The Future of Netflix: What Lies Ahead for the Streaming Giant?
Cancellation of subscribers, breakdown of password sharing, disappearing movies and stricter rules.
It seems that Netflix has hit the headlines left, right and in the middle of the past, and not always necessarily for the right reasons.
Despite the cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation looming over our heads, it seems that more and more of us continue to spend our money on power services and TV subscriptions.
According to the Discretionary Consumption Index from Online betting guide (OLBG), power services are among the 12 best things we spend our disposable income on, and have increased from almost £ 40 in 2019/2020 to almost £ 50 in 2021/2022.
However, it may not be that our well-earned money necessarily goes to Netflix, but other services on stage.
The number of UK households using Netflix fell by 200,000 in the first few months of this year, and it is expected that they will lose around two million more paying customers in the coming months.
OLBG surveys also revealed that although Britons spend around £ 50 a year on their streaming subscriptions, the average British household will also spend more on home improvements, holidays, takeaways, tobacco and gambling in 2022 – a likely hangover from top spending habits -pandemic.
Decrease in the number of subscribers and share prices
In April 2022, Netflix’s share price fell by almost 40%, in response to the news of lost subscribers.
This put an end to the continued quarterly growth of subscribers since October 2011, and then its rising value in the stock market.
As mentioned earlier, the UK saw a significant decline in users, but this was not the only country. 600,000 people stopped using the service in the United States and Canada after setting prices in January 2022.
Is this a sign that we’re getting tired of Netflix?
Some describe it as streaming fatigue, where we have spent so much time lately, especially during the shutdowns of the pandemic, and continually watching endless TV series.
However, the OLBG index suggests that we are still willing to spend money on power services.
Is this a case of oblivion, where we do not avoid canceling our subscription, even if we no longer use it?
Or are the British taking their own and discretionary expenses elsewhere, to new and exciting power services?
And does the rising cost of Netflix play a role in this?
Increase in Netflix costs
Despite the fact that perhaps British households are struggling financially, Netflix decided to increase its monthly fees.
In the UK, the base plan rose by £ 1.00 to £ 6.99 a month, and the standard to £ 10.99 – another increase of £ 1.00.
To top things off, the streaming giant has indicated that it will seriously crack down on password sharing between different households, forcing new members to sign up and pay to continue watching their favorite shows.
This has already happened in some countries that use Netflix.
At the time of writing, Netflix account holders in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru have to pay $ 2 to $ 3 to add user profiles for non-household members, in addition to the regular subscription fee.
It is estimated that more than 100 million households view the service for free using shared passwords.
The struggle to keep the British audience entertained has certainly intensified, as it has become a crowded market.
Apple, Disney, HBO and Amazon are all increasing investment in their respective online streaming services.
And it does not stop there.
Paramount has recently released its own streaming service, called Paramount +, which includes on-demand and live content from channels such as CBS, BET, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
The OLBG Discretionary Spend Index aims to track unnecessary consumption per adult in the UK, and is updated regularly to look at the latest trends in spending.
So, with a persistent cost of living crisis, rising inflation and warnings of a recession putting enormous pressure on our economy, will getting a power service subscription be the first on the list to be cut, in the not-so-distant future?
Or will the British public decide to continue to distribute their discretionary expenses on Netflix and the like, to ensure that they can watch their favorite shows and movies?