Streaming: “Next” Phase & the Curious Case of Netflix

Ratings company Nielsen released a report called State of Play that uses data from the company’s  insights, Gracenote service, and a user survey to offer the public information. The finding? That 46% of North American audiences are overwhelmed by content. The process known as “stacking,” which we wrote about before, is now commonplace, whereas before it was the exception. Stacking is managing at least four or more concurrent streaming services. Considered “the next phase of streaming,” additional trends on the other side include streamers including ad-supported (AVOD) or free (FAST) versions, more content spending, and increasing subscriber bases outside of North America, focusing on European, Middle East, and African, and Asian-Pacific markets.

Netflix experienced subscriber loss for the first time since 2011 of about 200,000 global paid subscribers, and over $185 billion dollars in valuation since the start of 2022. In a bid to maintain good investor relations, Netflix will acquire more game studios (Texas’ Boss Fight Entertainment, Finland’s Next Games) and test subscriber integrity in Latin America. In Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, Netflix is testing the sub member option, of paying a little extra to add a member to your plan outside a geographic household. Sub-members can link their history to a new account. Netflix will also add an AVOD option, as all of its competitors already have one. Netflix is currently the most expensive service after it hiked its prices in January. A lower cost, AVOD option may win back some of these losses, and hopefully rescue their stock price. The Verge reported that Netflix will bring AVOD to the North American market (U.S. and Canada, 34% worldwide subscribers) by Q4 2022.

As of the day we wrote this article, Netflix share price had fallen by 75% since fall. It is trading at $171 (down from $700). Other ways in which the streaming giant is hoping to increase revenue, is the more obvious route of spending less on content and spending less in general: last month, Netflix began laying off staff at Tudum, in its marketing and editorial divisions, and 150 personnel mostly in the United States (Los Angeles is HQ) and more layoffs are expected. It seems logical then that they also will hire less. Only a month ago, Netflix released an employee directive in an updated culture memo that said to spend its members’ money wisely. Despite this, the streamer will spend $17 billion dollars on content in 2022, which, according to Moffett Nathanson, still leads the industry.

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