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Netflix drops 10% after missing on global paid subscribers (cnbc.com)
68 points by jbredeche 38 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 134 comments



I just recently cancelled my Netflix subscription after 10+ years of being a customer (after they raised the prices, yet again).

For me, the problem is they are just throwing too many darts at the wall at this point. There is just sooo much garbage original content being added monthly, it seems. They are almost over optimizing/testing their shows, in my opinion. Instead of focusing on the good shows (obviously opinionated), and building up on them with new seasons, it seems like they are just investing more into new content to see what happens. Sadly, they have also been ending a lot of what I thought were popular shows on there (some of my favorites). Their catalog outside of Netflix original shows has also been dropping significantly, which many very popular shows leaving here soon (Office/Friends).

I used to spend about 80/20% time on Netflix/Hulu, now it's 100% Hulu after cancelling Netflix. The content on Hulu has been ramping up significantly for their TV department (non-originals). Plus, I love having my HBO through Hulu, and it's all in one place under 1 subscription payment.

I'll most likely re-subscribe to Netflix again in a few years just for a month or two to watch a few seasons of new content that will actually interest me (then cancel again), but until then, no need to pay them so they can produce the copious amounts of BS half-assed content like they seem to only be doing lately.


It just sounds like they’re doing what every other network does. A bunch of it is trash you don’t care about but another subset of their customers do. It’s not all commissioned for us personally, and Netflix will always prioritise their own shows before others in the app.

It’s not like you watch HBO 12 hours a day expecting pure content that you love from start to finish.

That said, apart from the tent pole series they [plan to] push out each year (stranger things, better call saul, Fargo, mindhunter, nightflyers, etc.) the rest is clearly data driven garbage that doesn’t realise it’s working a cliche. With a couple of exceptions even the marvel universe shows fell into their pattern.

In that sense it’s Netflix Unoriginal Content. But you still get the diamond in the mine.

Being in the EU I get about 8 different translations of two different kinds of zombie story, but you’re not really paying for that.

And on the same level, it’s a shame that streaming is now split. American Gods, Good Omens, The Expanse, and Mr Robot are all on Amazon. Netflix definitely dropped a ball on some of that. The TV show costs the same but I have to pay 2x to watch because of the networks.


Netflix is a bit different in that (recently) they seem unusually reluctant to renew shows after the second season. People speculate that this is a rentier play, new customers don't value season 3+ as much as existing customers. Netflix expects new content to bring in new customers and they hope to be just good enough for existing customers that they don't cancel.


Fargo and Better Call Saul are FX shows, not Netflix Originals


Outside the US they're only available on Netflix and are marketed as "Netflix Originals".


I’m writing from the UK. Netflix handles that here and they schedule the episodes weekly. In Europe they’re Netflix Originals because we don’t have FX or AMC or CBS or whatever, but the new and popular ones don’t get aired until the US has aired. So our fix of, say, Better Call Saul, comes on a Sunday or Monday.


Strange, they must have payed a pretty penny to slap that label on it.


That's true for streaming only, and with a few exceptions.


They do this relabeling a lot for shows where they get exclusive rights in a particular country. For example, a lot of Korean fantasy stuff is released in the US as a "Netflix original".


I replied to half of that already through the other reply to this... in the EU we get Better Call Saul and we get Fargo... but not Legion!

Who wouldn’t want more Noah Hawkley.


I thought Better Call Saul was an AMC show?


I think it's fair to point out that often they don't have a choice with those shows as the owners of the properties are jacking up the price in order to move to their own streaming services.

What Netflix should be called on is their stubborn refusal to improve the interface/search. They want to make it seem like they have oodles of content so they show the same show 5 times under different genres on the main page. They have all the information there, yet you can't do a search based on a combination of tags or genres.

I've been doing the 2 months off 1 month on thing for a while not because I don't feel their content is worth the full price but because when a company looks like it's trying to 'trick' you it loses a lot of goodwill.


> I think it's fair to point out that often they don't have a choice with those shows as the owners of the properties are jacking up the price in order to move to their own streaming services.

An alternative way to phrase this would be that the owners have realized that the streaming rights for their properties are worth a lot more than Netflix was paying for them.


Oh undoubtedly the quality shows are worth more when siloed off like this. We know, in the US, cable pricing is $107 a month on average and the average advertised price of internet is $60. Assuming you use the internet only for streaming that's 47 bucks that a cable viewer should be willing to spend on equivalent streaming services (with some liberal whitewashing of smaller issues and wide assumptions on the fungibility(in both directions) of entertainment).

So there's obviously more money on the table there than netflix charges. It's just a pity that these businesses are going to, by necessity (or arguably short sightedness), re-fragment how consumers gain access to shows. For every increase in inconvenience they'll make piracy a more appealing option. Especially globally where broadcasting/streaming rights are an even more fragmented mess.


Yeah, their lack of better search features and categories is really annoying


I was bummed when they canceled Marco Polo, I liked that show. They seem to be canceling way too many shows. Kinda reminds me of Google canceling products left and right, even those with tons of users...


This newsletter from early last week had some really interesting thoughts about this: https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/the-slow-death-of-hollywo...

It quoted a section from an article in The Information:

> [Netflix] now routinely ends shows after their second season, even when they’re still popular. Netflix has learned that the first two seasons of a show are key to bringing in subscribers—but the third and later seasons don’t do much to retain or win new subscribers. Ending a show after the second season saves money, because showrunners who oversee production tend to negotiate a boost in pay after two years.


I left Netflix because they kept cancelling shows I liked after two seasons and continued to pump out low quality garbage. I think they might be incorrect in their assumptions at this point about just how valuable their offerings are, which isn't very. They have no real good movies, not even old movies, their television shows aren't generally worth getting invested in because they'll cancel them unless it's a super big hit. Why bother sticking around when Hulu or Philo offers more for the same money?


It's unfortunate that even Netflix wasn't able to transition the industry to episodic production runs as opposed to season-based.

Is it possible that the best distribution is an exponential backoff of new episode timing instead of just cutting it off at "2 seasons".


The financial uncertainty would be appalling.


Exactly. It discourages you to invest time in shows that seem to be cancelled so quickly. A lot of them having very abrupt/poor endings, as well.


It's pushing me to a "I'll watch it when it's done. The whole thing, not the season. Maybe, if I still feel like it by then" stance, which isn't where they want me for a monthly subscription. Cancellation imminent for that and other reasons.


I didn't watch Marco Polo, so I hope it didn't leave you on a cliff hanger, but I would look at it as a good thing.

I feel like a majority of shows in the U.K. tend to only go for a few seasons then stop. Compare that to typical shows in the U.S. getting beaten to death, having most viewers think the show might have gone one season too long.

That could mean the stories are written to wrap up mostly nicely, instead of leaving cliff hangers to lead to the potential next season.

Compare Weeds (8 Seasons) to Breaking Bad (5 Seasons), B.B was written to not drag on forever. The recent GoT season finale, where lots of fans went a bit overboard with their reactions when the show runners ran out of their own original ideas. LOST, anyone?

My best example is looking at Black Mirror. When that was mainly for a U.K. audience the first two seasons could have ended and that would have been the best two season show. Netflix did swoop in and that gave us White Christmas(?), but the show has definitely been tailored to American audiences and maybe the premise is being drawn out too much at this point. Don't get me wrong, I love me some more Black Mirror or any of the other shows listed above, but sometimes a story needs to end even if it means its shorter than you expected.


I've said it before but I agree - Netflix sure adds a lot of original content, but I've yet to see a true masterpiece deserving its place among The Wie, The Sopranos or Mad Men and lately I'm starting to think that Netflxi is entirely fine with producing good enough content which adds and retains subscribers while never really stading out. Of course it's entirely reasonable to do so if it's a successful approach, but I can't say I like it and I don't think it leads to exceptional, high prestige content. If HBO produced their content mostly according to numbers while neglecting artistic considerations The Wire would have been done after Season 1.

Furthermroe, did you see the other discussion about Netfli/Hollywood recently here on HN? [0]

From the article:

> Netflix now routinely ends shows after their second season, even when they’re still popular. Netflix has learned that the first two seasons of a show are key to bringing in subscribers—but the third and later seasons don’t do much to retain or win new subscribers.

> Ending a show after the second season saves money, because showrunners who oversee production tend to negotiate a boost in pay after two years.

Propably a financially sound approach, but I doubt I'll stay a subscriber much longer if that's the direction they are heading.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20403587


I think Netflix is pursuing the Silicon Valley mantra of product development: try everything, iterate fast, fail things fast. We've seen how that resulted in eroding users trust in many Google products (chat applications especially) so I think in the end it's going to end up hurting Netflix too.

Or look at how the main complain people have about Steam (when moving to GOG and other platforms) is the sheer amount of "crap" on that platform making discoverability of high quality content very hard.


They make shows to match different demographics and user groups. Not every show is supposed to be enjoyed by every person. It is about making a broad range of shows to meet the wants of multiple people. Going out on a limb, but I assume most young adults don't care about high brow political shows like House of Cards and would rather watch shows like The Society.


Yes, but the trial-and-error model of Netflix original content production is exactly the same as it is for series produced chiefly to be shown on major US TV channels.

The difference is, more of this content used to be licensed to Netflix, but shows have been leaving as licensing deals expire and typically end up on Hulu, which is a first-party platform for Disney (ABC, Freeform, FX, A&E) and NBC (Syfy, Bravo, USA), and a third-party platform for WarnerMedia until they finish starting their own.

Streaming services are proliferating as each vertical starts their own, and exclusivity is being leveraged to drive subscriber numbers. Discerning viewers can choose on content or cycle out subscriptions as they consume the material of interest, while casual viewers can choose on a different dimension like price per month, size of back catalog, variety of genres, search and discovery tools, or lack or presence of commercial breaks.


It's sort of a well-known pitfall of centralized product management. In the short term, it's less risky and more profitable to create a product that 1000 people would find passable, than to create 10 different products that would be loved by their 100-people audiences and ignored otherwise. However, in the long term this erodes people's expectations of future products and they eventually move on. That's a part of the normal economic cycle and the reason why big corporations eventually go bust.

I think, this process is happening throughout the entire motion picture industry and in the next 10-20 years we will likely see a shift to some new type of entertainment that hasn't been ruined by formalized best practices yet.


> that hasn't been ruined by formalized best practices yet

So, Youtube? Unless Google ruins it in its own way of course.


> Instead of focusing on the good shows (obviously opinionated), and building up on them with new seasons, it seems like they are just investing more into new content to see what happens.

Can't have more good shows if you don't make new shows.

The writing's clearly on the wall - the major content providers are cutting Netflix off. They need a large stable of good-enough content, and quickly. Some of that new content will be crap, just like on the networks. Some will be awesome. Some of the awesome stuff will get enough viewers to stick around.


That's fair, and I understand that point as well. But when it feels like R&D is starting to steal from the good money makers, that seems like a problem to me. That the effort/focus is in the wrong place and more resources are going into the wrong bucket. But again, this is just from an outside opinion with no data to back that up. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Your comment reminds of this wonderfully written post by Roger Ebert[1]. It's not the same topic, but there is something to be glanced at in his writing where he eludes to choice, editorial-ism, and doing a story regardless of what the audience wants.

[1] https://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/video-games-can-ne...


This is the worst, most opinionated, garbage article I've ever read. I feel like I'm reading the article from the Simpsons, 'Old Man Yells at Cloud'.

In reference to 'Braid': 'She also admires a story told between the games levels, which exhibits prose on the level of a wordy fortune cookie.'

Anyone who needs to stoop to the level of insulting something to convince me it's not legitimate is not presenting their argument in an intelligent or unbiased manner. You wanted people to read this? I'm not even sure how it's relevant, but I can't get past how awfully written it is.


Sure, no worries. You probably don't know about Roger, who is a good writer actually and much humbler man than what you thought out of this post.

And I think you just misunderstood the statement, his fortune cookie reference is to the story in the game, not to the person referred to by "She'.


I think Netflix is trying to pump out as many original series as they can because Disney+ is on the horizon and they already own Hulu. Netflix’s best bet is to pump a lot of money into new content since non originals will be more expensive for them, but going the HBO route requires very impressive shows that have multiple seasons. Netflix is just throwing darts on the wall trying to achieve this.


Netflix streaming might be like the big box hardware store coming into town.

You might be able to get lots of cheap stuff, but they will eventually destroy the market for quality fixtures or tools or paint or whatever.

I do like the DVD service.


I've been watching more Hulu just because it comes with my Spotify subscription. After years of Netflix having different shows is great.


Subscription and bundling works until there are too many Subscription. And we might one day move back to Pay Per View again.


Doesn't hulu have ads? (this means untrustworthy to me)


They have cheaper plans that do have ads, yes. But it's a pretty cheap add-on to be ad-free.


I may be canceling soon simply over the annoying auto-play trailers when I dare stay on a show for more than 5 seconds. Really annoying at night.


Netflix's UI is user-hostile in many ways. I don't mind having these defaults, but at least give me options to customize the way I use the app. I don't want a 5-second countdown, I want 15 seconds.

I know Netflix likes to keep the UI simple, but simple is stupid if I still have to use JustWatch/IMDB/RottenTomatoes to figure out which show to actually watch and then search for it in Netflix. That's me unknowingly avoiding the Netflix UI! Netflix should be striving to become the hub, not the endpoint.

The fact that the alternatives in the pirate realm are better in many ways is ridiculous.


Their auto-playing trailers seems to be something that I've only seen negative feedback about online. The assumption is that their internal metrics show auto-playing trailers has a positive impact (on their metrics) so they're keeping them?


This might be a case of trackable vs un-trackable. Where the thing that is trackable tells you one thing and the full reality (the untrackable) is missed.


Yeah, I'm cancelling as soon as I get a couple things watched. Will just re-sub every now and then... maybe. Would leave it on—even with the hikes it's not that much money, though they definitely serve as reminders to maybe-cancel—but seriously, what's pushing me over the edge is the damn auto-play-while-browsing crap. I hate it.

It's reduced Netflix's utility since I never browse now like I used to, and only go on when I have something specific I know they have that I want to watch so I can go straight to it.

It's the worst when trying to browse with someone else. You stop to talk for a second and the TV starts yelling at you. WTF.


I feel their Apple TV app is the worst it's ever been. I hate the autoplay trailers, and the use and feel of the app is incredibly sluggish.


Same here, I find it a very bullying feature.


Yikes. A little more than half the estimate. I’m pretty sure that is the worst miss the company has ever had.

With recent news that reruns like the Office and Friends are leaving next year, it would be really funny if a large chunk of Netflix subscribers are literally subscribing just to watch decades old reruns. It could be a bit of an Emperor Has No Clothes situation for them.


Netflix is a heavily data-oriented company; if a large chunk of Netflix subscribers just watch decades old reruns then they know it. What Netflix needs to do is build content specifically for these people and I don't believe they're doing that.

My anecdote on this: My collage age daughter watches Friends on Netflix basically continuously -- she's probably watched every season a dozen times now -- when she gets to last episode it just cycles around again. This is because she keeps on it in the background when she's studying or doing school work.


What can you build for those people except reboots of those old shows, which they're doing (e.g. Sabrina, Fuller House)? They can't force NBC to license them the old reruns forever if NBC doesn't want to. There's no amount of money they can offer that will work once a studio decides it's going to reserve the content for its own streaming service.


Yes, they are doing this (Fuller House, Gilmore Girls), but Sanrina is about as far from a reboot of the 90s version as you can imagine. Horror/drama remake, not sitcom - more akin to Riverdale.


Make new shows that appeal to that market.

Netflix content is a reflection of it's desire to compete with HBO, not NBC.


It's hard to make shows that appeal to the "leave 10-20 seasons of a show on infinite loop" demographic in a short period of time.

You need 10-20 years to do it.


You can’t make a new Office or Friends. Those were created by really special groups of people and I’m not confident today’s society allows groups like this to form.

This decade of outrage that we’re coming out of (hopefully) has crushed an entire generation of comedians and actors. Look at late night talk shows for example; they’re totally stale. Nobody has the balls to say anything, fearing the tweet storm will be turned against their production company.

It’ll take another generation before we’ll be in a place to create good shit again. Or maybe it will never happen again and the golden age is over?


Yeah those darn kids. Why won't they just get off your lawn. You know who said the same thing you just did? Every generation about the next generation. You can literally go back to how people were complaining books were causing corruption in kids and how things used to be better when. There are more comedy shows available than ever before on television and see the push off s button. Comedy is alive and well, it's just that comedy changes over time and what you find funny, the kids don't find edgy or relevant. Remember when Dane Cook was funny? How about Rodney Dangerfield? Hell, Richard Pryor before Eddie Murphy (Raw is still an amazing set). Comedy will always change and it's a reflection of the society that exists at that time, not the past. Plenty of comedians say really crazy things that don't create a tweet storm. Chris Hardwick survived a tweet storm based on some allegations from his ex and he's doing just fine now. Aziz Ansari seems to be humming along just fine too. I think the real point is that the kids are okay. You don't need to worry about their sense of humor it's still firmly intact.


You can't make a new Friends in the US anymore. But it is potentially possible in other countries.


>Netflix is a heavily data-oriented company; if a large chunk of Netflix subscribers just watch decades old reruns then they know it. What Netflix needs to do is build content specifically for these people and I don't believe they're doing that.

I know that a significant portion just bing rewatch the Office and Friends, however they do not own the rights and these will go back to NBC who will just host them in their own streaming service.

This is the main issue facing Netflix. The more their competitors wise up and take their content elsewhere people will be more reticent to pay for a sub fee since there are now way too many options to choose from.


That is definitely what their concern has been the last 7 or 8 years and why they've made such a massive push with original content. With so many content producers starting their own streaming services, they have to lure and keep customers the same way the other content producers will be: with original content not sourced from elsewhere. It's the only way forward for them and fortunately for them, they were aware enough to realize it almost a decade ahead of time.


Personally I haven’t found the quality of Netflix originals to be anywhere close to the same level as HBO. Their approach is more “consistently release a ton of average quality shows” and hope a few stick. Will be interesting to see if that actually work long term.


I agree for the most part. They definitely have their great content (Dark, Stranger Things, first few seasons of House of Cards, OITNB, I Am Mother, etc.) but it is incredibly inconsistent overall. I think they were more focused on beefing up their library so they had _something_ when the third-party content left the service, and hopefully get a few hits like Stranger Things in the process. With reports that they intend to slow down their investment in original content, I'm hoping they start focusing more on quality than quantity now.


I think the biggest issue with netflix is precisely the lack of things like Friends, Seinfeld, The Office - shows you can watch casually and not have to binge. My wife hates Netflix precisely because she hates binging. She wants to watch sitcoms and shows where you don't have to invest heavily. And you know, so do I. Life is hard enough without having to following tons of different plots lines and having tons of characters always die.

Anyway, we have Hulu now which has gotten quite good. I can imagine cancelling Netflix pretty soon honestly.


> I think the biggest issue with netflix is precisely the lack of things like Friends, Seinfeld, The Office

Technically, it seems unnecessary to stream the same content repeatedly, and financially it seems wasteful to pay a monthly fee for access to the same content. How about buying the particular shows once (e.g. iTunes) and have the data stored locally (e.g. appleTV)?


“Much of our domestic, and eventually global, Disney catalog, as well as Friends, The Office, and some other licensed content will wind down over the coming years, freeing up budget for more original content. [...] From what we’ve seen in the past when we drop strong catalog content (Starz and Epix with Sony, Disney, and Paramount films, or 2nd run series from Fox, for example) our members shift over to enjoying our other great content.”


> freeing up budget for more original content

This is an impressive bit of spin, seeing as how creating new original programming is always going to be more expensive than licensing older/original programming. So yeah, losing the licensed programming "frees up budget," but the end result will be a smaller catalog.


Making a virtue of necessity.


Some of their original content is OK, but they do have some spectacularly bad shows.


As a former quant fund manager Netflix presents an interesting problem. If you read about the quant space, a whole load of people reckon they can use ML to make money.

The problem for them is much like for Netflix.

Having a way to predict the future is not the whole story of how to decide what to do.

Netflix having a whole load of data about what people watched, for how long, their demographics, etc, is probably very useful. But it is not an obvious step to go from knowing what people saw, even predicting it, to deciding what to produce and what to present to them.

Add to that the likely fact that people often want something fresh and innovative, and you have quite some stretched assumptions in statistical terms.

Not saying this is the end, I don't know enough about the business. Just that it's an interesting jump that I rarely hear anyone talk about.


Well, driving by using the rear view mirror isn't a wildly successful strategy. Many people are surprised by the difference between testing strategies for ML working to predict physical phenoma and complex systems like the markets; you can backtest market strategies to bits and it matters not even a bit, it means nothing.


I'm likely going to remain a permanent subscriber even if there's nothing I like to watch because I never want to return to the pre-Netflix days of normal TV which I haven't watched in more than a decade but get a glimpse of it every-time I visit my folks who have both Cable and normal over-the-air TV, both of which I find unwatchable - ad-laced, cringeworthy, opinionated, political, dated and of low-effort quality.

Netflix's on-demand streaming is basically the only way I can watch long-form media content these days.

Also the economics of paying a low monthly fee for access to billion dollars worth of content per year is insane value and something I'd definitely like to see more of, so I'd like to see the Netflix model continue to succeed.


You can opt into the no-TV lifestyle as well :-)


I'm cancelling my sub because the back catalog is non-existent in my region. It is impossible to find anything older than 2000 anymore. On top of that, their UI and search functions are straight-up garbage that deliberately steer you to their own trash.


I have a bunch of series in "my list" waiting for "new episodes".

Favorite anime series audio is not available in English. Nor is most other originally non-English content.

Why should I renew?


Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency


Which is available on Hulu in it's entirety with way more good content for the same price.


You watch anime.. dubbed?

I don't think they want your kind, and I don't blame them.


Has the movie roster improved much over the years? I looked at it a few years ago and I could barely find a single movie I wanted to watch.


This is a useful tool for determining if a streaming service has any movies you want to watch:

https://flickmetrix.com/

But no. Netflix's value seems to be in its original shows. So, if they come out with a new season show I'm interested in, such as The Last Kingdom, they can have my subscription for the month. The trend of show seasons becoming progressively worse, a la House of Cards, should be a concern for them.

Disney+ is really going to give them a challenge once it is available.


No. If anything, it's getting worse with all of the other streaming options out there. A while back, I realized that HBO on average had about as many movies I wanted to watch as Netflix, with a total library size that was a fraction of what Netflix was, which made it easier to find something to watch.

I don't really want to know how much time I've spent in my life scrolling through Netflix thinking "meh".


The movie lineup is still as disappointing as it was a few years ago.


IMHO, the problem with Netflix is: 1. Too few shows that I actually want to watch: The office, Futurama etc are no longer on Netflix 2. The original content is very hit and miss, and mostly misses. By the time I find out about a series and start watching, they cancel it. They need to realize that it takes time for people to find out about series and at times it can take two to three years. You can do agile dev with content 3. Binging one or two series is fine, but there is very little "weekly programming".Sometimes, I just want to catch one episode of something a week 4. The movie catalog is abysmal, with the exception of the Monty Python stuff 5. The UI is just actively hostile. Let me set my defaults across all shows (no intro, thirty seconds between shows etc)


If Netflix would bring back Marco Polo and cancel 13 Reasons Why I might actually renew my subscription again, instead of comfortably moving over to Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Go etc. as I already have.

I have used Netflix since back in the days when they would send you discs in the mail; now all they send us garbage content over the net.


Has anyone here seen the show What/If, about a biotech start-up? This is one of those shows that was one of Netflix's "dart thrown at the wall"--terrible acting, unrealistic representation of start-up/VC world, etc. Just really, really bad.


Note that earnings were released after the close of trading, so the ~10% drop is in after-hours trading, which is not necessarily representative of what tomorrow's open (and trading) will look like.


The big question is what happens when the big Disney initiative lands (I think end of 2019). I used to be very skeptical about Disney, but what I've heard so far seems interesting.


I honestly think that Disney is going to clean house. The amount of IP that they have is just staggering, and for some reason my generation (millenials) absolutely love everything that they put out (Avengers, Star Wars, etc).

Disney also seems to place a lot of emphasis on UX, so I bet that the app that they come out with will be fantastic.


I'm a subscriber, but there isn't much to watch now that i'm done with 3%, stranger things and moneyheist. Still they have word party, which is excellent


I thought Netflix was lacking in content for a long time so I ended up watching fringe shows outside of my typical viewing habits and was pleasantly surprised with the high quality production from:

  - The OA 
  - Dark
  - Sense 8
  - Black Spot
I'm looking forward to the next seasons of Altered Carbon and Lost in Space the most which seem to have been delayed. Other than Netflix's popular block busters, my other favorite shows I can recommend include: Narcos, Lucifer, Travelers, Outlander, Better Call Saul, Ozark, Sabrina and Dirk Gently's.


Travelers is awesome, but I wanted another season. Dirk Gently's too


Ozarks, Narcos, The Octonauts ?


[flagged]


If I were Disney, I'd be aiming for a market positioning of, "Netflix, but with content from places like Disney and Marvel and without all of the 2019 political craziness."


Isn't Disney a poster child of political craziness? Copyright laws, workers rights, Walt Disney racism stuff, etc.


You're conflating the company with the product. I'm talking about whether or not politics is manifested in the product.


The same people who are going nuts over the entertainment companies' (including Disney's) abortion stands were also going nuts over Disney's Ellen coming out stand many years ago.


People who want the injection of politics into product generally aren't good customers. In many cases, they don't have that much money to spend, and in other cases, they're too much trouble when less demanding customer's money is just as good.


Disney's stands on gay characters and abortion are considered politics by that group of nuts, is it not? Those stands are manifested in their product, as I just demonstrated. This contradicts your comment in the post I responded to.


Those stands are manifested in their product, as I just demonstrated. This contradicts your comment in the post I responded to.

Not really. Politics manifested as a talk show host, like Ellen Degeneris is fine. People know who Ellen is, and what she thinks. So they can tune in or not, according to their preferences. What I'm referring to is the imposition of politics to customers who don't want it and aren't seeking it out. It's not manifestation of politics, period. Most art has some politics in it. It's a certain disingenuousness and/or high-handedness in doing so.

Thanks for pointing out where I should clarify.


> Politics manifested as a talk show host, like Ellen Degeneris is fine.

Ellen wasn't a talk show host. Ellen was a sitcom character. Thanks for pointing out where you misunderstood. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1997-06-20-mn-5159-s...


Also works for that fictional character, as she's basically Ellen Degeneris anyways.


Nope. Ellen only came out two weeks before her sitcom character came out. The people watching the sitcom would not have known that Ellen was gay when they started watching, and Ellen certainly wasn't outspoken about gay rights at the time.


You're being downvoted but you have a legitimate point. About half the country has problems with abortion. There was absolutely no reason for Netflix, a neutral media company with a customer base encompasing all groups, to publicly take a position that would alienate and create a potential moral crisis for half their subscriber base. It was highly irresponsible and breeched their fiduciary duty to stockholders.


About half the country supports reasonable restrictions. Not the nonsense the southern states are pushing. Big difference.


(And for a cite on that: Only 13% support overturning Roe v. Wade. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/07/730183531/poll-majority-want-...)


Polling on these issues is all over the place, but the number of people who support “overturning roe v wade” is a particularly tricky one to quote considering most people don’t understand constitutional law.

Many of the people in that poll who say they support Roe are also saying they want its ruling to be adjusted - which in practice means overturning Roe and replacing it with new controlling precedent. Arguably, Roe was already overturned once by Planned Parenthood v Casey, which replaced the trimester framework with the undue burden standard and allowed several regulations that had been considered unconstitutional under Roe.


Reva Siegel at Yale Law is good on this topic

RBG I believe supports using the privileges and immunities clause instead


I still don't see why any such company would want to take a political side, no matter which side it takes. How is this any beneficial to its users?


The entertainment companies have already explained why: https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/30/business/disney-bob-iger-abor...

It will be difficult to hire actors to work in these places.


I believe that about as much as I believed the actors who all said they'd go to Canada if Trump were elected. (they are not in Canada now)

Money talks. Most actors are desperate for money.

It's not as if actors constantly get abortions during filming... I hope.

Actors constantly go to on-location filming in places that don't meet Hollywood standards. They go to countries where women are property and there is a death penalty for willingly receptive gay men. If the actors will go to those places, this is just posturing. It'll all be forgotten when there is a paycheck being offered.


> Actors constantly go to on-location filming in places that don't meet Hollywood standards.

There is no stigma with it. Once an uproar has been created as in the Georgia case, it becomes like supporting apartheid South Africa.


Didn't Reed Hastings try to force Peter Thiel off the FB board for supporting Trump?


It does make sense for them to take a stand if they hope to be able to hire local talent in Silicon Valley. A lot of the seemingly political stands these tech companies take lately are done with an eye towards protecting or supporting their employees. In the end an organization is made of people and if all those people support a certain position it will be reflected in how the company behaves. There is no such thing as being truly neutral anyway, something is neutral to something specific but not generally neutral and you can always draw lines for which the same organization is neutral and for which it isn't. It just happens that you drew that line at their stand to abortion rights.


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I can see some of the things you listed as potentially pushing an agenda (like "all white guys being bad", whatever that means) but showing a normal "mixed-race gay couple" or the "single mother ending up in a mixed-race relationship" is pushing some agenda? What agenda would that be, that there can be a mixed-race gay couple and they are just normal, kind and loving people? Do we need a TV show to tell us that?

You're saying it's annoying to see that when you want to relax and watch a movie. You cannot relax watching a movie where there's a mixed-race gay couple? Why?


> but showing a normal "mixed-race gay couple"

For an international audience this is very obvious in your face propaganda. It's hard to miss it or ignore it, when you only see this in US shows and nowhere else.


When the demographics in a production reflect the demographics of the place it's made, that's not propaganda.


Do the math at how many shows have LGBT characters there are, then go look at how many there are in the US. The numbers are hilariously overrepresented. Groups like native Americans on the other hand are sorely underrepresented.


How many conservative white old people are cutting the cord versus the younger tech savvy people? I think that's something that might need to be looked at as well, which might explain the discrepancy. I mean sure there are conservative young people, but they probably aren't watching those shows and are probably watching either other things on Netflix or consuming content elsewhere like Philo with has a lot of "History" Channel conservative bent shows and things like LivePD. The biggest networks in the US are all conservative leaning. I think people are just not used to seeing new content outside the bubble they grew up with. On a sad note, I really miss the days when History Channel had solid history shows instead of the weird mostly garbage factually reality shows they have now.


Right, but they don't.

You don't have 25% single mothers, 25% blacks, 50% gay Asian couple.


Not an American here. Propaganda of what exactly?


Every piece of art contains some sort of message. What distinguishes this type of message from other messages, what makes this propaganda and why other messages aren't? Is it that any message which shows something which you don't consider "representative" would qualify as propaganda?


Propaganda in general is an attempt to influence how you should judge something or feel about something instead of letting you make your own judgements and feelings. It's not that complicated, movies and tv shows always have lots of propaganda in them, some of it is accidental, cultural, but mostly it's a top down effort.


> You're saying it's annoying to see that when you want to relax and watch a movie. You cannot relax watching a movie where there's a mixed-race gay couple? Why?

Looks like you're the one saying that, uh?

Look.

In the movie I mentioned, there are a handful of people that find themselves in the house.

- single mother who drinks while pregnant - gay, mixed-race couple #1 - black guy who ends up with single mother (mixed-race couple #2) - evil Trump supporter - bunch of bad white guys #1 (those two that make a mess) - bunch of bad white guys #2 (everyone else who tries to kill everyone)

The fact that every single minority MUST be represented in every single movie—despite the fact that this makes the story less believable or even weaker is what's annoying. Not to mention changing established characters (like Ghostbusters, Terminator, Little Mermaid) to make them black women.

Back when I grew up, we had Will Smith who was basically every kid's idiol in Europe, and he was black. We had Ripley from Alien who was a believable female role. We had Priscilla with trans protagonists. No one complained, all those characters worked. Now, every movie seems to be just an excuse to virtue signal. It's all politics. I want to watch a movie, not be indoctrinated by a corporation about whatever politics they're into.


> The fact that every single minority MUST be represented in every single movie—despite the fact that this makes the story less believable or even weaker is what's annoying. Not to mention changing established characters (like Ghostbusters, Terminator, Little Mermaid) to make them black women.

In what way is that particular story less believable because it shows minorities? Is it showing minorities in a context (geographical and time) where you have 100% information that it's very different from the reality of that context? Is this particular movie supposed to show a factually based representation of that context?

If an owner of some IP decides to change the racial, ethnic, etc profile of some character as they were represented previously in said franchise it doesn't take away from the franchise (imagine that they didn't release anything new), you can still watch the older movies that you enjoy. Similarly to how if a new video game is released in a series which is very different (or simply bad, quality wise) from the previous games in the series, it doesn't take away from you the previous titles, you can still enjoy the previous games all you want.

> Back when I grew up, we had Will Smith who was basically every kid's idiol in Europe, and he was black. We had Ripley from Alien who was a believable female role. We had Priscilla with trans protagonists. No one complained, all those characters worked. Now, every movie seems to be just an excuse to virtue signal. It's all politics. I want to watch a movie, not be indoctrinated by a corporation about whatever politics they're into.

I find that as a very naive and simplistic view of said movies. There was politics back then too in said movies, you just didn't notice it or cared about it, you took those things for granted. This is the essential problem with this type of complains, you assume that what was before/you grew up with was the "gold standard" and so making drastic changes to that is somehow bad (and I'm not talking just about minority representation in media, I see this in almost every context with people over a certain age). You should probably see how people complained the first time a black person was on TV, the complains are very similar.

I'm not saying that now there isn't a more active effort around introducing more minority representation into media, it obviously is so, I'm only arguing against that being a bad thing on its own and/or saying that didn't happen before. If this is more important to the studios than making good quality movies then obviously the quality will suffer, but that's not special in any way to the minority representation push.


> I'm not saying that now there isn't a more active effort around introducing more minority representation into media, it obviously is so, I'm only arguing against that being a bad thing on its own and/or saying that didn't happen before.

I did not happen before, at this scale. It's a new thing. And it's annoying.

> If this is more important to the studios than making good quality movies then obviously the quality will suffer, but that's not special in any way to the minority representation push.

Looks like it is. Look at the backslash with movies such as Star Wars, Ghostbusters, etc., where they take established characters and alienate fans by changing an established character that was a white male into a black woman (007, have you heard he's now a black woman?).


Assuming the companies involved do not give a damn (I'm not sure exactly about what, so I'll assume LGBT and non-white people and/or rights), they (and their friends and families) still find themselves represented in a work of fiction.

Feeling like you belong in the world is a core need of every human being. This recognition has a worth in itself; even if the company did nothing else (e.g. political lobbying, donations, supportive hiring practices, structural changes to the business), this is still something of value for this audience.

There's a weird paradox here. You object to entertainment getting too ideological, but then you indicate that companies should somehow reflect their ideologies (or lack thereof) in their output.

(I'm loath to use marketing cynicism, but the shorter version is: you're not the target audience.)


Sorry, is your point that the target audience of movies is now blacks and gay couples instead of everyone?

Why am I not the target audience of movies anymore?


You point to a hypothetical alternative: "instead of everyone".

The underlying assumption is that, when you (and characters you do not object to) were portrayed in mass media entertainment, everyone was covered too.

The target audience isn't just black people and gay couples: it's black people, gay couples, and those who do not object to the aforementioned groups.

ceejayoz 38 days ago [flagged]

I wasn't aware fetal alcohol syndrome was part of the progressive agenda.


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I don't get what you mean.


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Why is everyone a white supremacist by default nowadays?

What I said is a common critique of content coming out in the past few years.

Even if it wasn't, you can also have 1 talking point in common with white supremacists without being a white supremacist..?


> Even if it wasn't, you can also have 1 talking point in common with white supremacists without being a white supremacist..?

There's an old joke.

"You see that pier on the lake out there? I built that pier with my bare hands. Drove the pilings against the tide of the sand, plank by plank. But do they call me MacGregor the pier builder? No. But you fuck one goat..."


>What I said is a common critique of content coming out in the past few years.

It's only common in certain circles and we all know exactly which ones.


As far as I can tell, the term "virtue signalling" has never been used to express an idea of any substance. It seems to be a way of name-calling ideas that the user of the term is unwilling to engage on in terms of substance.


Not really. It's obvious that Netflix or any other corporation doesn't care about minorities, gay rights, women, or what have you.

They're just pandering to younger generations who are (as it's always been) more liberal, and right now have more disposable income—which is what companies are after.

The action of showing off how progressive these companies are while at the same time not giving a damn is what virtue signalling is (at least, to me).

I actually have similar ideas to the ones that are being pushed, ex., I don't oppose mixed-race couples, gay couples, etc. It's just annoying for everything to be about that nowadays.


> Not really. It's obvious that Netflix or any other corporation doesn't care about minorities, gay rights, women, or what have you.

Can you back that up? Since it's "obvious" it should be very easy.

I'm not familiar with Netflix's internal benefits but I am familiar with another big tech company's benefits and they go out of the way to guarantee equal benefits to same sex couples, beyond what the state/federal law provides (which results in the company spending more money out of pocket to provide those benefits so they match what state/federal provides to heterosexual couples). Or how in interviews it's very strongly emphasized to avoid any discussion, question, etc from which one can infer marital status, sexual orientation, parenthood, etc.

That shows to me that the contrary is valid and I suspect Netflix to not be far from that since it competes for the same talent pool in the same geographical location.


Do I really have to back that up?

Corporations go make their products in countries where there are no labor laws, where they make people and even children work 16 hours/day, to make your shoes for 50c and then sell them back to you for $50.

Do they care about minorities? Why don't they open a factory in some depressed area in the States instead of going to China?

Do they care about gay rights? Why don't they denounce/boycott Muslim countries where they have the death penalty for being gay?

Do they care about women? Why do they support factories where women work 16 hours and are regularly harassed?

Companies are pandering to liberal kids with left-wing, progressive ideas because they want their money and they are the demographic most willing to give it to them. In the process, they annoy everyone else—including people who don't care about politics, or don't live with their parents and understand what actual problems people have. Unfortunately I'm in the second group.




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