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Netflix lost 9% of the market share as competition increases (digesttime.com)
34 points by elorant 9 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 64 comments

The fact that the metric here is "Market Share" tells me that this is most likely a big nothing burger.

Market Share makes sense if you're talking about retail, or browsers.. but a static recurring payment? Why would Netflix care if a customer decides to also pick up another streaming service, effectively cutting their market share in half, while they keep full revenue.

There's a dozen+ streaming services out there that people have picked up, but in my personal experience, very few, if any, people I know have cancelled Netflix- they're just spending more and more money on streaming as time goes on.

Logged in to say this. Market share is a confusing stat when customers don't exclusively use one service.

Netflix is still adding subscriptions at a good rate.


But Netflix is also losing subs. Their catalog is quite dismal beside a few blockbusters and they know it. Hope this trend reverses and they come on top

people's time is not unlimited. If a customer uses multiple services, it increases the chance that they may drop netflix. I know people who have kids and signed up for disney+, and then a few months later dropped netflix because they don't have time for both.

The really annoying thing is that the content is being split up between “channels” again. It was probably inevitable, but it’s annoying that I have to sign up for Disney’s service to see movies from the studios Disney has acquired.

I think - and certainly hope - that 2020 was a uniquely activer TV watching year, because of the pandemic.

Once we get out of the house, I expect the TV streaming market to contract.

because people can’t afford a dozen different services. the story might be a bit overblown but it is significant that netflix went from a near monopoly to one of many services. personally i’d consider cancelling them if i wasn’t using a shared account from someone else

Well if someone could afford the traditional full cable package with the premium channels--and then cut the cord they could afford several different streaming services.

And with every single big media corporation now demanding a piece of the streaming cake by turning more productions into exclusive content (and thus turning online streaming into cable again), people will slowly turn back to piracy.

PLEX with a gigabit connection is the ultimate streaming service

I doubt the majority of people will turn to piracy as in downloading torrents, account sharing and pay per use movies might increase instead? Netflix and the likes are too convenient with casting/airplay and rememberong what you've seen.

Stremio brings piracy closer to netflix feeling, but it happens that content doesn't match packs, not enough seeds and subtitles might require manual offsets, still quite darn good though.

People who can’t be arsed to rotate their subscriptions will steal.

> People who can’t be arsed to rotate their subscriptions will steal.

So most people? About the last thing I want to spend my time doing is figuring out how to rotate my streaming subscriptions so I can watch what I want to watch without paying $100 in subscriptions per month.

I doubt it because previously, you did not have easy access to shows on demand. You could purchase from a small set of large, expensive packages which contained 80% things you probably did not want to watch, and even then very little of it was on demand. Cable is upwards of $50-100 or more, whereas you can get Disney, Netflix, and HBO for less than that.

> people will slowly turn back to piracy.

Wait, when did the people who turned to piracy in the first place turn away so that they could “slowly turn back”?

I think its more “the pirate subculture will slowly update its rationalizations”.

No. People get older, get more income, and prefer the convenience of a service to piracy and eventually stop doing it. But with a proliferation of services now, many are not willing to subscribe to them all, and when their child wants to watch that one movie that all their classmates have seen, and is on the service they don't subscribe to, they go back to firing up the old VPN and torrent client they haven't touched in years.

Speaking from experience here. And it's not an isolated experience.

Absolutely agree. I am all for competition but the fragmentation currently is disturbing.

In the end it probably is caused by the stupid subscription models where you pay for everything (and you don't want 99% of it). Similar to all-you-can-eat it basically promotes mass consumption without too much depth.

I quit Netflix because there were only a few shows I really liked and the rest was just garbage. I really prefer buying single seasons on Amazon if that is possible. I hope this will be the future but i doubt it.

This, the narrative of the evil people pirating stuff because they just don't want to pay for anything is for the most part a myth planted by corporations. Valve realized this [1] when it came to games, Apple and Spotify realized this when it came to music. And there was the study financed by the EU [2] that came to the conclusion that for games, books and music there is "no robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online piracy."

So I too subscribe to the evidence and personal experience that the choice between piracy and purchase is a choice of convenience and availability. There are many cases in which the pirates just offer better service and distribution.

[1]: https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114391-Valves-Gabe...

[2]: https://cdn.netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/2017/09/displacement_s...

> they go back to firing up the old VPN and torrent client they haven't touched in years.

95%+ people are not capable and/or bothered to do this. Even in my circle of friends from engineering school, where everyone pirated in college, we’re in our 30s now and I don’t know anyone who still does.


Renting a movie from YouTube on Linux devices does not provide a 4K or even 1080p stream on my Linux devices due to content protection.

And my ideal TV/movie watching experience is using VR, and Disney+ does not have a VR app (and using the browser causes a very annoying flashing/flickering left eye issue for everybody using that service).

For content I care about, piracy provides the highest quality viewing experience by far.

For casual content where suboptimal resolutions and very annoying flickering issues aren't as important I use Disney+ in a VR browser.

It really sucks that piracy provides a better experience.

My experience is the same. Used to pirate music, then spotify was good enough not to bother anymore. Used to pirate movies and TV, now I only do it occasionally for titles I want to watch, but aren't being streamed on any service I'm subscribed to.

I'm still pissed at Disney for canceling Gina Carano, so I might pirate the next season of the mandalorian if I still care by then.

I stopped music and tv piracy once netflix and spotify took off. Spotify is still a good service but we now have netflix, disney plus, and amazon prime to contend with and still can't find some of the content we want due to the stupid turf wars going on. The situation is becoming what turned me on to piracy in the first instance - Sky TV in NZ had a monopoly on distribution for some content which meant it was otherwise unavailable, and they made it impossible to get the bits you wanted without paying for all the crap. Except now instead of having to pay one provider a large monthly fee, it's 3 or 4 of them.

When it became easy and affordable to actually consume content when we wanted to. Speaking for myself, obviously, but when it became easier to subscribe to one or two services and actually have all the stuff I wanted whenever I wanted it rather than invest my time and money in custom storage and streaming solutions and (not to mention finding what I want to download), then it was suddenly not worth it. Now, if I have to spend an equal amount of time figuring out which of the now dozens of streaming platforms a single movie might be on, only to find out that studio A is currently arguing with vendor B, all while I’m paying for each service, then yeah piracy suddenly sounds appealing again.

Except not really because I’m far too lazy to put in that effort again.

its just not worth my time to torrent anymore. It makes more sense for me to pay $10 then spend 5 minutes torrenting something.

Ultimately, the result of this fragmentation in streaming will only be that more people turn to piracy. Yet again the media industry shooting themselves in the foot. The solution is a spotify for films and tv, not an ever-expanding myriad of niche streaming services.

This is similar to what happened with studio-owned movie theaters. The right solution is to outlaw exclusive distribution deals and production-company ownership of streaming platforms (yes, that means Netflix would have to split up).

Depends on how much this Video Spotify would pay them, versus how much they can charge for their own offering. If you can get $10 * N subscribers, that's a better deal than $1 * 5N subscribers. They're only shooting themselves in the foot if the amount they're losing to piracy (which I think is vastly overestimated by HN readers, most people wouldn't know how to pirate a movie if their lives depended on it) is greater than the amount they're gaining by charging more.

(The reason Spotify is able to work is because in several large media markets, like the US, there is an existing regulatory regime and contract situation built for AM/FM radio, which allowed Spotify to get large catalogs at predefined rates. Spotify works because ASCAP and BMI existed.

I think you'd be suprised by how user-friendly piracy has become. Often, it's just as simple as appending "watch free online" and finding some shady video player site. If you have a VPN, or just don't care about being DMCA'd, there are plenty of user-friendly video torrenting apps out there - PopCorn time, for example. People don't always know it's piracy, but make it hard enough for the common individual to find the content they want legally, and enough people will persist until finding what they want illegaly.

Look at these directions for using Popcorn Time with a Roku:


Compare it to the onboarding process for Netflix or Disney+ on Roku. I know, that for the median Hacker News user, this rises to the level of "nuisance," not a serious impediment. The median Hacker News user is not a very good model for the median consumer.

Speaking of Spotify, on one hand, I think publishers will drag it down while raising royalties as they see Spotify making profits. Essentially choking Spotify’s profit.

On the other hand, I don’t see them doing that so much that the only player left in the market is Apple who then will get to call the shots again like it did before streaming.

So, I think Spotify will survive, but barely. And that’s what the networks should’ve done to Netflix if they don’t want piracy in the future. Except Netflix doesn’t have to have everything in its catalog. It can certainly say no to certain media if the terms are unfair. Maybe the studios saw that and think there is no other option. Just thinking out loud at this point.

Spotify shouldn't be compared to Netflix, no, but the core product is the same: convience. If I pirate, I have access to a larger catalog than any streaming service, but I have to slog through ad infested sites, constantly remember where I am in the shows I am watching, and face difficulties with localizations or subtitles, and wait for things to download on shady sites. A netflix subscription is very much worth the convience of not having to pirate - but only if they have a vast catalog. No matter what Netflix thinks, though, Netflix originals aren't enough for most users.

Eventually piracy will become the more convient option for enough users.

Comparing the way Hollywood is going as compared to Spotify, imagine if each of the big three music companies (Universal, Warner, and Sony) had their own streaming services. Unline movies though, nobody usually cares what label their favorite band is on, let alone which supergiant owns that label so you'd never be able to find which streaming service each artist is on.

It is a really good point. I am a bit skeptical though as they seem quite different -- I can listen to a lot of different music in a single sitting, and if a streaming service did not have the vast majority of what I wanted to listen to, I would more likely purchase the individual albums than pay for multiple services. Particularly if I could not make an in-genre playlist because artists from the same genre were split across services. It would make it unviable.

Video feels quite different from that, though I am at a loss to describe it. I would either subscribe to multiple (I do now), or alternate subscriptions. Maybe that's because people don't re-watch shows nearly as often as they re-listen to the same songs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The writing on the wall has been there for a while.

It's not just about making more money. These companies have executives that need to show that they're creating a streaming service to increase their shareholder value. Hell, even if the service fails and they lose money, the executives don't care - that's what golden parachutes are for.

Now that netflix has shown the model works, companies aren't going to be happy sitting back even if they would make more money just selling streaming rights to their shows instead of creating their own service.

It's all about maybe, maybe they can pull it off and make more money. That alone is enough to cause this fragmentation to be inevitable.

Geeze, if only there was a way to pay one amount each month and get all these services and content from one aggregator who also provides the inbound pipe. Might this be called - I dunno - "Pipe TV"? Naw, how about "Cable TV"? That might fly.

These content/streaming companies are just making things much worse over the cable situation and will certainly force a certain number of people into piracy, and a certain number will just quit watching, and a certain number of people will just keep on building their own Plex server, even if they have to buy the DVDs at retail (which is certainly not a bad thing). The problem is some of the new content remains streaming only, not available at retail, so back to piracy you go.

Congratulations to all the decision makers in this industry.

Edit: an example of what I'm talking about:

I'm a USA resident and a big fan of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For years I was able to buy a "pass" to stream all of practice, qualifying, and the race, from the FIA (who runs the race). A year or to ago - nope, no more, you have to sign up with "Motor Trend TV" or something like that, buy a subscription, and stream it from there. Not going to happen, I don't need another monthly subscription service that may make it difficult to cancel. I can literally NOT give the FIA my money to stream their race. So what do I do? You know ...

> These content/streaming companies are just making things much worse over the cable situation

Yes kind of. Netflix was like “oh here is that great version. You just pay a fee then get content” and then everyone else was like “oh we want to make money doing that”. And here we are.

Cable is bad. Streaming services are a shitty evolution of it. I guess at least they’re online and don’t require much setup.

I don’t find any of these services worth paying for anymore.

Not only that, but the current streaming services have done a great job of killing the quality of their content.

The Expanse under Sci-Fi was stunning. Under Amazon, it's a meh at best. I was incredibly excited for Season Four, watched it, and came away wondering if Amazon had replaced everybody but the actors with a mixture of part-time interns and bags of slightly off-date produce.

Haven't bothered with Season Five. Just don't care.

Same for mainstream TV.

On the other hand, I watched a short (Overlord) set in the SCP universe done by an independent filmmaker, and loved it.

They didn't try and explain things to me. Just straight into the story. The characters behaved about as realistically as I would expect, and showed that the scriptwriter actually did some research. I would pay for full-length movies with this level of storytelling and production value.

In short: I don't need to pirate anything, because there's nothing I feel is worth my time to watch.

All that bundling will lead to is then contracts, and we're back to cable company monopolies again. I don't know why people prefer that? At least with Netflix, D+ etc I can cancel when I see fit.

Disney+ seems like a force to be reckoned with. I'm not really sure how Netflix can compete with the IP that Disney has.

In fairness Disney has never taken a risk. Netflix and HBO are happy to give creative license and see what sticks. A lot of netflix originals are awful, but some are both good and new: something disney will never deliver.

That's true with mostly every big corporations and tech giants. Their "innovation" is mostly 2-3 year research on new ideas and risks of smaller companies, startups and kickstarter projects.

I don't think they need to though. Playing safe with their popular IPs seems like a fine strategy.

A fine strategy, but not dominant. Many people get tired of the same thing after a few decades. The question was “how to compete with disney”. The answer is “bother to make something new”.

They've got premiere titles, but once you get past those it's pretty shallow. MCU, Disney animation, star wars ... old Simpsons?

I don't doubt they will get a ton of mileage out of that but I hit the boundaries of Disney+ way faster than Prime Video or Netflix.

Disney also owns 20th Century studios and Searchlight, which makes for a significant back catalog they could draw from.

I don't disagree, but I think those IPs are a massive asset now and in the future.

Netflix seems like it has to keep treading water (Producing more original shows) to keep up.

Disney+ is the ultimate additional subscription not the sole subscription on a bank statement.

Disney content is still mostly movies right? Netflix is producing many series because it keeps people hooked, not many movies.

But yes, Disney+ is definitely a strong contender, specially with Marvel and Lucasfilms in their possession.

Disney is producing a lot of series. They had a bunch already kids stuff. But the Mandalorian, Wandavision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and tons more in the pipeline.

I moved to the US in 2010, signed up for Netflix soon thereafter (it didn’t exist in Australia at that time) and have been a customer ever since. Forget movies: the big value proposition for me has always been TV. At that time it was $8/month.

We’ve had steady price increases (currently $14/month for HD) and less of that content as all the “me too” services have popped up.

I think Netflix was right that they had to produce their own content. They’ve certainly had some successes but there has been a lot of (expensive) mediocrity and sameyness to some degree. I think the biggest lesson is you can’t simply throw money at content production, which they clearly have.

At $8/month I’d probably subscribe forever but I think I’m at most 1 price hike away from canceling. I just don’t think they’ve doubled their value proposition. Like they’re in HBO territory now and HBO has a much bigger moat of high quality original content (IMHO).

Netflix may be doomed (for me) to join a sub rotations with the likes of Hulu and HBO. Prime Video may well become my only permanent fixture as Amazon Prime is just too useful to me.

> According to a study by the consultancy company Ampere Analysis published today by The Wrap, Netflix market share went from 29% at the beginning of last year to 20% now.

A study by a company I've never heard of published in a publication I've never heard of says that Netflix lost 'market share'.

This information is so vague as to be useless. How are they measuring market share? How do they count users like me who are technically subscribed to at least 3 of the services they cite (I'm subscribed to Netflix, Prime, and AppleTV. The latter two I got for free from buying other services, and almost never use.) Do hours watched count? or money spent (my amazon subscription is half the price of my netflix one and I only use it for prime shipping, and my apple one was free because I bought a phone)?

Ok, I want to give my highest recommendation to this non-netflix show: https://www.viki.com/tv/22943c-nirvana-in-fire

It's one of the best shows I've ever seen. From the plot, the acting, the music, the visuals, it's exceptional.

Previously I used to watch only netflix & hbo, but the world outside of western entertainment is rich (as one would expect), but I was only familiar with a limited set of choices.

This is my invitation to you to expand beyond netflix, hbo, amazon, disney, apple, etc.

Thank you for this recommendation. But I am a bit confused: is this a legal website? It somehow gives the impression of being one of those illegal streaming sites, trying to imitate Amazon Prime, but then again it claims to be part of "Rakuten Group", which, AFAIK is a well known Japanese company.

Am I safe if I just stream this?

Yeah it's a legal site from Rakutan. They have an app and everything. Not that having an app always means it's legit, but maybe it's some kind of signal? Anyway I subscribe to it.

Don't know what you mean by "just stream it", but if you do decide to go elsewhere, I can't vouch for the quality of subtitles. The translations on the viki site are good from what I've been told. As compared to some other dramas that are on netflix (The Untamed, for example), which have comparatively poor translations.

Thanks for the recommendation. Most of the content on Netflix that I've been seeing lately is pretty much shovelware. After I finished all the good Bollywood films (Aamir Khan!) I've been looking for more good foreign films.

You're quite welcome! Do you have any Bollywood films to recommend? I'll google Aamir Khan in the meantime.

As an Apple TV user while I use to live and breathe Netflix with all the other services it’s a bit overwhelming but I use the Apple TV app as a hub to access them all in one interface except Netflix blocks apple from integrating with that so over time I’ve watched less and less because it’s just not convenient. I understand Netflix doesny want to hand over that control to apple and others but think not integrating is going to back fire since their content is good but not good enough to be a one stop shop anymore.

Of half of that it was probably people sharing accounts (and cost) that won't bother anymore.

it feels like we reinvented cable without the middlemen

Well let's be honest: what we all clamored for years to get was a la carte.

We got it but it's more expensive than we envisioned it.

We did, but it makes more sense when you have "channels." Once the channels are gone, aside from sports, it's not so clear because there aren't necessarily sane content bundles, and no one wants to pay $3 for an episode of 30 Rock (or $1 for Two and a Half Men). It's interesting to compare it to music streaming because music has more replay value, so selling tracks could work there, but it's a huge barrier for discovery. It'd be an even bigger barrier for 20-60 minutes of TV.

I wonder how long until the "basic subscription" starts including ads and we'll have to pay for a more advanced one to get rid of them. I hope I'm wrong and that never happens.

It's called Hulu.

The shows that sexualize children (it's not only Cuties) didn't help either.

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