Leak of subscribers: Netflix’s reaction is late and potentially off-topic

6 By losing 200,000 subscribers in the last quarter, Netflix showed signs of running out of steam for the first time in a long time. 15 years old, the Los Gatos service must be renewed at all costs to attract its subscribers again. © Thomas Trutschel – Getty Images On the scale of a strong streaming juggernaut with more than 220 million subscribers worldwide, or one could say that 200,000 fewer customers is not a sea to drink. And yet, the drop in subscriptions announced this week by Netflix signals the end of recreation, and why not the beginning of a new era in the constantly evolving world of SVoD. It remains to be seen who this paradigm shift will hurt the most, the platforms themselves or the subscribers. Competition and account sharing In its letter to shareholders published on the sidelines of the results announcement, the Los Gatos service identified four causes likely to explain this slight decline. First there are the factors that it does not control, such as the adoption of connected televisions or even video on demand in certain regions of the world. In a similar spirit, he cites the global context, with the health crisis, inflation and the Russian-Ukrainian war, which prompted Netflix to withdraw from the country of Vladimir Putin, losing 700,000 subscribers in the process. Then comes the competition growing imposed by Disney +, HBO Max, Discovery + and company, which causes among the general public, in particular across the Atlantic, a feeling of overdose of content and subscriptions to pay. Finally, the latest fad of Netflix, there is the sharing of accounts, against which it intends to fight by imposing additional costs for the creation of profiles outside the home of the main user. An experiment in this direction is currently being carried out in South America, and there is no doubt that it will soon be extended to other countries. Recommended article: Dusty subscription formulasWhile an increasingly fierce rivalry certainly weighs heavily on Netflix’s popularity rating, one can wonder about the platform’s crusade against account sharing which, if can actually lower his income, seems to be the tree that hides the forest. The truth is that with its different levels of subscriptions, its ever-increasing prices and its delay in the diversification of content, Netflix is ​​running a risk that all companies of this genre fear: outdatedness. The three subscription levels offered by Netflix (€8.99/month for SD quality on 1 stream, €13.49 for HD on 2 simultaneous streams, €17.99 for 4K on 4 streams), s they were justified when it was launched, are now completely obsolete. Opposite, Disney+ lets its subscribers watch programs in 4K for €8.99 monthly with 4 simultaneous streams, while Prime Video offers a single price of €5.99/month for three simultaneous screens with the Prime service as a bonus. Amazon and the ability to subscribe to a myriad of thematic channels, including the Ligue 1 Pass. In the United States, HBO Max launched at $14.99 monthly with 4K, HDR, Dolby Atmos and three simultaneous streams . Regularly, Netflix also continues to increase its prices. In France, the latest increase pushed up the premium formula by €2 last summer, not without annoying local subscribers. But in other countries, the note is even saltier. Very recently, Irish users have seen the high-end subscription exceed €20. In Switzerland, it is €24. Recommended article: Netflix against GoliathSure of its leading position, Netflix allows itself measures that no longer make sense while the competition crunches its market share. According to several analysts, if its fall continues – and it is possible since the firm expects a decline of 2 million additional subscribers by the end of June – the Los Gatos service could be caught up by Disney + as soon as 2024. In two and a half years of existence, the platform with big ears has already attracted 130 million curious people. is a “simple” SVoD platform. Where Amazon sells products to individuals and storage to businesses, where Disney floods the dark rooms with its franchises and multiplies entertainment experiences like theme parks or cruises, where Apple TV+ is only a drop of water in the ocean of revenue from the apple brand, where HBO Max, Discovery+, Peacock or Paramount+ are all supported by giants from the audiovisual or telecom sectors, not only Netflix can only count on it -even, but he sees his possibilities of acquisition dwindling little by little. Excessively cautious, the company of Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos does not venture into other fields as its competitors can do. On Netflix, no sport, few formats coming out of the series/film/documentary trio. In fact, the contents present in the catalog have no room for error, and if the audiences are not there, it is guaranteed cancellation. Finding the House of Cards of tomorrow improvement, the video game may look promising. For the moment, Netflix is ​​content with small touches: a takeover here, a few mobile games without great ambitions there. But since its strength lies mainly in its original content, the Los Gatos service would have everything to gain from investing in large or medium-sized video game productions based on its flagship franchises such as Stranger Things, Squid Game, Dark or Mindhunter. In the medium or long term, this is probably what will happen. Recommended article: But in these times of all-out competition, the main key to improvement would probably be to win over users again. Apart from perhaps Squid Game, Le Jeu de la dame or Arcane, few recent series shine as much as House of Cards, Narcos, Sense8 or The Crown in their time. Admittedly, this observation is also linked to the exponential mass of content that the platforms are flooding us with and which tends to drown out even the best elements. But given its status, Netflix would perhaps benefit from producing fewer programs to favor quality, as Apple TV+ can do for example. Finally and above all, we should stop taking subscribers for cash cows. The fight against account sharing sounds like a clear message: either pay or leave. If Netflix clings to such a slogan, it will have to seriously rethink the price list. A single base price, even higher than the competition but with 4K content and multiple simultaneous accesses, would be a good start. This formula could also be accompanied by an AVoD version (cheaper but with advertising) for the most modest users. As for the additional costs for profiles outside the home, why not, but unfortunately this risks creating a precedent which the competition will quickly learn from. And in this little game, we all know very well who will be the turkey of the farce: the user.