Netflix frets amid subscriber drop

Netflix investors are getting very worried. 

The streaming behemoth has seen its first drop in subscribers in a decade; instead of gaining 2.5 million new subscribers as planned in the first quarter of this year, it lost 200 000. 

A big part of that was thanks to the company’s withdrawal from Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine and related sanctions. This saw a loss of 700,000 subscribers in the first quarter, The Conversation reported, but growth elsewhere meant the net loss was the 200 000 figure that made headlines. The real issue is that it’s nowhere near the growth the company had planned for. 

Of course, there’s also much greater competition than when Netflix first captured eyeballs en masse. 

Canadian publication Screenrant points out that while Netflix, which has been on a winning streak for a very long time, is losing relevance and popularity as other sites like HBO Max, Hulu and Amazon Prime enter the scene. As Screenrant puts it, “Netflix really doesn’t have much more room to grow.” 

Netflix has responded to the slow and sustained losses by revisiting its model. That could be bad news for subscribers, as it may include an increase in prices, the introduction of ads and a crackdown on password sharing between family and friends to prevent piracy issues – basically what DStv did to us. The content itself is also being called into question. The quality can be subpar compared to other platforms, and Netflix has also come under fire for pulling shows off the site if they don’t quickly gain traction in time, which sucks for those of us who enjoy unpopular shows. Netflix fans take heart: this likely won’t be the end of the platform. Its dynamics may shift, though, and we’ll be watching…with a box of popcorn. 🍿

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