The new Netflix era requires broad hits and niche experiments
The Future. Netflix has had both a great and terrible year, with many of its movies and shows becoming all-time hits for the platform while the company’s financials and growth-predictions stall. The problem may be that Netflix needs to vary its programming more to reduce churn and bring in new users… while also sticking to bonafide hits that will keep advertisers happy with those using the platform’s new ad tier.
Writing for Puck, Parrot Analytics director of strategy Julia Alexander breaks down that, despite the press, it’s been a banner year for Netflix content.
- Its new show, The Addams Family reboot series, Wednesday, is a massive hit — it has racked up 750 million hours viewed over the past two weeks and had the biggest premiere weekend ever for an English-language show.
- Meanwhile, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is the third Netflix series to be viewed for over a billion hours… and it did it in just 60 days.
- Looking back to the early summer, Stranger Things Vol. 4 will easily be the biggest show to date for all of 2022 when it comes to “views, demand, social media engagement, etcetera.”
- And including new seasons of Bridgerton and Ozark, half of Netflix’s Top 10 English language debuts ever will have been released this year.
Netflix is undeniably a hit factory… but subscriber growth has nearly plateaued in the US, revenue has slowed, churn has increased, and its stock is down 50% from last year.
That’s a bad year for the most successful streaming service on the planet that nearly every company in Hollywood is trying to mimic.
How does Netflix change those challenged metrics? Alexander has some ideas.
- The issue with many of the hits — Wednesday, Stranger Things, Bridgerton — is that they appeal to the same users (Gen Z and Millennials), who are at no risk of churning out. In other words, the same (big) audience is watching the same stuff.
- That means those types of shows aren’t as valuable to a platform that’s trying to jumpstart subscriber growth and decrease churn.
- So, Netflix should focus on “using data to find whitespace opportunities that appeal to customers who aren’t as engaged with those (often very expensive) top-performing titles.”
Shows that are moving the needle in this regard include South Korea’s Extraordinary Attorney Woo (400 million hours viewed and bringing in new subscribers in the Asia-Pacific region), Israel’s Fauda (data shows it kept a lot of high-risk churners subscribing), and Tollywood epic RRR (which became a surprise hit in theaters as well).
With so many of these movies and shows coming from outside the US, there might be ample opportunity to get American users hooked even more by applying their tenants to English-language content.