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Five ways Netflix can redeem itself

In 2013, Netflix released the first season of house of cards, and the age of streaming web television was born. It’s been a wild ride, and Netflix should get the credit for pioneering this TV and movie viewing model. But in the 9 years since it launched a new model of consumer television, Netflix has experienced meteoric highs and crushing lows, all of which collapsed in the first quarter of 2022, the company announced. In 2022, Netflix is ​​now lost in an endless sea of ​​streaming channel options. To the company’s credit, they knew this could happen, and that’s why they began their ascent by prioritizing spend on original productions that would never leave the platform. But productive production has not always yielded profitable, long-lasting results. I mean what are the old Netflix Originals? Stranger Things, The Crown, Ozark? All are great series in their own right and all are nearing the end of their respective runs. Soon these series will join house of cards and Orange is the new black as a former Netflix star. Nothing seems to be in the starting blocks to ward off these cultural phenomena. Meanwhile, the company is bleeding subscribers due to rising costs, favoritism that leads to censorship, and an inability to learn from its mistakes and listen to its subscribers. Not everyone unhappy with Netflix is ​​a mindless internet troll, and it’s about time the company considered some steps to maintain its subscriber base.

eliminate censorship

Netflix has long preferred to inject diversity into its productions, and that’s a noble and admirable thing. All production companies should do this, but in a way that doesn’t follow an obvious trend and is divisive enough to become plot points and central themes of the production. The controversy surrounding Dave Chapelle’s late 2021 comedy special is a prime example of the worst. His words were taken completely out of context and then armed as part of a bizarre, industry-wide angry mob bent on silencing and “cancelling” those who dare poke fun at their creepy authoritarianism. To its credit, Netflix didn’t censor the show and in fact recently released a statement prioritizing freedom of speech and expression in their productions — just as art and creativity should always be.

Stop acting like a tech company

Aside from cultural issues, Netflix also has an identity issue: It acts far too much like a tech company rather than an entertainment production company. Take HBO for comparison, everyone knows that HBO stands for prestige programs. When a Netflix series “fails” – even the best of the best Netflix series – an entire season is consumed in a matter of hours and then another year elapses before the next season debuts. If it’s renewed at all, as the company has long practiced a model of dumping a series if it fails to meet a certain mysterious metric. Just produce, produce and produce some more and hope something gets stuck somewhere. What you end up with is wasted millions of dollars and no return on the investment spent. That’s how big tech companies work, not production companies, who take the time to research ahead of time to find out which stories appeal to specific demographics and tastes within their subscriber base. That leads to the next point…

Consider using the weekly episode model

This proposal is undoubtedly controversial and even I do not entirely agree with it. Premiere of an entire season of a series at once has been Netflix’s calling card from the very beginning. This is an aspect that makes the company unique. But viewer comfort isn’t always great in this area if it means the company could use its budget in a much better way. A weekly episode model is something that defines the earliest origins of television itself. This not only keeps viewers busy and waiting, but also keeps subscribers subscribed. It would be incredible to imagine the company not knowing that many people simply create a new account to get a free trial, watch a new season of a show, and then cancel immediately. You need to know. While this will further disrupt what we’ve come to expect from Netflix, it would be in the company’s best interest.

Stop raising prices

I can’t remember how many times Netflix has increased its prices over the past few years. It’s so disappointing to think about that I don’t feel like getting an accurate count, but it’s a lot. The company has always attributed price increases to the rising cost of its manufacturing budgets and acquisitions. Blaming the subscriber for bad business decisions through price increases is certainly not a good look. Sure, part of that is greed, but that reason is certainly easy to see based on the near-endless stream of “content” that premiered on the app pretty much every day from around 2017 through 2021. For every 1 or 2 series or true crime documentaries that got a thumbs up from me, there were about 10 other series and movies that got a thumbs down. Just totally disposable gibberish. Then one wonders where are the productions that justify this astronomical price compared to the other streaming services. All good questions. Stop blaming everything on sharing passwords and make more prestige productions.

Stop calling everything content

I intentionally avoided the word “content” in this article. We all need to get to a point where we stop labeling everything that comes out of a creative space as “content.” And Netflix for that matter too. Calling up a TV series or movie content sounds like something thrown in a trash can at a fast food restaurant after a bite or two. Fictionalized storytelling comes through the creativity and hard work of a team of artists, not a commenter on a TikTok or YouTube video. Acknowledging this alone can help optics into the future.

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