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Is Netflix’s Subscriber Loss Really That Bad?

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Netflix experienced a subscriber drop of one million subscribers in its second quarter of 2022, but these losses may not really be that bad. The company is undoubtedly hugely successful, launching numerous original series like the global hits Stranger Things and Bridgerton, as well as churning out Oscar-winning movies such as Roma and Marriage Story. In the US and Canada alone, 75 million out of a total 142 million households have subscriptions to Netflix (via The Guardian).

Netflix rang in 2022 with approximately 222 million subscribers but lost 600,000 from the US and Canada alone after its January price hikes. Then in March of the same year, Netflix pulled its service out of Russia in support of Ukraine, losing another 700,000 subscribers. In April, the company reported overall losses of 200,000 subscriptions for the first quarter. These losses resulted in a sharp drop in share prices and 150 Netflix employees getting laid off to cut costs.

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In its second quarter, Netflix lost an additional 970,000 subscriptions, though this was better than the two million they had originally estimated (via IndieWire). This is likely due to the phenomenal success of May’s Stranger Things season 4 Volume 1 release. This season of the hit series generated 1.3 billion hours of streaming in its first month, breaking viewership records as Netflix’s biggest season of an English-speaking show ever. As a result, despite still being in the red, Netflix’s loss in subscribers might not really be that bad after all. The company still sustains over 220 million global subscribers and even predicts it will add another one million in the next quarter.


Why Netflix Is Losing Subscribers

When the pandemic first hit in 2020, Netflix was at an all-time high as people stuck at home had few options for entertainment. Now that people are returning to in-person activities, however, Netflix is struggling to attract new sign-ups and maintain its current members, especially as the cost of living rises and people cut back on unnecessary expenses. This has led to Netflix losing subscribers, a shift furthered by its subscription cost increasing to $15.49 in the US compared to the $11 it cost in 2019. The price hikes Netflix has implemented are risky, especially since it is now more expensive than its major competitors Apple TV, Amazon Prime, and Disney+.


Furthermore, people often subscribe to multiple streaming services, but in cutting back, they stick with whichever companies offer their favorite content. An example of this is Disney+, which offers exclusive franchise content like Star Wars and Marvel, which resonates with a broad audience – and users are often also highly loyal to this type of content. Additionally, with content like Netflix’s Christmas movie Princess Switch 3 streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, some of the service’s original content is cannibalizing its own appeal via other platforms. Companies like HBO and Paramount have even launched their own streaming services, removing their content from Netflix accordingly.


Netflix has also recently been criticized by subscribers for focusing more on the quantity, not the quality of its new streaming content. Whether justified or not, Netflix has developed a reputation in recent years for debuting shows to draw in subscribers but then canceling the series after a few seasons. And while most people stick around for premium content, such as its huge hits like Stranger Things and Bridgerton, these are not always enough for users to justify staying with the service.

Is Netflix’s Subscriber Loss That Bad?

Netflix still boasts 220 million subscribers, many more than its competitors Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, with 200 million and 130 million subscribers, respectively (via IndieWire). Additionally, new subscribers still join the platform, usually from demographics with different tastes than existing subscribers. This allows Netflix to showcase existing content to a new audience but also present new material to a broader audience going forward. The company is also expecting to add another million subscribers in its third quarter, indicating their losses are plateauing. This leaves an opening to continue to slow their decline and implement crucial changes needed to bounce back.

How Netflix Is Trying To Stop Its Subscriber Loss

Netflix has a few ideas for preventing the inevitable loss of more subscribers and encouraging new sign-ups. The first is to reduce password sharing, which, at present, allows an estimated 100 million households to stream their content for free (via CNN Business). The company hopes to roll out a user-friendly offering where users can pay to add extra profiles to their accounts for users outside their household. Presently, they are already charging $2-$3 more for additional accounts in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. This idea may work in theory, but it is hard to reinforce, and the company has so far failed to prevent password sharing.


Netflix also hopes to stop its subscriber loss by offering users a lower-priced subscription as soon as 2023. This subscription would involve Netflix adding advertisements to its content, targeted and tailored to each subscriber. Netflix will partner with Microsoft to develop this new ad tier (via CNN Business). While lower prices may lure new and old users to the platform alike, Netflix could be charged premiums by studios whose content would now have advertisements. Additionally, some studios may object to advertising in their content, meaning the lower-cost subscription would exclude certain series and movies. The specific pricing for the upcoming advertisement-focused tier is unknown at this time.

Another significant way Netflix hopes to retain and earn new subscribers is by creating franchise-like brands similar to its competitors and focusing on more high-profile releases. The company hopes to turn its bigger shows and movies into larger universes where they can not only expand on content but also sell marketable products, such as the Hellfire Club merchandise popularized by Stranger Things season 4. This past season of Stranger Things also teased future spinoffs, much like Money Heist’s own Korean spin-off that was released earlier this year after the mega success of Korean drama Squid Game, Netflix’s most-watched show. In addition, Netflix is turning some of its movies into franchises, including Enola Holmes, Knives Out, and Extraction, which are all set to see sequels.


Netflix are using a few other methods to retain subscribers, too, including splitting content – such as breaking Stranger Things season 4 into two volumes – as a clever way to retain subscribers over multiple quarters. Stranger Things Volume 2 also broke streaming rules with its two movie-length episodes, showing the service is also trying to focus on quality content itself rather than the formulaic structure it usually follows with its binge-worthy series. Netflix is also focusing on major book adaptations like spy thriller “The Gray Man” and Japanese manga “One Piece.” The company has even hired in-house book scouts to find quality works to adapt, rather than having outside agents or publishers pitch their own material.

What Netflix’s Subscriber Loss Means For Other Streaming Services

Streaming services like Disney+ have the considerable advantage of franchise-dedicated users, like those who enjoy Star Wars and Marvel. While Netflix is a streamer without much to fall back on besides subscriptions, other companies like Amazon also have other businesses and revenue streams to rely on. Furthermore, as subscribers leave Netflix, they will likely be looking for cheaper (or better) alternatives, leaving the door open for other streaming services to reel them in. Disney+ has broken its own viewership records, partly thanks to the 8 million new subscribers it gained in the second quarter (via The Wall Street Journal). There is a possibility some services may merge, offering service bundles to offset costs for users who regularly use multiple platforms. Contrastingly, services could also start to offer content that can be paid for separately from a subscription, allowing people to pay specifically for what they want to watch.


With Netflix leading streaming services for so long, it seemed inevitable the company would see losses of some sort – as there’s only one way to go from the top. However, Netflix’s loss of subscribers really isn’t that bad, as this sudden wake-up call gave the company the push it needed to come up with fresh approaches to its subscriptions and content. Despite its losses, Netflix continues to maintain a higher number of subscribers than its competition. Only time will tell if Netflix can bounce back in its third quarter of 2022.





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Tony Khan Isn’t Releasing AEW Wrestlers After WWE’s Power Play

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News continues to swirl about different wrestlers wanting to be released from their AEW contracts. Tony Khan reportedly won’t be letting anyone go.


Tony Khan and AEW have had a challenging summer, which has led to some wrestlers reportedly wanting out of their contracts with the company. A recent report indicates that All Elite Wrestling doesn’t intend to release performers from their contracts early and has made that clear. It’s a hardline stance by Khan, but probably a line in the sand that should have been drawn sooner.


Based on at least one source, it’s clear that WWE attempted to raid some of AEW’s contracted wrestlers. Khan alluded to this during the post-All Out media scrum, indicating that he wasn’t happy with how the company has approached AEW since Triple H took over in late July. The co-founder and owner of All Elite Wrestling told gathered reporters that he wasn’t going to “sit back and take this f***ing s***.” He vowed to take the fight to WWE when the time came, and this new mandate might be the first step towards backing those statements up.

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Speaking about Khan’s reaction to AEW wrestlers demanding their releases, Dave Meltzer had this to say on Wrestling Observer Radio: “Nobody’s getting released. That’s the doctrine. Tony Khan made that very clear, I guess, in the last couple of days.” Meltzer continued, stating that “[the WWE] really came after [Tony], it’s pretty blatant. [WWE] came after so many of the guys. Basically, everyone that had a previous relationship with Triple H was contacted.”

It had been rumored that WWE had made overtures to The Young Bucks, but Meltzer makes it sound like anyone who’s worked for Triple H was contacted. That’s a large chunk of AEW’s roster, including some of the biggest names, including Malakhai Black, Adam Cole, FTR, and Swerve In Our Glory. Khan didn’t take too kindly to WWE’s power play and let it be known that he won’t void any contracts moving forward. It’s worth noting that plenty of misinformation has been spread about certain wrestlers asking for and being granted their release.

Black recently appeared on Instagram to clarify why he’d stepped away from AEW and firmly stated that he’d be back with the company soon. There was also a rumor that Bobby Fish tried to lure Cole and Kyle O’Reilly back to WWE following his release, but everyone involved denied those claims. Miro is another former WWE star who had to clear the air following rumors about his being unhappy circulated as well. None of the “reports” or rumblings about AEW stars bailing for WWE have proven true since Triple H took over. It’s essential to take news with a grain of salt, especially when so many people on both sides of the fence have things to gain by spreading misinformation. Tony Khan has made his stance clear on releasing his wrestlers and won’t be letting AEW talent walk back to WWE easily.

Source: Wrestling Observer Radio

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‘It’s a Choice to Be Optimistic’: Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Olsen Light Up Variety’s Power of Women 2022

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If it’s possible to pull off solemn conversations about the stakes for women around the world and also have a fantastic party that toasts their remarkable achievements, Variety did just that on Wednesday in Beverly Hills.

In a sprawling takeover of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, heavy-hitting executives, producers, writers, talent and glitterati convened to celebrate the annual event and magazine feature.

Cover stars Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay, activist icon Malala Yousafzai, and actor Elizabeth Olsen were all in attendance to speak on behalf of causes important to each of them — as well as lighting a path forward to equity in a time of unrest for women and other marginalized communities in the U.S.. 

“It’s a choice to be optimistic,” Hilary Clinton told the crowd, addressing the striking down of the landmark American abortion legislation Roe v. Wade, the safety of women in Iran and a list of other fragile rights. “My late friend and predecessor as secretary of state, Madeline Albright, was once asked if she was an optimist. She said, ‘Yes. I’m an optimist who worries a lot.’ Let’s be optimistic but take our worry and channel it into action.’”

Her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, voiced a stronger sentiment, saying she was “full of palpable rage as I look at my daughter and realize she could have fewer rights than I did” growing up as a young woman.

“As we gather here, many of us truly never thought we would see abortion legally banned in certain states … in our lifetime. That changed in July. I truly believe the power to reverse that wrong lies as much with this crowd as it does in the halls of Congress,” said Cynthia Littleton, Variety co-editor-in-chief, during her opening remarks with Variety CEO and group publisher Michelle Sobrino-Stearns.

Sandra Oh, Quinta Brunson, Diane Guerrero, “Do Revenge” director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, “Dahmer” breakout Niecy Nash-Betts, Tia Mowry, Kathryn Hahn and many more notable attendees mingled over cocktails at the Cadillac-sponsored event, prior to the dinner program.

Executive power in attendance included Warner Bros. Television Studios CEO Channing Dungey, Warner Bros. film co-chief Pamela Abdy, Amazon film head Julie Rapaport, CAA superagent Maha Dahkil, power attorney Ivy Kagan Bierman, Huma Abedin, Disney Branded Television president Ayo Davis, DreamWorks president Margie Cohn and vice-president Courtenay Palaski, Paramount Television president Nicole Clemens, and Principal Communications and Foresight Solutions Group managing partners Melissa Zukerman.

Meg Stalter, of “Hacks” fame, hosted the evening and began her remarks with a resounding, “Hi, girlies!” Channeling her distinct and beloved brand of awkward humor, Stalter spoke of loving the way she looks, “but I love the way I make people feel more.”

Olsen, of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” was honored for her work with The Rape Foundation and Stuart House (the latter is a well-known Los Angeles resource for children who are victims of sexual abuse). She used the platform to celebrate the group’s leader, Gail Abarbanel. Olsen thanked the room for the space to share how Abarbanel has cared for victims and shaped perceptions through “policy reforms, educational reforms in our police force and in homes and communities.”

Honoree and Latino Community Foundation head Jacqueline Martinez Garcel made a particularly poignant speech where she encouraged the people of the communities surrounding the mecca of Los Angeles to become entrepreneurs and leaders. In a spontaneous moment, she bid the whole room to give thanks to “the workers who have served this food for us tonight.”

Yousafzai, in her new role as a content producer, delivered a hard dose of truth about diversity in front of and behind the camera.

“Asian people like me make up less than 4% of leads in Hollywood,” she said of actors. “Muslims are 25% of the population but only 1% of characters in popular TV series. Behind the camera, the statistics for Black and Brown creators are even worse.”

DuVernay and Winfrey gave a rousing spotlight to the 42 female directors, many of them first-timers, behind the OWN original series “Queen Sugar.” DuVernay brought the audience to fever pitch listing off the dozens of high-wattage shows these women have gone on to direct since getting a start. Oprah brought the evening home with wise words from her friend and mentor Maya Angelou.

“I told Maya that my school, which had just opened, was going to be my legacy. She said, ‘your legacy is never one thing. It’s everything you touch.’ Tonight I think of every life and story we touch,” Winfrey said.

Variety’s Power of Women was produced by Goldsky Productions. Vita Motus provided production design. Daisy O’Dell provided music direction.



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10 Best Movies About Deadly Reality Competitions, Ranked by Letterboxd

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David Fincher’s classic movie The Game celebrates its 25th anniversary in September 2022. It is time to look back and remember the movie that put Michael Douglas in the middle of a deadly game that seemed to destroy his entire life. However, the movie was just one of many films that approached the idea of people involved in deadly games that ended up becoming a fight for life and death.


These movies go all the way back to the advent of cinema, and one of the best deadly games movies that Letterboxd fans loved came in 1932, and since then, the stakes have only been raised. From classic movies that have stood the test of time to beloved cult classics and modern-day masterpieces, anyone who loves deadly games will find plenty of movies for their enjoyment.

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10 The Hunt (2020) – 3.0

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The Hunt arrived in 2020 and ended up a box office failure. However, despite failing to bring an audience to theaters (partially because of theater closures in 2020), the movie still picked up enough fans to earn a 3.0 rating on Letterboxd. This was surprising since it was also controversial for a perceived political message.

The movie was basically a remix of Surviving the Game, however instead of elitists capturing homeless people to hunt, they kidnaped Conservatives. Despite the lack of early viewers, enough people caught it on streaming services later to form their own opinions, and the movie ended up gaining quite a few fans.

9 The Running Man (1987) – 3.2

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For a time in his career, Stephen King used a pseudonym to publish books outside the horror genre to see if they could sell without his name on them. One of these was The Running Man, and it ended up as a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead. The story was interesting because it predated reality TV by over a decade.

In this movie, a totalitarian government created a reality TV show where prisoners and political dissidents have to escape people hunting them down to kill them. The goal is to kill them for the enjoyment of the television audience, but a pardon is available to those who escape. This has become the normal format for these deadly games movies.

8 Cube (1998) – 3.2

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A decade before Saw helped create the “torture porn” genre, Cube did the same thing and received a large cult following in the years since its release. The movie had a simple premise: a group of people woke up in a small room and had to find a way out. This involved solving puzzles, with a wrong move resulting in death.

While this didn’t have the moral implications of the Saw franchise, it was still deeper than the Escape Room movies. The deadly games movies with puzzle rooms remain popular, but this early version still has most recent releases beat, as evident by its Letterboxd score.

7 Death Race 2000 (1975) – 3.3

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In 1975, Sylvester Stallone appeared in one of his earliest roles in the deadly games movie, Death Race 2000. Like many movies in this genre, the release was a B-grade action movie that has since received a massive cult following, as evident by its higher Letterboxd score.

In this movie, the people are forced to compete in deadly games in a dystopian America to entertain people after the United States implemented a totalitarian regime. This movie involves a Transcontinental road race where violence is encouraged and actually killing innocent pedestrians offers up bonus points for the competitors, upping the violence.

6 The Most Dangerous Game (1932) – 3.4

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Deadly games movies are not a new phenomenon. In 1932, the horror movie The Most Dangerous Game arrived, based on the short story by Richard Connell. This movie saw a big game hunter who strands a group of passengers from a luxury yacht on a remote island.

He then sets out and starts to hunt them for sport. This sounds very familiar to the recent deadly games movie The Hunt, which was blasted for political overtones. However, as this early movie showed, this is not a new genre or idea. The movie was such a critical success that it later received a Criterion Collection release.

5 Game Night (2018) – 3.5

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The fun with Game Night is that this is supposed to be about people who love to get together to play regular games with each other every week. However, as the movie shows, sometimes these games can get a little scary at times and that is when party games can go wrong.

During a mystery game on game night, a man surprises his friends with a role-playing mystery. When two masked men show up and kidnap one of the gamers, everyone thinks it is part of the game, until things begin to grow violent and dangerous. This is a unique movie, where no one is sure what is real, and it plays fair with the audience, explaining its impressive Letterboxd score.

4 The Hunger Games (2012) – 3.5

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The Hunger Games trilogy is another deadly games movie where the games are forced upon people by a totalitarian government. In this case, the world has fallen into ruins other than the wealthy elite, and the small communities send in tributes every year to compete in the Hunger Games. The object is for the tributes to kill each other until only one remains.

It all comes down to the tributes, and what they will do to help their communities, while also either keeping their morals or throwing it all away. The Hunger Games franchise turns into a story of rebellion in the latter two movies, but the first keeps the entire focus on the deadly game.

3 Ready Or Not (2019) – 3.6

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While The Hunt was a disappointment for Blumhouse when it hit theaters in 2020, another deadly games movie was a surprise hit in 2019. Ready or Not grossed over $57 million worldwide on a budget of just $6 million, and the story was one of the strangest of the genre.

The movie featured a woman who learned her new husband’s family had a tradition to hunt the new bride or groom down on their wedding night. This is a non-stop cat-and-mouse game with the bride attempting to survive, and it is kill or be killed in this deadly game. The movie received high critical praise and is noted as a crowd-pleasing movie.

2 The Game (1997) – 3.7

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David Fincher has become one of the world of cinema’s best directors over his career, and one of his early movies still stands the test of time. This is The Game, which stars Michael Douglas as an uptight businessman whose brother, played by Sean Penn, gives him a unique gift for his birthday.

The gift is a voucher for a game, one that several of his fellow investment bankers said they enjoyed. After the game company rejects him, he suddenly realizes something bad is happening. People start to attack him and his loved ones, and then he learns his business was also targeted, and he loses everything. The game is clearly to put the man through hell, to show him the real worth of his life, and the movie is a puzzle worth the time.

1 Battle Royale (2000) – 3.8

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For many fans, The Hunger Games seemed very familiar. That is because it has a very similar storyline to a Japanese movie released in 2000. This movie is Battle Royale, and Letterboxd fans consider it the best of the best of deadly games movies.

In Battle Royale, a Japanese totalitarian government captures a class of junior high students and sends them to an island. Once there, they are forced to fight to the death. While The Hunger Games received huge box office success, Battle Royale was banned in many countries, but eventually became a cult classic and is considered a landmark movie in the deadly games genre.

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