netflix is also cracking down on password sharing, which it claims is used by more than 100 million households to avoid additional subscriptions. Previously, password sharing seemed to be ignored by companies—sometimes even implicitly endorsed. Meanwhile, HBO Max has password sharing mitigations built into it.
But the biggest way Netflix is chasing the competition right now is how it chooses what movies to make. CEO Ted Sarandos noted on Netflix’s last earnings call that it will focus on “big event films,” which the company has relentlessly eliminated over the past few months from much of its divisions like animation (often more expensive to produce, lower returns), original indie feature films and family live-action films.
You’ll notice that two of them, animation and family reality shows, are also areas where Netflix’s biggest competitor, Disney, does business. It’s almost as if Netflix is doing what many studios have done before: moving away from competition with the House of Mouse in what it has historically dominated.
But given that Disney is the largest U.S. film producer and distributor, has a near-monopoly in theaters, and owns the largest franchise in movie history, pulling out of the competition may not help Netflix. Constructing yourself more like Hollywood probably won’t help either. When Bob Chapek took over as Disney CEO, he quickly began restructuring the company to make it more of a technology company.
Attempting to bring the spirit of technology to Hollywood may not end up being a major win for Netflix, but not for its rivals.
Disclosure: edge Currently working on a series with Netflix.