Netflix Discussion - failure and success

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by purr1n, May 13, 2022.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    Anyone still have Netflix?

    We suddenly realized we've watched all of Netflix's good shows, that Netflix doesn't have a catalog, and there are only so many Korea zombie / supernatural movies that we could stomach.
     
  2. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    We dumped it recently, once my wife got through the last of her shows. I've not watched anything on it for ages.

    We're thinking about rotating through subscriptions, maybe having Netflix for 3 months out of the year and nuking it each time we run out of new or interesting shows to watch.

    Edit: I meant to add that I wonder if Netflix's strategy to concentrate on its own programming over keeping the license to other shows has runs its course, for the time being. Netflix seemed to have all the exciting new shows a few years ago. Now, not so much.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2022
  3. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Apollo 10 1/2 is a relatively new add to Netflix that really resonated with me. If you grew up in the late 60's / early 70's around Houston, you'll really get a kick out of this film. I grew up in Phoenix, with many of the same promises and outcomes as Houston.
     
  4. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    This is the way.
     
  5. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    Just saw THE NORTHMAN tonight.

    My God, that was one of the worst films I ever saw. There's a special kind of badness that attaches to a big budget sword and sandals thriller in which some kind of made-up language is spoken by one and all (along with occasional English). And in which Nicole Kidman with her botox-paralyzed face co-stars. And in which there's more men screaming and beating their chests than in those old PLANET OF THE APES films.

    I'll try hard to forget that white-hot mess of a film, but probably won't be able to.
     
  6. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    There was a great post mortem type article about the failure of the Netflix model:

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/b...-the-power-clash-behind-the-crash-1235136004/

    Basically it's a giant junkyard of mediocre to horrible content, because there is way too much of it to have any kind of quality control. How can you quality control 140 shows a year? Because that's about how many they make, and only two execs were overseeing them.

    Their shows are designed to gain more subscribers and then jettisoned for the new shiny toy of a show to gain more subscribers, which is why everything keeps getting cancelled.

    And my argument has always been a studio is only as good as their catalog. You need a strong catalog to remain competitive in the long run and it also creates monetary value down the line with special edition and anniversary boxsets that you can keep repackaging, continuing the value. With streaming, there's no physical media therefore no collecting. So where's the repackaging value?

    Streaming culture is disposable culture.
     
  7. roughroad

    roughroad formerly mephisto56, Rando

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    Was on IMDB tonight and saw a teaser for the 2nd Avatar movie. The first Avatar was one of if not the worst movie I paid to see in a theater. Someone would have to pay me Elon Musk money to see the second one.
     
  8. perogie

    perogie Facebook Friend

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    Im not sure Netflix had control over all the “old” shows it had. Every media company is trying to implement a streaming service so if you got “Friends” licensed to Netflix you are going to take that back as soon as the contract is up. Netflix hasn’t been bright, shiny and new for a long time and the only reason I keep subbing to it is it has some kids shows that get constant replay.

    They are also trying to branch out to anime with mixed results. Just get a sense they are throwing it at the wall and trying to see what sticks.
     
  9. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Supposedly their next big play is videogames, I guess steaming them or something, though I don't know the details.
     
  10. perogie

    perogie Facebook Friend

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    My understanding is that it is going to happen, cant see it being successful. Again, too many players in the field with varied access points to games. Unless Netflix does something to particularly standout this is just a shot in the dark.
     
  11. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    I subscribed to Netflix a lot later than most--about 6 years ago. Back then their top-tier, 4K streaming plan cost $11.99/month. In recent months that plan went up to $19.99, inconvenient timing giving the gravity of stock & subscriber loss reports in the past 2-3 months.

    So what do I get for my 68% higher (in 6 years) subscription? Well, less than I got 6 years ago, and in some ways less than I expected. My primary reason in subscribing was to see lots of movies; that was a mistaken hope, since even 6 years ago Netflix was dramatically scaling back its movie roster, for which it had originally become known in its early days. There are movies on Netflix, of course, but the company has clearly put far more money into episodic/series content.

    Some of the Netflix series are very fine, indeed; as are some documentaries (they hold pride of place for docs). But more are either plainly mediocre, or just in genres of no interest to me. I have clearly seen the "shiny new toy" syndrome at work, where a series flies high for a month or two, then is forgotten. New series are primarily employed as lures for new subscribers. On that back end of that syndrome, a number of otherwise solid series are dropped before their time, as Netflix knows investing serious dollar in existing series does little to attract subscribers.

    Things are rather different, but not clearly better overall, on Prime. There's less content overall; more movies, some spectacularly good series, and few documentaries. I find myself going to Prime for quality series or films. But I've also suffered through the classic Prime speed-bump where a movie or series I'm watching via my subscription on Tuesday is suddenly on one of the countless pay-extra channels on Wednesday.

    Getting back to Netflix, my amateur analysis of them is simple:
    1. They overestimated the depth of untapped/potential subscribers, many of whom have already been snapped up by myriad competing streaming services that didn't exist when Netflix was king
    2. They overpaid for marquee series to make a big splash and lure new subscribers, but paid less attention to maintaining their catalogue (which as @ColtMrFire points out, is the lifeblood of any channel)
    3. They raised prices dramatically probably because they assumed more people would cord-cut or use something like Sling for a cut-rate variant of cable TV content access--so a bigger Netflix monthly bill would be more than offset by lower OOP costs for cable. But this ignored how much marketshare competitors were taking (and that's accelerating)
    I'll stick with them for awhle. But eventually I'll drop them and sign onto the Criterion Channel & perhaps Brit-Box or PBS on Prime, which together would cost just about the same as Netflix.
     
  12. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Netflix's strategy was sound in the beginning... they needed to claim the market and they did, but once they had all those subscribers, they needed to pivot their strategy to more long term success goals... by building a solid catalog and respecting the shows that their loyal subscribers fell in love with... and they failed to do that. It's also one of the reasons I kind of loathe the TV model and much prefer movies... as movies at least tell a whole, complete story from beginning to end. There's a satisfaction in that regardless of the quality... at least it's been told. TV on the other hand is a promise of a story, but more often than not being left unfulfilled, because of the nature of budgets. There's only so much to go around, and if others aren't as invested in the story as you are, you're shit out of luck.

    There's been this talk of a TV renaissance/golden age, but I just see a small handful of fully realized stories, and alot of half or barely told stories. This is why I will always prefer movies. Give 2 hours and you get a complete experience.
     
  13. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Likewise, i am dropping it as well, we pretty much watched everything we wanted to watch and now we can wait 2-3 months until we find something interesting again.
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    That's the problem. Netflix isn't a studio. They are trying to become one, but their DNA is sillycon valley, but studio.

    It also worked because Disney, Fox, NBCU, Sony, Paramount, Warner, HBO, MGM, Showtime, were willing to give them their content. Now these studios have their own streaming delivery, they don't want to give Netflix jack.

    Apple seems to be doing it right. They don't have enough content, but what little they have is two or three notches above Netflix with respect to quality. Apple can play the long game though, they got billions in the bank.

    Meanwhile, the studios are bleeding trying to get their streaming off the ground.

    What's going to happen is that people are going to start torrenting again, because they don't want to pay $120 per month to get all the content they want.
     
  15. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Exactly. I refuse to have more than 2 tv/movie subscriptions at once. Plus, to add to this, digital movie rentals are twice what DVD rental used to be even though they cost less to rent because there's no physical media being manufactured. And they limit you to 24 hours after you start watching it, which is complete bullshit especially given DVD's gave you 2-3 days. Corporations have managed to gain back control of the once more open internet vehicle which destroyed the physical media model. Now they're doing the same thing they did with physical media: controlling it and getting too greedy. When consumers feel like they are getting ripped off, they stop caring about stealing from corporations. A VPN is way cheaper than 10 subscriptions plus 6$ movie rentals. And a company just came out with a physical VPN device that fits in your pocket and you buy once, so that makes VPN even cheaper, and offers a way out of all subscription services completely. TV, music, and maybe even some software.

    Netflix used to make some really good shows. I think the problem is very simple. They just stopped investing in quality content and decided that new shows attracted more attention then continuing old shows so they refuse to continue shows past 2-3 seasons in the last few years, killing some really good shows as a result. Good Girls is a pretty good show so there are better examples but why the fuck are there more good girls seasons than Ozark?

    They also have started making shows using marketing research instead of creative decision making. The Walking Dead is show #1? They release like 6 zombie shows all of which were terrible and got canceled after 1 season.

    Netflix was best when it started making original content and really invested in interesting series. like Orange Is The New Black.

    At least they didn’t cut The Last Kingdom short. I haven’t watched the last 2 seasons yet but if they just canceled it I probably would have immediately left Netflix.

    Another factor here is that every other production company has caught on to the popularity of series and so Netflix has like 10x more players trying to buy scripts than when Netflix first started making original content and could buy any script they wanted. They got outbid by Amazon for example on The Lord Of The Rings rights (thankfully). 10 years ago they would have gotten those rights and invested a lot of money into a long high quality series.

    I don’t know if I’ll keep my subscription or not. I’m currently keeping Netflix and rotating other companies.
     
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    Last edited: May 14, 2022
  16. Wilewarer

    Wilewarer Facebook Friend

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    What Netflix got really good at was using recommender algorithms to sort through a giant pile of TV and movies to figure out what people wanted to watch. Dealing in everything available on DVD gave them a lot of coverage, and presumably figuring out what their customers did and didn't want gave them tremendous insight into figuring out what they would need to get the digital rights for to make the streaming platform work. And they could probably get most of what they wanted, given nobody else had figured out the business. Nobody else had the combination of advantages needed to get that off the ground.

    I still don't think anyone else can really put that package together, but now that studios want more out of the digital distribution, I'm not sure Netflix can either. They aren't well-capitalized enough to compete with the total of everyone else's TV and movie production, so they have to decide what they can and can't afford to do. Then every kind of programming they deemphasize becomes a blind spot - if there's a kind of show they don't do much, then they simply don't know much about how that kind of show performs, or what else the kind of people watching it might be interested in, and suddenly the algorithmic tools aren't as helpful, even when it's a question they should be able to answer.

    Netflix didn't set out to stop investing in quality content. They just got a lot worse at figuring out what that is at the same time it got more expensive, so they paid through the nose for Space Force and live action Cowboy Bebop instead. And maybe some of the investments in global production pay off in those markets, but given the US is presumably still their main market, I'm not sure the category for "80s Movies" should consist largely of 3 hour action comedies from Egypt and Pakistan (even if some of those are, in fact, things I might watch).

    Anyway, there's still stuff I want to watch on there. But then, I don't watch much TV, and certainly not 20 episodes straight like they got into the habit of encouraging people to do. They'd probably still have shows left for more of these people to watch if they hadn't encouraged them to burn through everything in hardcore couch potato marathons as a business strategy.
     
  17. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Only reason i still have netflix is because of account sharing and splitting the bill. Sometimes i find something to binge but other than that i might not watch anything on it for a month. Then they have shows with weekly releases which i just let pile up till the season is done.

    I cba waiting a week for the next episode. My cable subscription was canceled for a reason. At most that sometimes served as a videoclip for whatever music i was listening to.
     
  18. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I don't agree with this, their recommendation algorithms have always sucked really bad for me even in the DVD days and even when I made a huge effort to start rating everything. They'd still throw 80's action movies in my face with high recommendation. My taste generally lines up with Rotten Tomatoes ratings, though not always, and their recommendations did not. Lots and lots of garbage.

    So I don't think this is the problem. I think it's a decision they have made to move to a more market research model, which most companies wind up doing until they loose their core base and start hemorrhaging customers and have to go through a mid life crisis and find some sort of vision again that they lost when they fired alll the creative people and hired the marketing analysts to make the decisions. Most companies wind up moving to a marketing research business model. But most companies become successful based on a unique, creative vision. A lot of companies sort of move back and forth between them as they loose customers and re-imagine their companies with creative people, and then find success and move back to marketing research and loose it again.

    Apple is pretty unique in managing to maintain a unique vision and creativity even in the midst of incredible succsss. When most companies become successful they get scared of changing anything or trying anything new because they start focusing on the money rather than an interesting product. Then they hire the market researchers to try to figure out what people want because they're scared to follow their vision. And then they make boring products and either go out of business or re-imagine their business.
     
  19. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    When Netflix was mainly streaming network shows and movies I liked Netflix but slowly all I see is original content which wasn’t the deal. They do have some nice programming but Squid Game or Stranger Things isn’t good enough for a Netflix sub alone, they are nice bonuses on top of being able to stream Fraiser or Star Trek.
     
  20. boomer

    boomer Rando

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    I heard this phrase around 2013 and I was rolling my eyes back then. In terms of what was interesting on TV it peaked around 2005 and since then been pretty much downhill.
     

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