Netflix Comes Up Short

Netflix has made headlines recently. First, news broke that Netflix had ended its free trial month program, which had been designed to attract new subscribers. One might say it’s unnecessary for them to emphasize a promotional tool, since Deadline reports they have almost 200 million subscribers.

However, Netflix underperformed in Q3 and its stock has taken a hit because, although subscribers rose by 2.2 million during the quarter, they failed to meet estimates set by Wall Street, per Variety.

The latest news? Popular show Away has been canceled. Away was a show with high rankings and a large viewership. Netflix shows are frequently canceled within the first few seasons, leaving viewers frustrated by cliffhangers and lack of quality programming.

Although streaming services have enabled people to have greater control over their programming and reduce costs, the competition among streaming services is fierce. For the last two years, Hulu has offered a Black Friday special. New subscribers can obtain the service for $1.99 per month for an entire year. CBS continues to offer a free trial week to new subscribers, and its regular rate is $5.99 per month, while Disney+ is $6.99 per month.

Netflix plans range from $8.99 to $15.99 per month. Prime is $8.99 for video alone, or comes with an Amazon Prime subscription that includes free shipping.

Although Netflix has earned a reputation for canceling shows after a few seasons, Prime has not. Shows such as Bosch (6 seasons), Sneaky Pete (3 seasons), and The Man in the High Castle (4 seasons) all continued past the 2 season kill schedule Netflix commonly employs.

As one of the most expensive streaming platforms with a reputation for canceling popular shows, the question of how Netflix intends to attract new subscribers remains.

One a personal note, we rotate our streaming services. Hulu and Prime we have year-round. Our other viewing options vary from HBO to Netflix to Shudder, and Shudder is one of our most popular options. HBO routinely offers quality shows we enjoy, such as Barry and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. The CBS app is unreliable, in our experience, and their customer service hasn’t been good in the past when the app hasn’t worked properly, which is why that app isn’t in our regular rotation. We are discussing adding Disney+ to the rotation.

As the competition for viewers heats up, there will be casualties. AMCs decision to limit streaming to satellite and cable subscribers has removed it from our viewing routine. We abandoned The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead and haven’t looked back. Will Netflix be the next network we abandon? Possibly. I love a good series and had become frustrated by networks canceling shows without giving them a chance to build a viewership. Netflix’s trend of canceling shows within the first few seasons-even when they’re extremely popular series with high ratings-tells me subscriber satisfaction isn’t a high priority for them, and that I will receive more long-term satisfaction for my viewer hours and dollars elsewhere.

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