By Jui Bhatia, Managing Editor From when it first started in 1997, Netflix went through major changes, not all of which were popular with its subscribers. However, what made Netflix worth it was its commitment to viewers and on-demand streaming, allowing viewers to watch what they want, when they want. Netflix’s new moves to cut...
By Jui Bhatia, Managing Editor
From when it first started in 1997, Netflix went through major changes, not all of which were popular with its subscribers. However, what made Netflix worth it was its commitment to viewers and on-demand streaming, allowing viewers to watch what they want, when they want. Netflix’s new moves to cut down password sharing and cancel popular shows are testing its viewers’ limits.
In an update released on its website on Feb. 8, Netflix outlined its new policy for password sharing, stating that it will no longer allow users to share passwords across households. Users will have to set a primary location per account and must pay to add new profiles that are not in the primary location of the existing account. Any profiles not on the primary location will be locked out. Netflix rolled out these measures for Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain in February, with plans to release them in the U.S. later this year.
While this policy is an obvious drive to generate revenue by forcing individuals to buy their own subscriptions, these measures also make it tough for people to access their accounts if they are not in their primary location. If one does want to access their account away from home, they will have to sign in and prove that they are not sharing a password and even then, will only be given access temporarily, making it tough to watch shows whenever and wherever they want.
Netflix has also left viewers unsatisfied with its recent turn to canceling well-performing shows left and right. Popbuzz reports that just by January of this year, Netflix canceled seven popular shows. A lot of these cancellations seem to come out of left field for viewers, since these series seemed to be doing reasonably well, enjoying popularity in Netflix’s nationwide Top 10 and on social media platforms. According to Forbes’ Paul Tassi, however, Netflix measures success using a completion ratio, which is the number of people who actually completed a show as opposed to those who stopped soon after starting it.
Canceling a show based on this metric leads viewers feeling obligated to binge their favorite show to keep it from getting canceled. Aside from the negative effects of binging — sleep problems, behavioral changes and psychological issues — the problem also leads to a self-cancellation loop, according to Tassi. This is when viewers do not want to get emotionally invested in a show to see it canceled again. This leads to fewer people watching the show, putting it up for cancellation anyway.
However, Netflix does not have to care about the frustration its viewers are experiencing. In an interview with Bloomberg in January, co-CEOs Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters stated that Netflix is currently focused on trying to increase its numbers of subscribers. So, Netflix is focused on shows that attract new subscribers and not on its current ones. Additionally, in an age where it seems like you need at least five different streaming services to keep up with every new show, leaving Netflix does not seem plausible, so Netflix does not really have to worry about its subscribers leaving.
Even though Netflix doesn’t have to care about what its viewers think now, its competition is fast approaching; at the end of 2022, Netflix held only 2% more of the market share for streaming services than Amazon Prime Video, according to data company JustWatch. With the release of popular shows like “The Last of Us” and “Euphoria” on platforms like HBO Max, Netflix must start catering to the subscribers it has.
As Netflix tweeted in 2017, “Love is sharing a password.” Netflix needs to start living up to the expectation it set as the pinnacle of on-demand streaming services.
Jui Bhatia can be reached at [email protected].
© 2022 Spoke.News. All rights reserved.