The movie streaming service Netflix has had a long-standing reputation as one of the top places to watch popular movies and TV shows. In the past, their user base has continued to rise and fall but generally gone in an upward trend. Lately, however, Netflix has seen a decline in popularity. Despite their release of Stranger Things, Netflix continues to lose customers.
Current Netflix Trends
Current Netflix trends suggest the media giant is losing its fast growth. Not only are the number of new users continuing to dwindle, but the number of total users is also shrinking. Here are some statistics and trends related to Netflix’s user base and stock prices:
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The number of users is not the only place you can see Netflix decline. Over the past year, Netflix’s stock value has also dropped significantly. At its peak in 2021, a single share of Netflix stock was valued at nearly $700. In June of 2022, its value dropped to under $200.
In efforts to crack down on password sharing, Netflix recently released their plans to make changes to make limit the number of people sharing an account. This made many users upset. These changes were rolled out on a trial basis in countries like Peru and Chili. So far, the feedback has been negative.
One option is that users could pay an additional amount to share their account. For $2.99, a subscriber can create a “sub-account” to accommodate 2 others who don’t live with them.
A second option is for users to create a whole new account, but they can keep their history and preferences. This requires the user to create a new account and pay for a separate subscription.
Netflix also continues to raise their prices. Recently, their basic plan rose from $1 to $8.99 a month while their standard plan rose from $13.99 to $15.49 a month. This increase in price has subscribers looking for cheaper options.
Netflix has a growing number of competitors in the field. Many streaming services have caught on to Netflix’s model and are now viable competition. Here are some of the most popular streaming services other than Netflix:
- Amazon Prime Video: Amazon offers a video streaming service to any of their prime members. With a prime membership, users can select from several popular movies and television shows for free. Similar to Netflix, they also have several shows and movies produced by Prime Video themselves and exclusive to their site.
- Disney Plus: Disney Plus has become a popular option for families, Marvel fans, and Star Wars lovers. The platform includes a range of films for children up to adults. Included with the platform are all Star Wars movies and shows, many of the Marvel Studios films, old Disney movies and new releases. They also have the option to rent movies that are currently in theaters and have not yet been released. Additionally, a low monthly fee of just $8 or an annual fee of $80 is attractive to many of its users.
- HBO Max: Since its launch in 2020, HBO Max has quickly grown in popularity. Users can purchase an HBO max plan starting at just $9.99 per month, making it comparable to Netflix. HBO Max has a variety of blockbuster movies and shows, including Harry Potter, The Big Bang Theory, and Suicide Squad. They also have their own line of movies produced by HBO Max.
- Hulu: Hulu has been one of Netflix’s closest competitors for many years. Hulu streams many popular television shows and movies, and they often overlap with Netflix. Hulu offers many discounts and promotions. For example, students can purchase a basic plan for just $1.99 per month. Spotify premium users can also bundle with Hulu for exclusive savings.
- Sling TV: Sling TV is a live TV streaming service that provides many services that Netflix does not. Their basic package offers 31 live channels, with options to upgrade with more expensive plans. Sling TV features live sports, entertainment and news. They also have the ability to DVR shows and movies. It can office access to other apps like YouTube TV, Netflix and Google Play.
- Peacock: Peacock TV is an NBC Streaming Service. They include a number of free features, such as sports, news and pop culture. Upgrading to the premium service gives users access to over 20,000 hours of content.
In addition to the platforms listed above, there are a number of other competitors who have attracted some of Netflix’s user base. Some companies offer plans at low cost or even free. Teenagers and college students who are good with technology have quickly learned how to access free but illegal platforms to watch their favorite movies and shows. This drives users away from Netflix.
Latest Netflix Releases
People expected a number of recent releases to drive up the number of users and restore Netflix’s dominance in an ever-changing market. Here are some of the most popular current and anticipated releases of 2022:
- Cobra Kai: Season 4
- Cheer: Season 2
- Emily in Paris: Season 2
- The Witcher: Season 2
- Ozark: Season 4
- Inventing Anna: Season 1
- Bridgerton: Season 2
- The Crown: Season 5
- Stranger Things: Season 4
Many people anticipate the release of season 4 of Stranger Things will be one of the biggest boosts to Netflix within the last few years. Its long-anticipated arrival has viewers excited and eager to learn what happens to Hopper, Eleven and her friends.
The new season of Stranger Things was originally set to release in early 2021. However, due to Covid and other delays during filming, season 4 is now released nearly 3 years after the previous season. Producers released the first half of the episodes on May 27 and plan to release the second half on July 1. The delay in production continued to drive up interest in what the new season would hold.
According to Netflix, their users watched over 286.79 million hours of Stranger Things within the first weekend of its release. However, despite the series’ popularity, it did not seem to improve the company’s ratings.
Can Stranger Things Save Netflix?
Stockholders hoped that revenue and stock prices would increase with Stranger Thing’s release of season 4. However, after the first half of the episodes were released on May 27, stocks rose by only a few points. Despite the excitement regarding the show’s release, there was not a significant increase in new users or stock prices. It seems that the new Stranger Things episodes will not be able to save Netflix.
Netflix reports that it had a large budget for Stranger Things, at around $30 million per episode. This means that Netflix spent significantly more producing the show than they were able to profit from it.
Many users eagerly anticipate Netflix releasing the second half of Stranger Things in early July. However, it’s not likely that the second half of season 4 will generate any more new users than the first half. Stocks values and the user base may keep shrinking as Netflix continues to plummet.
The Bottom Line
It appears that Stranger Things cannot save Netflix’s decline. Despite record-breaking hours viewed in the first weekend of its release, Season 4 did not produce additional profit or subscribers. Many Netflix users continue to search for more cost-efficient options as Netflix continues to drive up their monthly price and block users from sharing passwords. This may leave investors wondering if there is any hope for Netflix’s future earnings.