Netflix loses subscribers, students miss shows

by Blaise Runyon

News Editor

The following story was written by a student on the staff of The Jaguar Times as part of Hilliard Bradley High School’s Journalism Production course.

Netflix has long dominated the movie streaming industry, but this soon could change. Photo by David Balev licensed under Unsplash License.
Netflix has long dominated the movie streaming industry, but this soon could change. Photo by David Balev licensed under Unsplash License.

In the past few years, Netflix has been on a downward spiral. After losing rights to The Office, Friends, and That 70s Show somewhat recently, they’ll be removing Hairspray, Free Willy, and Zoolander at the end of May. All of these are popular favorites that fans and critics alike love. It seems that Netflix replaces these with cheap reality dating TV. These shows can entertain viewers for a short time but aren’t quality entertainment. Love is Blind, The Ultimatum, and Too Hot To Handle are just a few of the shows that are just trashy tv. When I say “trashy” I mean the kind of shows you don’t want to watch, but you just can’t stop.

Besides just the decreasing quality of their Netflix Originals, the streaming service has faced many other problems recently. Citing “password sharing” as the cause, Netflix announced that they lost 200,000 subscribers at the beginning of 2022, and could see even more losses next quarter. Netflix sent out a letter to its shareholders stating that “covid clouded the picture by significantly increasing our growth in 2020, leading us to believe that most of our slowing growth in 2021 was due to the Covid pull forward.” It’s also important to note that Netflix withdrew its services from Russia due to the war, which accounts for 700,000 of the subscribers lost. Netflix is also facing increased competition from other streaming platforms as more and more emerge. Every network that creates its own service (Disney, HBO, Paramount, etc.) just adds to the list of shows that Netflix can’t add to its own roster. According to a Jag Times survey, 78% of students at Bradley are subscribed to Netflix, 13% use another person’s account, and the remaining do not use Netflix.

As they lost subscribers, they’ve cut back many departments that they seem to see as “disposable,” such as many of their recent hires to support their “Tudum” website (named after the sound the app makes when you open it). If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not the only one. The company didn’t exactly put much effort into promoting their new venture, a site made to take viewers “behind the streams.” It was launched in December but isn’t the top priority when the first quarter of this year was the first time that Netflix experienced a net loss of subscribers in over a decade.

The Jag Times sent out a request for what shows students missed most that have been removed from the streaming service, and received many answers from a plethora of students. Jessica Cline (11), Frankie Divincenzo (12), and Olivia Seiler (12) all missed having “Friends” available for viewing. Gabby Lawhead (11) and Natalie Esquivel (12) both were disappointed to see “That 70s Show” head out. Nurah B. (12) liked the BBC’s “Sherlock” series, which was taken off in May 2021. Bradley students were eager to share shows that they missed being on Netflix, which could be a prophecy of the looming fall of the 80 billion-dollar company.