Netflix makes controversial changes to their popular platform


Photo by Emily Kinney

Emily Kinney, senior, smiling as Netflix opens on her computer.

Netflix is one of the largest streaming services in North America and has approximately 195.15 million subscribers worldwide. Despite their often genius marketing strategies, wide audience of users, and premium selection of movies and TV shows, Netflix has been making decisions and may implement plans in the future that could affect subscription numbers, content available, future prices, and overall profit.

On October 29th, Netflix announced they would be raising their monthly standard rate from $12.99 to $13.99, and their premium rate to $18 a month. While this may not seem like much, subscribers are paying $156 yearly to $168 yearly, and puts the streaming giant at over 20 billion US dollars annually. With the yearly price climbs, that number will only grow.

In an article published by The VergeI, Greg Peters, the Chief Operating Officer of Netflix, said that Netflix will “occasionally go back and ask [customers] to pay a little bit more to keep that virtuous cycle of investment and value creation going.”

This will allow Netflix to widen their streaming abilities by implementing new movies and TV shows, which is profitable for consumer entertainment. However, Netflix is also swiftly transitioning from providing content licensed from large Hollywood Studios to Netflix original shows and movies, envisioning the strategy to make Netflix significant profit, similar to HBO’s success with a similar model.

The astounding number of Netflix originals puts Netflix at having produced more than 1,500 originals since 2013. These movies and TV shows produced by Netflix (or by smaller production companies and sold to Netflix) have received a multitude of responses from viewers.

Some have received acclaim for the fantastic acting performances and genius plots, like Stranger Things and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before with tomatometer ratings of 93% and 96%. On the contrary, other originals have been criticized by audiences for their poor quality character development and generally painful cheesiness, like The Last Summer and Richie Rich, receiving tomatometer ratings of 29% and 24%.

In an article published by IndieWire, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos said that, “the thing that’s interesting about all these upcoming services, as well as the services that are in the market today, is that mostly they have none of the same programming,” Sarandos added that “Nothing that’s on Disney+ is going to be on Netflix and nothing that’s on Netflix is going to be on the [Comcast and WarnerMedia services]. They’re going to be very unique.”

While Netflix is a popular streaming platform that continues to infuse strategies that will boost their level of performance and quality of service, however at a high cost. With high competition among streaming companies, like Hulu, Amazon Prime, Youtube TV, and Sling TV, Netflix is making money moves and fast. With the Netflix standard plan at $13.99 a month, Amazon at $12.99 (aside from college students who only need to pay half that), and Disney Plus at $6.99 a month.

While some could argue that Netflix’s changes are unnecessary, and the platform itself isn’t worth about $14 a month, Netflix believes that implementing a new price can allow them to better the service and continue to add new content.