Netflix is losing customers, cracking down on “shared passwords” and considering running commercials

Last quarter, Netflix’s long streak of expanding subscriber numbers ended with a bang. They lost paying customers in the hundreds of thousands — with millions more projected to bail out. .

And that has them looking for culprits. First came the staggering news that tens of millions are stealing their content — their way of looking at it — by sharing password info with friends, family and neighbors. They’ve let it slide up to now, but there is…concern. Now.

And then came this more telling trial balloon. They’re dabbling with the idea of having cheaper levels of service that come with commercials.

Tubi, Roku, Pluto and others are eating their lunch. They’re doing it by being free on your Smart TV, and running commercials. HBO Max and Hulu and Disney+ are looking for ad money, too.

All of those services are also starting to produce original content, just like Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.

Game on?

This could just be posturing for “the markets,” which have to notice the endless growth model has come to an end. But maybe you, like me, have seen a fall-off in Netflix original content production, a lot more sharing of “Netflix Italy/South America/Spain/France/India/South Korea” films and series to cover that.

I’ve noticed because most months, I run out of things I’d be interested in reviewing about mid month. After their recent price hike, that makes me wonder if I’ll resume my practice of dropping it for a couple of months, staying on a couple of months.

My mother has Roku, Tubi, Pluto and other free streamers that I load onto her TV whenever I visit. The advertising breaks are computer generated and irritating, but for the one-time cost of a TV and monthly high speed internet, she has almost as many viewing options as I do.

And I’ve just started reviewing original titles produced by those “free” streamers.

So yeah, game is definitely on. The only game in town stopped being the only game in town during the pandemic, and their inflationary price hike has customers voting with their feet.

It’ll be interesting to see what they finally decide to do when they respond to these red flags.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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