Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Netflix loses subscribers for the first time in 10+ years (cnbc.com)
253 points by gordon_freeman 69 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 397 comments



They lost 700,000 from Russia gained 500,000 elsewhere net -200,000. I don't know how much they normally gain but I suspect a lot are jumping to conclusions from the headline. Loosing Russia wasn't really a consumer choice type of thing.

I do wish they'd pick up a few more good Sci-Fi shows and then cancel them to confirm my personal grudge. It's so hard to waste my time on today's Sci-Fi...get off my lawn, etc, etc.


Let's ignore their Russian subscribers loss for the time being. Analysts were expecting them to add 2.7m and they added 500K elsewhere (taking the number from your comment) so they are still way off and it proves that their growth is slowing at a rapid pace because of increasing competition from Apple, Amazon, Disney and HBO.


> taking the number from your comment

From the article, fyi.

> slowing at a rapid pace because of increasing competition from Apple, Amazon, Disney and HBO.

I don't doubt that but I do suspect other services will see some slow down too as a result of general bullshit and uncertainty in the economy. It's never really just one thing.

Then again...yeah Disney+ is a really good deal. And Amazon's numbers are inflated from other Prime stuff. I'm just an old man yelling at a screen from his arm chair because I can't trust anyone.


The other services are not charging a premium just for 4K, are not bundling 4K with 4 screens and have content that competes/beats Netflix's. They also haven't saturated the markets so you will not see them slowing down yet.

I predict Netflix will change two things business wise: 1. Ads. 2. No content dumps, instead 1 episode/week.


The day Netflix has ads is the day I unsubscribe. The price, here in Canada at least, has already doubled since I first subscribed and is getting close to a cable subscription.

Ads and high price is why everyone cut the cable in the first place. (And poor content)


It depends on how they implement it. The CEO said he was open to lower-priced tiers with ad support. I wouldn't mind an ad before each show if it meant a lower price. But if they raise the ad-free prices or start putting ads in during the shows, people will be more upset.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/netflixs-ceo-says-hes-...


"slowing at a rapid pace" makes no sense as a statement. Is their growth stalled?

How can anything slow at a rapid pace?


Second derivative is negative


> How can anything slow at a rapid pace?

Rapid deceleration. Just because a car is still moving, doesn't mean it's moving as fast as it was 1 second ago.


I think in this case it’s supposedly still accelerating but you are depressed the gas and the engine is spooling back down to idle. I think the term is Jerk


Imagine a car slamming on anti lock brakes versus one coasting to a stop.


How much more growth can Netflix really muster? They really have penetrated most regions including APAC. Adding 500k is a major accomplishment when viewed thru that lens.


> Netflix previously told shareholders it expected to add 2.5 million net subscribers during the first quarter.

It wasn't just the analysts. Netflix itself missed big in their forecast.


I’m curious as to when the forecast is from. We missed our expected q1 target by quite a margin as well because the market, and I mean any market, has been hit by the war and the inflation.


Would Netflix subscriptions really be impacted due to the war? Aside from a handful of countries that are bearing the brunt of the conflict and sanctions.


>because of increasing competition from Apple, Amazon, Disney and HBO.

because of increased fragmentation, torrents are becoming a big competitor again?


In my household they certainly are.

I'm already paying for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max. Sharing those with friends, and receiving Disney+ and Hulu in return. We're back to where we started, with everything dashed across a bunch of different 'networks', and I left entirely because of the steep cable bill.

Like hell I'm going to add even more services, like AppleTV or Paramount+.


I'd say IPTV.

Torrents are too complicated for most people, compared to the ease of buying an 'Android TV box' at a cell phone store, Craiglist or flea market, and paying $15/month for cable channels and TV/movie streaming. The UI is relatively good, worlds apart from the 2010 era when finding shows and episodes required going through a list of gorillavid.com links.


yes, but how does IPTV get their content? It's piracy all the way down.


That’s exactly what I expect in about 3-5 years. I particularly have my eye on BitTorrent modifications like webtorrent which may get the viewing experience even closer to a paid streaming service.


All SVOD services are down this quarter, Disney+ arguably hardest hit, root cause is cost of living increases.


To your point, Apple's market share: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30940431


Sci-fi is in a bad state not just on Netflix but everywhere. I hoped arriving in the space age would mean more programming, but my fear of it becoming mainstream meaning that a sprinkling of science/space in the background of whatever drama, horror, thriller, etc becomes what's categorized as sci-fi. There's very little where science plays any meaningful part in the premise or plot.


Sci-fi in books is doing quite well! Between Isaac Asimov and Alastair Reynolds there are 7 decades of high quality sci-fi.


I've read my fair share of Reynolds and for what it's worth if anyone was looking to get into him, I'd recommend House of Suns but to skip Pushing Ice. The latter starts strong but kind of gets nowhere.


> Sci-fi is in a bad state not just on Netflix but everywhere.

Yeah but Netflix is the one that most frequently gives me hope before smashing it. Ha ha, I got to get out of these abusive relationships.


So true, it gets me every time.

Another pet peeve is the grouping of sci-fi with fantasy or horror. There are few cases where there is sufficient science in the fantasy or horror that obeys some premise (e.g. differing physics) but mostly the grouping is noise.

What Netflix really needs is genre search that respects "-" as in "sci-fi -horror -fantasy".


There's Dark and Altered Carbon Season 1. Everything Everywhere All At Once just came out in theatres and that's supposed to be crazy Sci Fi (not supposed to go in knowing much about it)


Have heard Everything Everywhere All At Once is phenomenal. Am so looking forward to seeing it this wknd.

Would suggest: Katla

Ad Vitam

a throwback not on Netflix rn: Continuum


They also forecasted a global paid subscriber loss of 2 million for the second quarter.


They're really lousy at forecasting.

As recently as Feb., mgmt was forecasting 2.5 million growth. (much lower than 7 million consensus)

I'm sure their inability to forecast isn't helping.


> They lost 700,000 from Russia gained 500,000 elsewhere net -200,000...Loosing Russia wasn't really a consumer choice type of thing.

Management's loss "reasons" all seem valid, but don't forget the production aspect (which is much closer tied to competition)

> "In an effort to continue to gain share in the market, Netflix has increased its content spend, particularly on originals. To pay for it, it’s hiked prices of its service. The company said Tuesday those price changes are helping to bolster revenue, but were partially responsible for a loss of 600,000 subscribers in the U.S. and Canada during the most recent quarter."

My observation is that they are selling attention addiction like Facebook without caring about quality content recently. Ex: Korean copycat shows and "documentaries", just because both categories tend to rate higher on IMDB. Seems like a decision a PM will make, based on metrics to improve profit, not quality - i.e. give users what they want, even if it is bad for them (or the business) in the long term (as seen with competition's content quality)

PS: Similar thing happened with Facebook back in February. The point is it might take years, but eventually the bs will catch up.

Their desperation is starting to show with the exploration of potential "low hanging fruit" revenue sources like ads instead of new growth markets (games) - as is happening with indirect competitors (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, FB); and direct competitors (Hulu, Disney and HBO): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31101175

The thing about public companies...is that most eventually fall into the pressures of "consistent growth" by stockholders, following the pack mentality (profit at all costs), even if sorting to unethical means.


I hope they expand their international catalog. 3%, Biohackers and Better than Us were all quite enjoyable and each had their own interesting cultural spins.

'Smoking' is really good (not sci fi, though, but I recommend it to everyone). Old Enough has been thoroughly charming as well.


I'd imagine Netflix could get a huge catalog of content's US streaming rights for pennies on the dollar because hasn't been much of a market for it - practically free money for foreign IP holders.

In doing so, they could get huge brand loyalty from bilingual folks, plus more content for people willing to watch with subs. My wife's mom watches tons of dramas on youtube, we'd get her a netflix account in an instant if we thought she would use it - UX watching shows via youtube is abysmal.

Pay for dubbing once a show proves itself without and 'relaunch' the branding to wider audiences. Netflix should have very solid stats on which users are willing to watch foreign language shows with subs, so they can do targeted homepage advertising to test the shows easily.

Dev lift should be light, really just need to add a search filter for original language/country of origin.


I'm fairly certain they're already doing that. Squid Game, Money Heist being two of the most prominent examples. I've come across more and more imported properties dubbed over, which I don't mind at all! Some are quite good, and I probably wouldn't have found them otherwise.


Fair point. I think they could get a lot more aggressive, though.

I'm conversational in Japanese, and I'd love to see Japanese variety/game shows on netflix. There are thousands of hours of content that have never been available to the US market afaik - I think I've only seen them on youtube or dailymotion when not in japan.

I wonder what the expense of subbing these shows would be. Perhaps they could do a non-exclusive licensing deal where they contribute the sub IP back to the IP holder for an even-further-reduced rate.


I thought Squid Game was a Netflix funded program and the OP is talking about licensing of other IP?

I think they are doing that right now with Nippon TV’s Japanese show about toddlers running errands “I’m old enough” which started in 1991.

https://www.cnet.com/culture/entertainment/old-enough-on-net...


Right you are, I was under the impression it was a licensed IP like a number of other properties I've come across in deep scrolls through their catalog.


Yeah, Netflix is already a gold mine for me as a language learner.

As the average quality of their English language has, imo, decreased, the fact that I can easily find good content in other languages is a big selling point.


Blaming Russia's war in Ukraine seems to be the new excuse for everything.

It's going to be mentioned in every earnings call from now on, and it's almost always going to be a bogus excuse.


You think that blaming Russia's war on Ukraine for the loss of 700k subscribers in Russia is a bogus excuse?


That's not the important part of the announcement, and it's not the reason the stock tanked.

The important part is subscriber loss in other countries and the projection that over 2 million more subscribers will be lost over the next quarter. Compared to a previous estimate that the company would see a net increase in subscribers by 2.5 million last quarter, that's a big letdown and the market's reaction would have been the same even if the Russia numbers weren't bad.


They still lost 700k subscribers in Russia due to Russia's war. That's a hard fact and not a bogus excuse. "Blaming Russia's war in Ukraine seems to be the new excuse for everything" is a misdirected accusation insinuating they are blaming the whole report on it and that they are completely unaffected by the war.


It isn't a misdirected accusation, and the reason why is in the comment you're replying to.


And I explained why it is. Don't comment unless you have something meaningful to add. Circling back to the same comment I just replied to without elaborating is just noise.


Honestly I’m one free weekend from canceling it. Gonna go back to a pc under the tv. Just need the afternoon to find the best machine for plex.

The selection of older content on Netflix is really weak on the whole and their original content is getting worse and worse.

There is only so many times I can watch a mid-level 80 minute movie script be dragged out across 10 hours in series it really is awful tv and watching the writers struggle to spin tires to drag it to 10 hours is exhausting. Not to mention the executive meddling is extremely apparent in many of their scripts where you can tell whole sections were added at exec request because the story goes off at a tangent and then when it returns the stakes are exactly the same as before the tangent.


PC under the TV is the answer, at least I think so. I built an ITX HomeTheater/Gaming PC last year (without a GPU initially) and have started to slowly unsubscribe from all the streaming services.

Being able to just grab whatever movies I have in my list of things to watch, and play them, locally, without having to scroll through the apps has been quite the relief. Occasionally I use HBO Max still because it has some decent older movies, but I'm pretty much only using my HTPC now, and with Plex, I can watch my library across the network at home via Apple TVs in the bedroom.


How do you acquire the movies?


The secret ingredient is crime


R-A-R-B-G + V-P-N


Oh, Super Hans.


I'll leave this here, a previous HN post.

https://github.com/Igglybuff/awesome-piracy


Many use a few different apps such as radarr, sonarr and all their siblings to grab media into torrent downloaders which is then served via plex i.e.


Bought my mom an Android TV and installed an apk that combines a movie catalog with torrent search. Can stream or download. Pretty neat stuff, although it's targeted for russian audience (searching russian trackers).


This.


Can't agree more.

The nonsense original content Netflix throw out is awful.

Having to watch 6 to 10 hours of a show riddled with plot holes, long drawn out rubbish narrative, and social justice content just to cloud it further. It's not great.

On top of that they simply switch off all other content if you are using a VPN, even legitimately in your own country, it's rubbish.

PC under the telly is roaring back into fashion.

Who wants to pay umteen subscriptions for bad content anyway?


I have password shared Netflix. In the last 6 months i have opened the app only once to check whether the new Jackass is on it. It wasn't there, but i rewatched Jackass 3D.

Now that they are planning on cracking down on password sharing, good riddance


I have a friend who has a NAS server with plex running 8TB of movies/series/etc... and shares it with multiple other friends (he doesn't tell me how many, but my bet is that it must be at least 50). He has his own OTT, he doesn't charge anything, in case you are wondering...


I threw down the money for Plex lifetime pass after repeatedly keying in movies and shows on Netflix search, and not finding them. New stuff, classic stuff, it didn't matter. Always just some offbrand substitute junk coming up. Their catalog is very poor now, even compared to just a few years ago.

I'm not playing the game of subscribing to different services just to get particular content, because I don't watch things often enough to justify the effort or cost. Plus this way all my physical media comes into the same library as rips, and PlexAmp is a pretty good music player, too.


I'm this friend for my group, except no local hardware - it's a shared server in Canada (a seedbox, for those who want a term to google). I maintain the understanding with friends that it's a rotating library - you request something and it will get added. But it also gets removed when you're done, or when it's been sitting there for a few months unwatched.


Give (Plex alternative) Jellyfin a go as well!


Your third paragraph is hardly unique to Netflix, all scripted serialized dramas seem to suffer this problem these days.


I've become a little tired of series with continuous plots at this point. It's really hard to create content for so many episodes that isn't repetitive, irrelevant to the main story, or hard to believe because of the piling up of coincidences. Then you often have implausible character changes and other typical series-but-not-movies problems piling up. It's an art form that seems very difficult to get right, and so it usually goes wrong.


BBC gets this right, only as many episodes as necessary.


Less is more. No filler content. GoT could have stopped 2-3 seasons before it did and I'd been fine. Star Wars not needed episode 1 and onward. The old ones were neat as they were (personally apart from that I only liked the recent movie which took place between 3 and 4, and the first season (!!) of Mando). Its like meeting your heroes: don't! Same with books. I read the The Thrawn Trilogy. It was great. I don't want a comic about it or a movie about it; I leave the memory as is. There's a remake of the brilliant series Utopia (orig. by Ch 4) and I am not looking forward to it either for the same reason. Then again, perhaps all these reboots are not aimed for me but for people who did not see the orig.


Oh, Amazon remade Utopia stateside and it was just rubbish next to the BBC series


British TV in general gets it right and always has. 6 episodes per season, 2-4 seasons. Ricky Gervais’ The Office UK is a prime example, 14 episodes. The US version has 188.


Most? Maybe. Certainly not all.


> There is only so many times I can watch a mid-level 80 minute movie script be dragged out across 10 hours

Jack Reacher. 80 minutes would have been just right.


Get an Nvidia Shield for the Plex client. It can run the server too, but I would use a different computer for that.


Agree the new content has been steadily going downhill as I imagine they are prioritizing profits over art.


There's a simple way Netflix can stop the bleeding.

It isn't that difficult and doesn't involve any technical innovation whatsoever.

Just stop being assholes.

They made record profits during the COVID era, seeing huge subscriber increases during lockdown and work-from-home.

So they increased prices. And nickel-and-dimed customers. And got rid of the best parts of their catalog. And threw a fit about sharing passwords.

Geez. Hey I'm stuck several states away from my family for two years but God forbid we try to connect by sharing our movie and TV watch lists. Meemaw can't watch Peppa Pig with her grandson in person, so we'd better watch out for her wanting to check out his Netflix Kids list and try to connect with what's interesting him.

Netflix used to be great. Now they're just jerks with mediocre content that charge 3-4x what Discovery does.


> Meemaw can't watch Peppa Pig with her grandson in person, so we'd better watch out for her wanting to check out his Netflix Kids list and try to connect with what's interesting him.

That’s something Disney and Apple are both embracing with shared viewing sessions. It’s an excellent feature and it has been so much easier watching Disney content together than trying to count down and sync pause/play of content, so guess where we go when it’s remote movie night?


How exactly does that work? I’ve seen it as an option but haven’t tried it.


On Disney next to the watchlist button there’s a group play button and you can text a link.

On AppleTV you need to be on a FaceTime call.


They aren’t embracing it they just starved (well, disney) netflix of content long enough to make them flinch first.


I’m specifically talking about shareplay/groupwatch features, not the content itself here.


My best guess is that the password-sharing crackdown is a response to slowed subscriber growth in an attempt to keep that growth at some astronomically high target. "Got rid of the best parts of their catalog" is definitely a subjective take. I'm going to assume you're referring to much of their licensed content which is a hard-to-scale problem unless you continue to throw money at it. One of Netflix's problems is that the profits it takes today doesn't get realized into "good content" until a much later date when production is wrapped and released.


> And got rid of the best parts of their catalog

I'm not sure they have much of a choice in the matter, given the remaining movie producing companies are trying to fund/build alternatives. Netflix would gladly host all the latest Disney movies, but they aren't allowed to anymore.

Netflix was well aware of this several years ago and leaned into it, but failed to focus on quality.


The main problem of Netflix, more than competition, is quality of content.

They need to think like a Hollywood studio, and less like a Video Supermarket. You need to be a Disney or PBS , Universal or MGM, and the subscribers will pay for high quality content.

The only notable Netflix content seems to be the one purchased externally. Internally developed content, tends to follow a common amorphous pattern, that becomes very predictable as it gets extended into multiple episodes of the same script.

They need charismatic movies and set free artists with risky content. Not 20 episodes of Ozark.


For the genres I like Netflix is kinda a brand of content to actively avoid, their content is not just mediocre, but outright terrible, when you hear a beloved franchise will get a Netflix-made version you get sad.

One of the issues is how much Netflix content just reflect whatever crap is a fad in California politics. I am not even from US, I don't want to hear about Californian political themes in the media I consume, SPECIALLY when it is a remake of something from a country that has nothing to do with California culture! (like... Japan, or Poland...)


I enjoyed some of their original content, some they took over they did an okay job of (though they have a habit of trying to convert an episodic series into a long drawn out movie, emphasizing the running plot too much). Some definitely wasn't good.

That said, political content is pretty popular with a big chunk of their subscribers. The rest of us lose out because of it, unfortunately... I don't even know if I would call it political, more just forcing in bits of virtue signaling where it doesn't make sense.


Not here to argue, as I mostly agree, but just some nitpicking: when you have a constant, systematic, one-sided discourse, it's more than "just forcing in bits of virtue signaling" and even more than politics. It's pure ideology.

Edit: typo


Fair enough. I tend to be pretty picky about what I watch, so it doesn't feel so constant. That said, it's pretty obviously one-sided and finds ways to creep in here and there. It's certainly not unique to Netflix, though; it feels rather endemic to the entire industry.


> One of the issues is how much Netflix content just reflect whatever crap is a fad in California politics. I am not even from US, I don't want to hear about Californian political themes in the media I consume

What are some examples of this? Of all the issues Ive seen people have with Netflix, this is definitely a very new one.


There are a host of "woke" modern themes that find their way into western media in general. I sometimes wonder if the next star trek crew will be all David bowies and Barclays.

Hard to say Netflix is worse for this than various other Hollywood studios tho.

(to clarify in anticipation of downvotes, I welcome and enjoy some of the media about trans people etc, I am just answering your question, to elucidate this issue with the services' content that some people have. Definitely not a rare or new issue, I've been listening to people go on about it for years)


> There are a host of "woke" modern themes that find their way into western media in general

I dont see how stuff like this is complained about though, especially since most shows dont actually have more than token representation anyway. Whats the actual complaint here? That the average cast of a show is slightly different now than it was 10 years ago? People complain about "woke" themes but I hardly see concrete examples of them, and explanations as to whats wrong or what should be done differently.

And fwiw I think using Star Trek as an example is funny* since the show has historically been based on diverse groups of people.


I don't think it's the identity of the characters per se, it's more subtle than that, a kind of fetishisation of identity?

In Star Fleet the fact that someone happens to be a polygamous tri-sexual trans-species cat person should pass mostly without comment.

But modern sensibilities set up a dynamic where nobody is just a character.

Everyone is seen as representing "their team" - a race, or a class. This is a big responsibility, so everyone has to take themselves super seriously.

I think we're in a transitional phase for TV. Representation is a priority (great!) but the industry isn't fully confident with it yet. It's OK, TV has always been about the zeitgeist as much as the show.

Perhaps what we need is also more diversity among writers/producers. Right now it feels like a lot of writers are handling their "diverse" characters with kid gloves which can leave them a bit wooden and gets in the way of telling a good story.


> I think we're in a transitional phase for TV. Representation is a priority (great!) but the industry isn't fully confident with it yet. It's OK, TV has always been about the zeitgeist as much as the show.

> Perhaps what we need is also more diversity among writers/producers. Right now it feels like a lot of writers are handling their "diverse" characters with kid gloves which can leave them a bit wooden and gets in the way of telling a good story.

This is the answer. Seems like just a bit more time is needed for things to find less wooden footing.


Wow. Fascinating that you're unable to see them, but I guess I also read about people in Russia not seeing anything amiss about their media so I shouldn't be shocked.

Here's a handful of "woke" things I've grown tired of, more because they're such overused cliches or unrealistic things that break my suspension of disbelief than any opposition (I'm a far left, pro-LGBT+, progressive atheist feminist to disclose any biases), but in no particular order:

Every show having an "overcoming sexism" or "overcoming racism" narrative, where inevitably a white guy is the evil villain who underestimates, mistreats or is unfair to the protagonist and then the female/poc character gets to overcome this systemic injustice. (Sometimes this is central to the whole show, sometimes it feels like just an obligatory scene in an otherwise unrelated story).

Casts that have an unrealistic "forced diversity" element. You might call it token representation, but if the scene is a random office in middle-America and the 6 characters are 6 different races or when each character is designed specifically to be the inverse of a stereotype, it makes the show feel less authentic and genuine. Related is changing characters from existing stories to be more diverse according to contemporary American notions of identity.

Men being depicted as so absurdly rapey, or the general overuse of sexual harassment or threatening behavior.

Exaggerations of nepotism, sexism and racism in most shows.

As to your question of "whats wrong or what should be done differently", I think there are a few challenges. For instance, we all sort of accept action movies being full of guns and explosions while recognizing they're not at all representative of reality. However, there does seem to be some evidence that these movies contribute to European misunderstanding and to greatly overestimating the likelihood of encountering gun violence in America. The current set of media might bias a generation of young women to fear there's a rapist in every room and that every career disappointment is a manifestation of systemic discrimination.

An easy parallel might be looking at the over-use of depictions of Black men as gang members, drug dealers or criminals in 1980s and 1990s Hollywood. Any one particular movie scene or tv show might be fine on its own with such a character, but when similar characters and scenes show up in dozens of unrelated titles and as a disproportionate representation it becomes problematic. It's different groups now being the recurring villains, recurring fools, etc, but it's the same fundamental issue.


Very good comment. When things become forced and systematic, they lose their genuine intent and just feel (because they are) hypocritical and just a marketing tool.


Are you genuinely surprised (a lot of) people complain about this? No idea where you live but at this point it became memes material.

No one complains about the fresh prince of Bel-Air having a 100% black cast. But I doubt you wouldn't mind if a reboot was made with 80% white cast because it's a show "from 15 years ago".

What many people hate is the lack of creativity and the "corruption" of already-existing shows for ideologic views.


Star treks' historical diversity only applies to nationalities and is a reference to us solving our petty skin/flag squabbles long ago.


The thing that turned me off discovery was, why even go to the stars? You could have just stayed at home and been miserable there, instead.

I would however, pay good money for "Star Trek: all David Bowie edition" where an entire starship is crewed with David Bowie clones.


Haha I know eh.

Thanks for the bigman comeback earlier too, you phrased it better than I could have.


I would say American media has always been California centric. The majority of screenwriters lived in CA near the majority of media studios and produced the majority of our media.

The complaints about CA politics in Netflix are new complaints to me.


I've enjoyed occasionally seeing places I recognize, either in terms of aesthetic or in that I've actually been there, with Georgia's film and TV scene developing.


It's not really new. Conservatives tend to have a 1:1 mapping of liberal issue with "california issue", although it is an odd way of putting it.


Not OP, but this may be an extrapolation from "Don't Look Up"


Don't Look Up is obviously (intentionally heavy handed) political satire, but it's not at all particular to California politics.


not the OP and not so much politics but I found it decidedly weird how Sex Education which is set in a fictional town in the UK, is filmed in Wales, with an almost exclusively British cast is completely Americanized.

As far as politics goes Bridgerton is probably the best example which has American racial and gender politics bolted onto some weird fairy tale version of the British aristocracy in the worst way imaginable.

edit: another thing I just remembered, Netflix removed what is probably the best episode of Community from its catalog because of a blackface character, despite the fact that the character is explicitly used to address racism in the fantasy genre.


Really? I thought bridgerton was extremely problematic. I mean, from a feminist perspective it shows women's dependency on marriage and it barely has a critique for it.

The one character that outright critiques the practice still ends up revolving around a guy that "she chose" but is lower class. Why did she need a man?

Not only that but the show is all about 15yos marrying 20 something dudes? Just creepy.

On the other hand I thought sex education was great with how it deals with social issues surrounding sex. I do enjoy the aesthetics of it, never really found it weird but its definitely an "american 80s" aesthetic, though that is also how young people are dressing, at least over here.

Personally I dont see an issue with exploring social questions at all, but it does most of the time a superficial analysis just ends up ignoring too many things to be of any use and ends up simply as a performative action. I think this is the case for Bridgerton but not Sex Education.

In any case, what angers me with Netflix is the way they cancel shows without giving them a way to wrap up their stories in a final season. Sure, if you have 2 seasons and you were planning 5 it might be difficult to wrap everything on a third season but it is surely better than simply leaving the story open.


Okay, so first, you are conflating America with California...

Yes, like most American content sources, the content tends to be flavored by American culture.

> As far as politics goes Bridgerton is probably the best example which has American racial and gender politics bolted onto some weird fairy tale version of the British aristocracy in the worst way imaginable.

I would say it has fairy tale versions of racial and gender politics (which are not, insofar as they connect with real world versions, any less connected to British than American ones) bolted on to a weird fairy tale version of early 19th Century British aristocracy; it's very American, but less in the politics than the style of romance story for which the setting provides the context.


> As far as politics goes Bridgerton is probably the best example which has American racial and gender politics bolted onto

I mean how do you say any of this is American politics and not British/Western European politics? Racial inequality, women's rights, and class structures are not just American things.


The obsession with them and the ideology that drives them clearly are.


The problem isn't the questions, it's the answers. With Bridgerton you get the impression the aristocracy wasn't so bad as long as half of it is black. There's no classism or anything structural in that show. It's escapist alt-history that even romanticizes what it depicts. In that sense it's no different than Hamilton, where you had, ironically enough, an almost all POC cast represent not a single POC character. superficial diversity in place of actually talking about race, class, and so on.


> With Bridgerton you get the impression the aristocracy wasn't so bad as long as half of it is black

I think your mistake is reading Bridgerton as utopian political fiction and not a romance film with a fantasy drawn around combining exaggeration of a few specific facts of Regency England with a couple things drawn from modern Western race and gender politics is the context and engine of conflict.

> There's no classism or anything structural in that show

There is fairly intense classism in the show.

> In that sense it's no different than Hamilton, where you had, ironically enough, an almost all POC cast represent not a single POC character.

Minor nitpick: Hamilton, in fact, has a single explicitly-named on-stage POC character, though the part has no lines.

Major nitpick: you...did not understand a few layers of metaphor in Hamilton.

> superficial diversity in place of actually talking about race, class, and so on.

Hamilton rather directly talks about race, class, “and so on”.


> Bridgerton is probably the best example which has American racial and gender politics

You write this as if the same questions of racial and gender politics are not also significant in other parts of (a) the anglosphere (b) western europe.


> how much Netflix content just reflect whatever crap is a fad in California politics

You’re right, it’s infuriating but not limited to Netflix unfortunately. Look at Picard… a total cringe-fest. That said, I did randomly watch an Israeli TV series about the lives of ultra-orthodox Jews, Shtisel, and despite the lack of CGI and all that, I found it an interesting watch.


> whatever crap is a fad in California politics

...what?


Yeah, at this point in even became a meme: terrible Netflix agenda-driven adaptations...


> They need charismatic movies and set free artists with risky content. Not 20 episodes of Ozark.

Ozark seems like a directly bad comparison because it appears to be one of their last big content swings/risks (and is ending soon) from the first few years where they seemed to heavily curate their projects and who the creators were and who the talent were and give them enough seasons to tell the full story they were hoping to tell. (Ozark is one of the very few and seems one of the last to get its full number of seasons expectation and will get to tell a "complete story".) Ozark is not quite as successful as benchmarks like Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul, but it fills a niche and gambles on good talent pulling off a tough tightrope of "bad people doing bad things but you root for them in spite of themselves", which is still a very risky niche even with big "Prestige TV" breakouts such as the aforementioned benchmarks. (I've only finished the first season of Ozark because I have a hard time watching this "cringe" genre, but I recall it was very well made and I enjoyed it for what it was.)

Since Netflix ordered Ozark they have indeed seemed to move their Originals content much more to a algorithm-generated "shotgun" approach: building lots of single season shows (or maybe if first weekend and only first weekend views are high enough, or so it seems, they will get two seasons) and seemingly designed overall to take fewer risks (on creators, on talent, on genres). There's definitely a lot extremely generic or at least extremely low risk programming coming out of Netflix's shotgun at this point. Some of it has still been entertaining.

But calling Ozark out for being a product of the shotgun and "low risk" seems backwards when it seems so much more emblematic of riskier Netflix Originals projects than current ones.


Agree Ozark is good quality. The comment was on the predicable pattern of it, high quality but predictable.


Netflix has successfully recreated the experience of going to the local video store in the late 80s/early 90s; So many videos of unknown quality, and I am unable to choose.


Your video store lacked a recommendation engine. IME, it completely transforms the discovery process. Look at a list of random content without a recommendation engine, and you may realize how accustomed you may have become - for me, 99% is laughably, depressingly, completely uninteresting.


The video store had a recommendation "engine". It had people that worked there! Often times they had a employee's pick section. You could talk to an employee and they could help you out. After getting to know you, they would reserve new movies for you! I know it's crazy to think that a human being can compete with an algorithm. This was the video store experience you have missed and were unaware of. Thinking that "your way" is the only way is always wrong.


> I know it's crazy to think that a human being can compete with an algorithm.

Yes, it is crazy, in part because "the algorithm" (how i hate this term) really derives most of its power because it represents huge numbers of human beings making choices. The store clerk may have been an excellent recommendation engine for you, or they may not have been, but they almost certainly were not equally good (or bad) for most people.


An algorithm in a Tower Records store in '99 would tell everyone to buy Britney Spears and Limp Bizkit records. It would not suggest say Spacemen 3 or The Magnetic Fields because they don't carry them in their inventory. It will however suggest a poor alternative that meets some 'nearest-neighbours' cluster threshold in a statistical model.

Independent video stores are not so tightly tied to one distributor, so yes, a clerk that takes a few moments to hear what movies you like could point you in the right direction....even if that direction is to go a different store entirely.


Totally agree! Yet I feel like netflix is continuously gutting its recommendation ability.

-First the intersectional genres became harder to find, or create.

-Then the reviews were wiped.

-Then you see the same content you actually watched as recommended and often


Netflix had a good recommendation algorithm for their DVD catalog. Now they hide the fact that they mostly have mediocre 2-star content by making their system more opaque.


I feel there are plenty of good shows on Netflix.

But the way their UI/UX is built, it is not conducive for exploring. They've taken so much control away from me. I have to rely on what IT thinks I should be watching.

I know one of the reasons why they do this is because they don't want people to easily see and track of how small their content library is, and how frequently content disappears.


> I feel there are plenty of good shows on Netflix.

Not sure who else feels this but for me:

There's a lack of "regular tv shows". I knew it was over when they got rid of The Office, that was pretty much the only reason I kept Netflix.

HBO Max, Disney Plus, Prime Video, AMC (temporary) all have the shows we regularly go to. Sopranos/Frasier, Simpsons/Star Wars/National Geography, The Office/Friends, Breaking Bad/Better call Saul (just need to see how it all ends).

Heck even Prime managed to bag many of the shows that used to be on Netflix. Aliens, Tora Tora Tora and even Independence Day is on Disney Plus. Lot of movies outside Netflix.

Netflix just has these one off good shows that frankly doesn't attract across the demographic. Sure there's something for everyone but its lacking those "must have and easy to access binge reruns".


> But the way their UI/UX is built, it is not conducive for exploring. They've taken so much control away from me. I have to rely on what IT thinks I should be watching

I don’t think they want you exploring too much. It would expose how little content they actually have.


I rarely find content on Netflix through their interface.

I usually google for "best movies netflix april 2022" (or shows) and look through rotten tomatoes, metacritic, etc to see if that is something worth checking out.


Looks like I'm not alone on this. The content is total crap these days. Most studios are moving their content to their own streaming service (see Marvel) and that's hurting Netflix even further. They also focus way too much on "binge" and kill quality shows that are not optimized for binge. I can binge only on shows that either have mastered the cliff-hangers or shows that run in the background. I don't and can't binge quality shows. So the way Netflix is optimizing for they'll end up with 24 style shows. I can't justify paying for it.

(It doesn't help that they drag their customers into their fight with Apple by not integrating with Apple TV. Given their quality now I don't open Netflix by default and now that they don't integrate my global queue I legit forget to resume a show.)


I liked when they were a video supermarket, combined with their star system that had personalized recommendations based on what other people with your taste would recommend. Saw some wacky shit on my Netflix DVD plan.


>Saw some wacky shit on my Netflix DVD plan

Killer Clowns From Outer Space


This is so true. We have Disney+, HBO, Apple, Netflix, and Hulu.

Of those, the very clear ordering in terms of taste and vision is: Disney+, Apple, HBO >>>> HBO, Hulu.

Apple is the most amazing one to me - they came from nowhere, and are bringing original content like CODA or Severance after only a few years.

Maybe it's because Apple - the largest (tech) company on Earth still has at its core the idea of beautiful things designed by humans, and Netflix never has.


Apple has been good at quality, but the quantity's still really low. I keep meaning to cancel because I go months without watching anything on it. Unfortunately for them, it'd be an excellent one to start subbing just one month a year.


While it has less quantity, Apple TV+ is also much cheaper at $5 per month.


And a lot of people got 1 year for free, more if you are a student


It's been only 3 months free for a while now.


Apple is throwing around insane money for top talent and is trying to hit it out of the ballpark on each swing.

Netflix used to be that way too. But now it is trying to play moneyball.


Apple is less rushed than most others. They don't need to win by yesterday. I think the same could be said for Amazon. They're not killing it like apple, but they are slowly building up a fairly decent collection of originals that doesn't feel as rushed as Netflix.


Netflix needs to get on the Garth Ennis train and make a Crossed series, maybe Pride and Joy mini series


Nitpick but CODA barely counts as original content. It's an American remake of a very popular French movie "La Famille Bélier". The producers were even involved with both film.


Apple didn't even make CODA, they just bought its distribution rights after it won Sundance. Honestly, CODA did nothing for me. Derivative award season bait, felt like I was watching a fancy after school special.


Just finished watching Severance and it was mind-blowing and very thought provoking (especially the season finale). I don't know why not more people are talking about it the way they did about Squid Game.


Apple TV doesn't have the same subscriber base. I watch Pachinko, which I think is a critically acclaimed show, but no one is talking about it.


How is HBO>>>HBO?


You almost got the issue. The main problem with Netflix is they are no longer a video Supermarket, but instead a Hollywood Studio.

Netflix was great for about 10 years when it's only competition was Hulu. Now everyone has yanked their content off of Netflix and put it on their own streaming platforms.

When Netflix had ALL of the streaming videos, it was amazing, it was the Video Supermarket as you say.

Now Netflix makes it's own content and I hear nothing but bad things from other people and my own experiences of their programming is that it's substandard to what they could get from other studios.

They need to go back to being the #1 streaming content provider, not a movie studio.


> Now everyone has yanked their content off of Netflix and put it on their own streaming platforms.

Given that, how is this:

> They need to go back to being the #1 streaming content provider,

even possible?


>> They need charismatic movies and set free artists with risky content. Not 20 episodes of Ozark.

I think the exact opposite: Ozark was great, because it is basically a rip-off of Breaking Bad, which was made by a mainstream TV network (which has a lot of experience and research about what kind of stories people do like). The "risky content" from artists that were "set free" is a recipe for disaster: you spend a lot of money to produce a show that only appeals to some exotic audiences. Netflix has some examples of that. Only once in a while you'll hit the jackpot and have this risky content make you a lot of money.


The copycat model means watching Netflix is like walking into a Trader Joe's and finding their uncanny valley own-brand stuff.

Netflix are going to end up with lots of content but very little original IP that people are seeking out.


It's also hard to create the second generation of copycats since you are in copy of a copy territory. I'll watch Ozark since its Joe brand Breaking Bad. But a copy of Ozark will probably suck.


Breaking Bad was released by AMC, which was mostly airing theatrical movies. They had little original programming prior to Breaking Bad (and Mad Men one year before). Additionally, HBO and TNT, two TV networks with more experience than AMC, turned down the idea.


Ozark is good, I love that show. But I do agree, in general, that the quality of their 95% of the content is crap and it is far below the level of Disney+ and even HBO.


I have maybe subscribed to Netflix for 2 months in the past 1.5 years. Their content is abysmal. I don't have numbers, but I wouldn't be surprised if HBO Max is eating their lunch as their catalog is top notch.


I have too many streaming services ("cancel Netflix" is on my todo, plus Amazon Prime) and HBO and Hulu both crush Netflix. They're the two no-brainer general-purpose streaming services (Disney+ might compete for one of those slots, though, if you have kids—in which case you could end up with both your top-two mustn't-cancel streaming services being owned by Disney).


Disney, Peacock and Paramount want a single spot to unify their content offering. HBOMax also kinda wants that, but also has enough HBO left to target "prestige" offerings. Apple+ is being Apple and directly targeting "prestige".

Netflix isn't doing any of that. It isn't going for the best and brightest it's going for the best and brightest, and "murder shows", and crappy reality shows, and cooking shows, and, and, and: https://www.vox.com/2015/4/16/11561544/netflix-doesnt-want-t...


Agree and that crap is _popular_ at least here in America. I can’t get people to watch Severance cause they gotta watch Is this cake.


Yes, they have a quality problem. Part of the problem with the subscriber model is that these companies have to produce content to justify the monthly fees. This has led to overly long shows and movies. Stories that could have been told in 1.5 hours are now taking much much longer than needed.

A perfect example is Scorsese's "The Irishman." That movie could have easily been 2-2.5 hours yet it came in at over 3 hours. It was a detriment to the movie rather than a positive. Yet, I bet Netflix loved the extra content even though it was not a good thing for the movie.


I was actually more uncomfortable with The Batman’s 3-hour runtime than I was The Irishman’s.


You mean you don't want to watch Love is Blind, Love is Blind Japan, Love is Blind Brazil, Love is Blind Season 2, Queer Eye seasons 1-5, Queer Eye Germany...??


>They need to think like a Hollywood studio, and less like a Video Supermarket.

Speaking as someone who knows Netflix producers, they very much do...


So ... have they hit a dry spell, or is the problem systemic?

Speaking as someone with the misfortune to still be holding the stock, down 25% after hours, right now.


Do what?


Think like a Hollywood studio


Can you give some examples of what type of movies to produce?

And what’s wrong with Ozark? I thought it’s one of the better shows on Netflix.

In my view they need more creative risky shows like the OA, Altered Carbon, Love, Death & Robots, Dark Mirror and more old HBO style content… quality and like you said not this mass produced stuff trying to satisfy the lowest common denominator, because then you will satisfy no one.

Maybe they have good shows I just don't know about. Their recommendation system seems to be crap. I browse for 20 minutes and then give up frustrated, because I can't find anything interesting.

I was just looking to downgrade my plan. Basic only gives you SD quality, which I'm OK with but only allowing one device at a time is taking the p!ss.


> The main problem of Netflix, more than competition, is quality of content.

How fair is that though? Who's to say that we wouldn't find the quality of content of CBS/NBC/ABC to be equally as bad if we had it comprehensively laid out in a nicely engineered UI like in Netflix? In the previous model, most of us didn't watch TV for huge chunks of the day and simply weren't around to see if the television was good during those chunks.


Yeah, but Netflix movies really suck and at least in Brazil and other countries, their library is getting increasingly smaller, which causes the crappy originals to dominate. I mean, last month they were featuring a movie about f-cking hailstorms as the main attraction!


I think there's some truth to this, but there are two categories where Netflix's content is actually much better than basically all its competitors: reality TV and programming outside the US (which there is a huge amount of). I agree though that Netflix's non-reality TV programming in the US is their weakest area.


are netflix prices the same around the world?


This. Netflix content has never been exceptional. I can find much better documentaries for free on YouTube.


What is wrong with Ozark?


Anyone have experience commenting on how total compensation and employee retention is handled when a company's stock becomes volatile? $NFLX has gone from ~679 > ~260 in the span of about 6mo. Anyone who got their RSUs last fall has seen their TC vastly cut, but Netflix is known for paying very well.

My limited experience working at a public company has seen tons of employee turnover, especially in this extremely hot job market. I'm considering shopping around as well, but my TC has been going up through promotions, which relieve the pressure to look around a bit.


Netflix is an outlier because they pay mostly cash. But I'm currently at a different company that had a huge stock dip, and during the perf review they gave top performers a huge stock refresher (enough to get them back to their original TC, sometimes more). And well, if you didn't get one, that's like the company saying you're worth X% less now.


Netflix employee sharing public info. Comp is set in cash and you can take as much as you want (down to minimum wage) in 10-year options. They're granted monthly, have the strike price set monthly and vest instantly. This won't cause a drop in comp for people going forward, but is a hit for anyone holding options.

https://jobs.netflix.com/work-life-philosophy (See Finances section)

https://graystoneadvisor.com/blog/netflix-supplemental-stock...


My understanding is Netflix does not pay in RSU's, they pay all cash. This has been one of their main draws.

To answer your question, using Meta as an example, nothing happens. The employees are exposed to both the upside and the downside of RSUs.


Actually some companies whose stock drops significantly have felt the need to issue more stock to employees to retain them. Doordash is a notable recent example.


Netflix pays cash. I believe employees can buy options at a discount, but RSUs are not part of their comp.

If Netflix is like most companies, they’ll start reining in spending. In fact, that’s exactly what was reported a couple weeks ago: https://www.protocol.com/bulletins/netflix-executives-hiring...


Netflix doesn't generally do RSUs for engineers (they might for execs, I don't know), so total comp for engineers is not impacted.


If anyone from Netflix is lurking, I have a wild suggestion:

If I’ve recently watched a movie or series, don’t relentlessly show it in the “recommended-content-looping-screensaver”. I know it exists, because I’ve watched it. And you know that too.


I'd like a quick and easy way to get back to "my list" and "continue watching" without having to page through the feed. Neither ever seem to be in a consistent place. (I have the same gripe with Amazon Prime).


Amazon Prime does this as well. Wonder if the database server expense figures into the decision?


I call it the “kids filter” as if your kid just watched Frozen they likely want to watch it again.


Bingo. I use it all the time for my kids in Disney+.


Part of me wonders if it isn’t ML gone wrong based on that very occurrence. Kids watching something dozens of times making that a valid recommendation in the models view. Sadly I don’t want to watch a late 90s action movie more than once, especially not 3 days after I’ve seen it for the first time.


I wonder if Netflix would consider not charging you when you don't use their service. Then there would be no reason to cancel and your subscription payments could just resume whenever Netflix has content you're interested in. Netflix then would have a more natural incentive to focus on quality content as well.


Really interesting idea. If I was analyst at Netflix, I really would like to explore that.


Charging you when you’re not using it is literally what makes the business model work. There’s a certain level of average utilization that, if achieved, would sink the business.


That is really why every company has a subscription service: there are so many sleeping subscriptions, and no set moment to evaluate if a new purchase is worth it



That is talking about after 2 years. That is very different from what I pictured GP proposting. I thought they were proposing something like "any month where you don't play a single video you aren't charged" or a similar scheme.

The upside is that you always have your account "active" and ready to go. There is no friction to playing a video, browsing the catalog. Just hitting play and you are a paying customer again. If you are going to be charged for two years there is definitely incentive to cancel your account, adding friction to any decision to resubscribe.

The downside is likely that it adds mental friction to that first video every month. It takes it from "well I already paid" to "is it worth it? I'm going on vacation for 2 weeks and won't watch much, maybe I'll skip this month" which negates the mental relief that "unlimited" monthly subscriptions rely on.


Not sure how that incentivizes them to produce higher quality content? The existing loop today is still for users to resume their billed subscription when something of interest is released.


I'm assuming that practically nobody actually cancels their Netflix whenever there's nothing to watch and resubscribes when there is and so they probably consider existing subscribers money-in-the-bank and mostly try to acquire new subscribers. If they were instead trying to get their existing subscribers to use the service every month then they should focus on content (not necessarily Netflix original content, maybe just buy a blockbuster now and then, w/e).


Let’s review. Average quality has taken an absolute nose dive. There is so much garbage it’s hard to find new/interesting things. They keep raising their prices. They charge a fortune extra for 4K when the other big streamers don’t (they have more content, but see #1). They cancel stuff so fast it’s not worth getting into. They refuse to integrate with Apple TV’s “Watch Now” unlike everyone else.

They act like they’re “Netflix, king of the hill, above all others and different from wannabes”. Like HBO vs basic cable. Like it’s 2014 still and all the other services are jokes.

It’s not. The others have caught up in many ways, or surpassed. With MUCH better prices. And the Netflix crap ratio has gotten out of control.

One huge hit every few years won’t save you. Apple TV+ is firing on all cylinders. HBO Max, Hulu, and Disney all nice have originals and great back catalogs for nostalgia.

If I could find Apple TV+ quality on Netflix I’d be happier. But I can’t. And I pay 4x as much for that privilege thanks to 4K.


> They cancel stuff so fast it’s not worth getting into.

This is honestly the key for me. From Vulture's piece on the cancellation of Babysitters' Club (a good series, by the way):

"As far as I can tell, everything Netflix does is based on how it’s driving subscriber growth.

The truth is that when your show does very well in North America, as ours does, as far as Netflix is concerned, pretty much everybody who’s going to have Netflix [in North America] has it. They’re looking to drive subscriber growth in other parts of the world where this IP doesn’t have much recognition."

https://www.vulture.com/article/why-the-baby-sitters-club-wa...

If you're a subscriber, fuck you. Give us your money, shut the fuck up, you aren't getting any series you care about. You don't count for anything.

Hence most series get one or two seasons, get cut of with no warning - a shitty way to treat the people working on them - leaving unfinished stories for viewers, because being a subscriber makes your opinion and interests worthless.


This is the HUGE paradox problem with subscriber systems, once you're a subscriber they have NO reason to cater to you beyond trying to prevent you from cancelling.

Whereas if you are buying individual pieces (for example purchasing episodes from Prime or buying comic books, etc) they need to keep you hooked.


Apple TV + is so underrated and under-talked about it's not even funny.

Netflix still produces some interesting shows and I especially like the anime that they are bringing on like Thermae Roma (sp?) that was recently released. I don't think I'd ever see that on Apple TV + which is a big disappointment.

But this is why I also don't invest in Netflix. Missed the boat on growing to get here.


The Apple TV+ catalog is not very deep, but the quality of what they have is really good. It was easier to find something really good to watch on Apple TV+ than Netflix, and I think that's just a consequence of them having far fewer shows, but generally very high quality shows. Their catalog is so small that I'm out of things to watch.

I never would have signed up for them if a subscription hadn't come free with my MBP. Now that the machine is a year old, the free subscription has expired, I cancelled it. I'll pick it up again in a few months when there are new seasons of what I watch.


The problem with Apple TV+ is that you need an apple device or an Android/Google TV that is granted permission to install the Apple TV+ app by Apple. My Android TV, despite being able to run apps for Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, etc., cannot run the Apple TV+ app because... reasons.


Very untrue. My Samsung Smart TV from 2017 has an Apple TV+ app available. My parent's Xfinity cable box has it as well. It's not as available as Netflix (I remember watching on my Nintendo DS) but it's certainly not limited to Android devices.

You can browse their list of supported devices from LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Amazon, Playstation, Xbox, Sony, Vizio, Roku. And then any devices without the app that support AirPlay 2 will work from your iPhone or iPad.

https://www.apple.com/apple-tv-app/devices/


My Roku tv has apple tv+ on it? Lots of TVs are Roku based these days.


> Apple TV + is so underrated and under-talked about it's not even funny.

Is Apple TV different in the US than Canada? ‘Cause either I am using it completely incorrectly or they don’t have very much content up here…


They only have original content. There isn’t too much, but the average quality is fantastic.

They’re doing the HBO thing but are only 2 years old.


Foundation, Severance, Ted Lasso are some of the most acclaimed shows in recent years.And they secured the Best Picture Oscar in their second year, which Netflix still hasn't managed.


Same question from me. I have been meaning to cancel it because the content is just lacking. What am I missing?


Don't think you're "missing" anything.

I signed up for awhile and watched stuff like Ted Lasso and Foundation and it was good and then I cancelled.

I'll probably sign up again next winter to watch whatever new content they've got (and rewatch Lasso) and then probably cancel again.

It isn't a marriage, you can bounce in and out of it. Play the field.


I mean it takes a while to build up a content library right?


Anime is the only reason I haven't cancelled Netflix yet. They added several Gundam shows out of nowhere. then they added Cowboy Bebop. Several other notable titles in there as well. The collection is still incomplete though, and as great as these shows are I'm getting tired of rewatching them.

It's not their IP so one has to wonder how long it's gonna take before we see the obnoxious "last day to watch on Netflix" message.


My issue with Anime on Netflix is that the subs are often trash (non-issue if you watch dubbed versions of shows, the Cowboy Bebop dub is excellent for instance). It's sometimes sad that even though the show is on Netflix, I end up using fan-subbed versions instead since a lot more care gets put into such releases


Except Unicorn (which I believe to have been there before massive addition), I think the reason Gundam saw an addition is because they signed a distribution deal for Hathaway's Flash, and since HF refers to many events in original UC continuity, people would wanted some background on characters appearing in it (notably Hathaway, and maybe Quess, Amuro & Char).

I didn't subscribe to Netflix so I don't sure what Anime are being offered right now. With the recent deals (HF, Zero's Tea Time), I would have missed/skipped them, even though they are the series I liked. Maybe I will subscribe it once all episodes are shown so that I can watch it and forget it, but I won't subscribe to it long term.


They really should negotiate a “pay to stay” or something where customers can “buy the episodes” like on Prime, and continue to have access to them.


> Apple TV + is so underrated and under-talked about it's not even funny.

I think it's mostly because they compete with HBO and IMHO aren't really there just yet, but definitely getting there.


I feel like HBO's quality trajectory is downward ever since ATT bought it and fired all the old HBO bosses that built their unique library. And now the HBO bosses are Discovery channel bosses, known for shitty "reality" shows about obese people and people with 10 kids or some other nonsense.

Hopefully Apple TV+ can re-create some of that magic.


HBO Max makes it easy to see which are the "HBO" shows, and which are the "Max" shows. Ignore the max ones and the quality is still there.


Station Eleven was great


As was Hacks, which really could have been a proper HBO show instead of a Max Original.


Give Euphoria a try


I seriously don't understand their strategy. While all their partners are pulling out to put their content on their own streaming services (and have been for years), Netflix is cancelling good shows left and right. It's like they never learned from Apple's long-tail App Store strategy. You have to cover even niche interests if you want to maintain a dominant position in a market like this. If there is ever a situation where somebody wants to watch something like x and you don't have anything good to cater to that interest, you've failed and you're voluntarily giving up marketshare. Maybe not now, but down the road as your competitors catch up.


I can’t remember the last time I watched something good on Netflix. Most of their “good” shows are good for a season or two, then seem to stall out. With the recent price increase, I dropped from the HD plan to the SD plan, as my wife mostly watches on her phone. So far so good.


There are some I like that are still on. But they’re getting cancelled because they’ve run long enough that either the creator is done or they’re not drawing necessary numbers and don’t get renewed.

But nothing new is replacing them. So over time Netflix is becoming irrelevant to me.

I’ve subscribed since early 2000s pretty much non-stop. But I’m about to pull the trigger.


Ozark, Bridgerton, Outlander, Peaky Blinders, Inventing Anna, You, Outer Banks, Riverdale, The Crown, Money Heist, Emily in Paris...


I think Netflix has honed in on the "have something for everyone" strategy. Just about everyone has a show they like on Netflix, but for most people it seems like there's only a few. On your list I only liked Ozark and Money heist, plus Bojack. Meanwhile HBO creates a great show every year, and actually renews their stuff. Disney is a necessity for kids. Apple TV+ costs 25% as much. It really feels like netflix has diversified far too much, and now people are realizing that there are cheaper options that just make the stuff they like.


Squid Game and Tiger King (which has a second season right now BTW) were huge. Stranger Things was huge and keeps promising (but not delivering) a fourth season.


Or the show might be good and they cancel it after the first season...


I think you completely misunderstand what they're trying to do. What you read as a proliferation of crap is really trying to find a 'big hit' in lots of small niches. Some niche hits will become crossover success stories, and draw people into new genres, etc. But others will quietly be classics in their small niche, often for being the first serious effort.

Of course, Sturgeon's Law is still in effect, so 90% of everything will be crap. But producing non-crap for smaller audiences builds loyalty, which is worth something in the subscriber model.

Or at least that's my read of their strategy. There's a real discovery problem that comes with it that I don't think they've solved. But overall it's an interesting approach.


No, I understand that. It’s the “throw it all the wall and see what sticks” approach. Network TV does it every year.

But Netflix isn’t trying as much stuff as network TV. They seem to be trying as much as all of cable.

The problem is at a certain point you ruin all discovery. There is no way to find something new through serendipity. It’s gone next week from the promotion so they can promote 8 other new shows.

But that means even if you find it and it’s good it won’t get and audience and will be cancelled. Unless it gets big from something outside Netflix (social media with Squid Game or some other popular but not mega hit shows) it’s a goner.

So… why even look at all that stuff? It’s not worth it.


My biggest gripe isn’t that they produce a ton of content that largely doesn’t interest me - it’s that they prioritize it in the interface and force me to wade through all of it in order to get to what I want.


They also cancel stuff so regularly, it's hard to justify investing time into a show even if you like it because half the time it's getting canceled after a season or two with a shitty cliffhanger as the last episode.

When I look back at a lot of my favorite TV shows, many of them took a while to hit their stride. Even universally liked TV shows will have rough starts where people will go, "Yea, you can just sorta skip season 1."

Over time you just get used to thinking, "oh, this is a Netflix original on Season 1, I'll wait and see if they make more content" which probably fucks with the viewer numbers and they cancel it.


There was also this element of "We have all this data so we have an unfair advantage over all these studios with pitch meetings." And it seems as if they're just another studio who isn't really in a better position to predict breakout hits than anyone else.

Of course, they also license content but that's just about spreading around the dollars from a bag of money.

Personally, I find Netflix to be worth the subscription at the moment. But there are a ton of other streaming services and I'm not going to subscribe to them all. And, while I have gone in and out of Netflix' DVD service, the back catalog has sufficiently rotted I don't find it worthwhile.


We love Great British Bake Off, but the proliferation of horrible knockoffs on Netflix is embarrassing. Just to name one example. They feel crass and paint-by-numbers. I appreciate it when these services take a risk on something weird, but this seems like the exact opposite.


I think you've hit the nail on the head with their strategy. The problem is that when 80% of the stuff they create is content that there is no chance I'd enjoy I'd prefer to just go to a streaming service that focuses on the content I want to consume. Netflix's strategy works when they have a tech advantage, but now that there are other players in the game Netflix is too expensive for the amount of content they create for each person to enjoy. They only way to justify it is to split between like 5-10 people imo, which they are trying to crack down on.


Disclaimer: don't have Netflix and never plan to, but watched some of their productions, like everyone.

No, it's objectively crap. I hate romcoms or horror movies but I can distinguish between the quality that was put in making them (objective) vs how much they affect me (subjective). And even nostalgia aside, they produce only crap. Nearly all Netflix production is low quality.

As for the "many niches": well they all are sub-niches of the same small niche(s) because I don't see any show or movie that is not either targeted for teens, women or some (usually the same) ethnic group.


> They refuse to integrate with Apple TV’s “Watch Now”

They also refuse (or are unable) to add support on Apple TV for their interactive titles. I doubt anyone really cares, but it surprises me, and not in a good way, when I bump into it.


I got a year free of Apple TV+ with a new iphone, and I don't quite like it.

Used it to watch Ted Lasso and Foundation, and the browser experience was _terrible_ for discovery and had lots of bugs and counterintuitive things. And it was Windows+Chrome, so no excuse for having such a terrible interface.

Now I don't even care about it, and find it easier to just open netflix or youtube or something else rather than to waste time and brain cells dealing with their crap.


I’ve really enjoyed the number of shows they have. I’ve never tried the browser. I always watch on my TV, and they have apps for basically every smart TV


The UX is also pretty terrible. It takes like five button presses to resume what you were watching when it should take one, and the Android app infuriatingly maintains its own brightness slider so if you watch Netflix a lot you're constantly running into the screen being too dim or too bright.


A lot of people are complaining about the content, but what's so bad about the new content, relative to the other services?

My biggest gripe is that've cancelled a lot of things without seeing them through to completion. Prime and SyFy have done this a lot too.


> Average quality has taken an absolute nose dive

Sure, but that happened years ago.

I don't think most people care about 20$ vs 10$ for a monthly subscription. For people who do care, they just pirate for 0$.


You don't think people care about $120 a year? The average American can't afford a surprise $500 expense. Netflix is in most households in America. These aren't just white collar workers with money to spare. I think people are extremely price sensitive when it comes to entertainment.


I do think most people don't care about 120$ a year per household, yes.

The people who do care - they will pirate anyway. You don't even have to pirate - aren't there just websites that play pirated content like it's youtube?

Also, isn't youtube just free? Not having Netflix is not like not having a TV, it's more like not having the fancy cable channels package.


> I do think most people don't care about 120$ a year per household, yes.

I really, really think you're wrong. The median household income in $67,521. That's not even close to "$120 isn't a big deal" territory, and half of households have less. More than half of American households have netflix, poor-ish people aren't just pirating the content. Smart TVs and chromecast like devices make pirating more difficult. Many people don't want to mess around with casting stuff to their TV from their computer.


It’s possible people spending $120 a year on bad TV is why they can’t afford a surprise $500 expense …


You should think more about this before sharing it in public.


Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: