Netflix Discussion - failure and success

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

  1. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    My problem with Netflix is I didn't understand their branding at all. Focus on streaming random shows? Focus on streaming random movies? Focus on streaming live action content? They had too much crap that was all over the map that I didn't care for Netflix since they moved away from their DVD rental business. Even their originals from seeing what my GF is watching is all over the map.

    I'm a weeb, and there's Anime streaming on Netflix. Even then Netflix was all over the map with some big successes and some major duds. Why I want to pay the now $19.99/month on Netflix when for $120/yr I can go on Crunchyroll and stream most of the newer anime releases nowadays? At least I know with Crunchyroll their branding is just anime and weeb related stuff. If I want older anime stuff, I have RetroCrush.
     
  2. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Ah yes, the binge model. I forgot to mention this. It was a great gimmick to gain subscribers, but again it shows little foresight for future success. The problem with dumping every episode at once is it kind of neutralizes water cooler conversation, which is essential for a show to hook into the zeitgeist. Basically you can't have that water cooler conversation with your friends if not everyone has seen every episode, since some people are inevitably going to be further ahead than others, and people hate spoilers so just don't talk about it as much as they would with a weekly show. Or if everyone has binged the show, the conversation about that show lasts a few days, and is quickly forgotten.

    Releasing weekly allows the show to percolate in the public consciousness for much longer, since the water cooler talk happens every week... "oh my god, did you see the last episode?!"

    Apple and Disney smartly avoided the binge model and their shows probably have more long term staying power. People talk about Stranger Things for maybe a week when the show drops and then nothing until the following season. It's good for building hype quickly, but has little staying power. All this ties into netflix's disposable business model, which just isn't sustainable in the long run. And they can't really dump the binge model, since that's what they're known for, and their subs would revolt if they did. The masses don't really understand the psychology of the weekly vs. binge model and just want they're used to.
     
  3. saint.panda

    saint.panda Friend

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  4. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    An interesting addition to this is most of the entertainment companies have been infiltrated by "woke" ideologues, usually fresh out of universities who use Twitter as their guide for how to steer a company. The problem is Twitter accounts for an extreme minority of actual humans (mostly bots, celebs, weirdo "wokosos" as some in the Latin community now call them and lemmings doing whatever is necessary to gain likes). So you get product that is completely out of touch with the common audience.

    This is another reason alot of the Marvel stuff is tanking (the recent Spiderman wasnt Marvel it was mostly Sony).

    Who else would've thought it was a good idea to have "Cuties" on their platform than these weirdos? There are some at the top, usually old school guys who push back, but when you're making 140 shows a year, you're inevitably going lose most of the control to the woke weirdos running your company.
     
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  5. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    It is more related not understanding the cultural norms than anything else. "Cuties" is a French production, which they have a different cultural norm/standards than Americans. As an American, I found the French to not be bothered by what "Cuties" was showing. Regarding if Netflix thinks it is a good idea to back the film on their platform? Well...you don't have to watch it.

    After the hoopla of "Cuties" from the right-wing political minded folks, they forgot about it as usual after two months since they can't fundraise the outrage from their supports. Tell others about "Cuties" and they would say "What?"
     
  6. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    epic show. and since that was a success they try to replace it with Viking Vahalla... which had an 8 episode season 1 that was a shell of the former show. Maybe one decent character
     
  7. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    Strictly looking at user interface, I find Netflix' to generally be very good. However, they lack one quite obvious feature that Prime has covered: the ability to distinguish between movies & everything else--not just in the rows of "suggested" this or that, but also in one's own list of "stuff."

    This is probably the most low-level, primitive, yet user-friendly tool one could expect in a streaming UI system--and Netflix lacks it.
     
  8. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Keep in mind, I'm using that as an example of them not "feeling the room", I'm not making value judgements.
     
  9. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    GF just told me reasons why she is planning to keep her Netflix account:
    • There's a section on there called "Escapism Reality TV" where you can watch TV shows to escape your problems.
    • GF is raving about this Japanese TV show on Netflix where you watch young children doing errands for the first time alone.
    • GF loves that new Shi'ra Netflix animated series...which overlooking it on the TV it appears it takes the 80s Shi'ra cartoon and made it for the Tumblr/Twitter crowd.
      • GF went over all the characters and show is pushing for the heavy LGBT+ messaging where these chapters are not in a hetro-reslationsihp.
      • I don't have a problem with any of this stuff as long as it is not hamfisted down my mouth, but that new Shi'ra show is hamfisted all those themes down in my mouth.
        • I thought this was for Kids...like original Shi'ra was a Saturday Cartoon back in the 80s.
    Yeah....she can keep Netflixing that crap if she wants. I already got enough of my weebaboo entertainment, which at least they are honest when they tell you it is for young children or older audience if it has themes that aren't for children.
     
  10. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    I've heard a lot about that show. Apparently it's rather amazing. Have yet to try it.

    Also on the plus side w/Netflix is their extensive roster of Korean TV series. One of the best series I've ever seen, bar none, is one of those: STRANGER (link below). It's a police/prosecutorial procedural of the highest quality.

    Netflix also has a fair amount of high-quality original episodic content from Scandinavian countries--some terrific series there.

    It's not a black & white, all bad thing w/Netflix. They do a lot of things very very well...
     
  11. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    For me that is a failure on a branding level. I do not think random foreign shows when I think of Netflix. When I think about Netflix, I think high-quality shows made in the US. I do not even know what audience they want on their service for long term subscriptions if I have to be honest.
     
  12. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    If it weren't for some Japanese content, I'd drop netflix after season 6 of Peaky Blinders is out. Though season 5 was pretty bad compared to 1 and 2.
    Edit: And Disney is adding more language options to their shows/films
     
  13. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    I have to disagree. Hard to be sure, looking at it from the outside--but IMO there was nothing random about this. Netflix has long had a presence in foreign markets, and that meant bringing foreign content (usually sub-titled) to American audiences, as well as the reverse.

    I've lost track of how many above average foreign films or series I've seen on Netflix, and from how many different countries. This isn't something any other streaming platform I know of does to the same extent as Netflix.

    Of course, I have no way of knowing if Netflix has fully/adequately marketed its capabilities for developing foreign content. Still, I've read any number of stories in industry publications to the effect that Netflix has signed deals to develop and/or license foreign content of note.

    This is a factor in my decision to dump Netflix: that I would lose access to fine series from Latin America, Europe, Japan, and many other places.
     
  14. Wilewarer

    Wilewarer Facebook Friend

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    I should've been more clear there that I meant how those sorts of analytics apply to making decisions about what to license for streaming - I really suspect that it helped them pick good things to license. I can't say their recommendations were great for me either, but they were OK, and my impression from talking to other people was that they were decent in aggregate, and if that's true they certainly could've used that to figure out what was worth spending on early. Not like I have inside info, but that's what makes sense to me.

    But even if I'm right, that was then. Them being good at recommending shows doesn't help when they can't figure out how to make shows people like.
     
  15. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    From what I understand as someone who hasn’t seen the movie but read a little about the controversy the director wanted to make Cuties more of a cautionary tale, like the salacious dance routine was meant to make the audience that they’re performing for uncomfortable, but film studios being what they are leaned into shots that sexualized the children. As far as I know the case against Netflix in Texas over Cuties is still active.

    Interestingly to @ColtMrFire’s point Netflix released a new company culture memo that informed employees they may not always like the content they’re asked to work on and if that’s a problem they’ll be happier elsewhere. That’s a good first step.
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    Netflix's algorithm sucks balls. If it were not for entertainment Internet sites and the SBAF thread, I would have cancelled Netflix one year ago instead of today.

    As they say in the business: Content is King. I'm surprised Netflix didn't try to buy a studio. It's very hard to build a studio from the ground up. This is why Disney, which was more or less out of ideas not too long ago, bought Pixar, Marvel, Fox, etc.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    It's cliche to say that the studio heads screwed up a film here or there, wrecking a creator's vision, but the truth is that the studio heads saved a lot of films from being shit. Many times the creatives get too in their head and need someone to pull them out.

    Not cool to say this, but the loss of the Weinstein Company was a huge blow to quality quirkier off the wall content. I could imagine some of these old school guys rip to shreds the current producers of the Star Trek stuff. (In case you didn't know, Jan 6 started WW3 in the Star Trek Universe, and I thought it was going to be Putin).

    Yup. Make it easier to buy than to steal. All these streaming options and scattering of content delivery is going to make people steal. The ironic thing is that the movie studios in the past stayed far away from delivery, keeping the movie theaters independent. Imagine how screwed up it would have been if AMC only showed Disney, Cinemark only showed NBCU, and Regal only showed Sony films.

    Years ago I met the CEO of the MPAA, The Honorable United States (ex) Senator Chris Dodd. The Senator, knowing that I would be working in content security, harped about piracy, welcoming me to join the fight. (The MPAA had a group that monitored privacy, bootleg DVDs, torrents, etc). All this time I was thinking in my head: "This industry is still holding on so tight to the old model*. It's going to hurt, but they need to make their content easier to buy than to steal."

    *Oh, and I heard plenty about the "theatrical experience". I guess the studios didn't realize how cheap big ass televisions got or how decent "Bose" 5.1 systems were readily available at Best Buy, and something called Netflix. Again, this was years ago.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2022
  18. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Yeah that's another thing I forgot about... and another huge reason I stay away from most streaming services. It's a bitch trying to find what you want. I'm not going to sub to a new service just to watch one movie I happen to be in the mood for. Theatrical is so successful because it plays everybody's content, it always has. Wanna see a movie that's in wide release? Chances are high that your local multiplex has it. Blockbuster video was the same... one stop shopping. Convenience is king. Streaming services aren't convenient because they are factions... paying a monthly fee is convenient, but not when there is a 50/50 chance they don't have what you want to watch. People don't give a shit about studio loyalty, they just want to watch what they want to watch. Who cares about Paramount+ having all the hottest movies (according to them)? Well, they don't... they have a few. So why pay them every month to (often) NOT have what you want? When you're both convenient and inconvenient, you cancel yourself out.

    The studios don't seem to understand that in their endless quest for power and control, they are just strengthening their enemy, which is piracy and destroying their ancillary market (video). They can't complain about piracy anymore because they've given people every reason to turn to it. Cable made sense because it was one stop shopping.
     
  19. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Marv cut to the core of this issue when he said Netflix is run by Silicon Valley techies, not entertainment studio people. All of the interviews with Netflix creatives had affirmed this. The only dictate Netflix has is content that their algorithm says is popular. This is why Boss Baby is the most marketed and financially support Netflix show. Parents basically plop their kids in front of the TV and put on Boss Baby and the algorithm tells Netflix execs that this is high engagement. It is not. The algorithm isn't smart enough to differentiate between enthusiastic, committed viewing by financial decision makers in a household and passive, background viewing by babies. And because the execs are Silicon Valley types, they're not contextualizing the data in ways relevant to the actual behavior of people in a household.

    Netflix has managed to stumble into a few good situations, almost by luck. For example, they picked up Lucifer after it was canceled because they recognized it had a cult following and would drive engagement. Most of their hit shows were created before they became so wholly focused on the algorithm, because they didn't really have enough data to let the algorithm take over yet. And what were once their strengths, like the binging model, is now their weakness, because binging is great for short term engagement and terrible for long term engagement. When the only options were Netflix and Hulu, this wasn't an issue. You could watch all of Russian Doll in a day and then if you wanted something kind of like Russian Doll because now you're in that headspace, Netflix would recommend something. Where else were you going to go? But now that every studio has their own streaming app, once you finish watching Russian Doll in a day, there's nothing compelling you to stick with Netflix.

    A lot of this @ColtMrFire has covered really well.

    We do still have Netflix, mostly out of inertia, and because a good friend of ours shares the login. Netflix is supposedly cracking down on login sharing. If they do that, we're canceling. Thankfully I don't have any 4K TVs so we're not feeling compelled to pay for the highest tier, but it's already overpriced for what it's offering compared to Disney+, HBO Max, and Hulu. Granted, those have big studio backing and decades of top tier catalog so they can afford to charge less and provide more. Sadly it looks like this segmentation is the future of streaming. I've already decided to not sign up for Peacock (Christ who the hell thought that was a good name, I know the Peacock is the NBC logo but for fuck's sake) and Paramount+ because their content offering is simply not compelling enough. I'm a Trekkie but Paramount has gotten more than enough money out of me for Star Trek over the years, between DVDs, Blu-rays, movie tickets, merchandise, etc. Other than Lower Decks I'm not enjoying the new era ST stuff enough to pay for Paramount, and it's not like I'll ever want to stream Top Gun.

    I'll probably have to keep Disney+ because I have a three year old, the Hulu account I share with like 12 friends so it's super cheap. HBO Max I share with my extended family so it's also super cheap. If I had to pay in full for these I'd dump Hulu and just stick with Disney and HBO for the sheer amount of top tier content they have.

    I suspect once the trend of each studio having their own service plays out, we're basically going to end back up at cable TV, with packages that bundle together content from multiple studios all at once, with ad supported tiers (Amazon Prime already does this with their shitty IMDB TV options). Oh yeah, I forgot I have Amazon Prime and Apple because those are rolled into other services as loss leaders. Just no way for Netflix to compete anymore in this market. I'm guessing most of their money at this point is from selling customer data.
     
  20. saint.panda

    saint.panda Friend

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    To be fair, Netflix doesn't rely on algorithms when they create new shows. There was an article from a few years ago that gave a glimpse into how shows get green-lighted: https://www.vulture.com/2018/06/how-netflix-swallowed-tv-industry.html

    Knowing plenty of folks who work there, even today a lot of their collections in the feed are manually curated instead of algorithm-personalized.

    As a consumer, I love the competition that Netflix has ignited. Just wouldn't want to be a shareholder right now.
     

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