Netflix Is Missing 1 Easy Way To Help Fix Its Subscriber Woes

With the latest news about Netflix’s subscriber woes, the company is missing one easy way to help fix these issues. Although still one of the biggest streaming services in the world, Netflix recently lost over 200,000 subscribers and expects to lose two million more over the next few months. The reason for this sudden decline has been heavily debated, with possibilities ranging from raised subscription prices to a lack of consistent content. Netflix is responding to the subscriber loss with a crack-down on password sharing, but they are meanwhile overlooking the company’s history and an easy way to help fix its current problems.

Before becoming one of the biggest streaming platforms in the world, Netflix began as a DVD rental business in the late 1990s. The company launched its streaming service in 2007, and by 2016, Netflix was available worldwide. Its initial original content, including the shows House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, premiered in 2013, and the rest is history. Over the years, Netflix has curated an impressive list of in-house programming consisting of multi-season shows, miniseries, movies, and interactive content. They’ve also been instrumental in bringing an internationally diverse set of titles to the masses. Their IPs include immense hits like Stranger Things, Squid Game, and Bridgerton as well as a number of Netflix shows that were canceled before they had a chance to end properly despite their popularity, such as Sense8 or Santa Clarita Diet.

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One of the ways in which Netflix has been trying to entice people to the service for years is by releasing the first season of a show on DVD and/or Blu-ray and then neglecting to release the rest of that show physically, thereby forcing fans into taking on a subscription just to continue watching their favorite content. While it is understandable that Netflix will do anything to grow its subscriber base and digital streaming comprises the majority of its business, overlooking the power of physical media like Disney+ and other competitors have done and disregarding the company’s roots isn’t the best strategy. Instead, Netflix should lean into viewing physical media as an equal counterpart to its streaming service and offer viewers more ways to explore Netflix’s massive library at their discretion.

Physical media is not dead yet. Box sets and limited edition Steelbook Blu-rays offer a fun way to collect media and limit the frustration of looking for a specific movie or show online. Netflix has made some strides in relation to physical media, with a small percentage of their prestige films being released as part of The Criterion Collection, and a selection of their shows being available to buy on disc as well. While it is reasonable for Netflix to want to keep their big releases like The Umbrella Academy exclusive to the digital platform to pull in new subscribers, there comes a time when a certain show or film is no longer bringing in those new subscriptions, and that is a prime time to provide a disc release. Although it could be argued that making too much of their original programming available on physical media would eliminate one’s need to subscribe, a possible way to circumvent such an issue would be to provide delayed, limited-edition releases, allowing collectors to eventually expand their libraries without compromising their need for the streaming platform. Additionally, Netflix could again offer a combined subscription for both streaming and disc rentals, giving viewers even more choice in how they consume Netflix’s content.

The fracturing of the streaming landscape with Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, Hulu, and more means that finding a favorite series or movie to watch is becoming more difficult each day. Collecting physical media is the same as collecting books or action figures. It’s a way for audiences to express their appreciation for a certain product. If Netflix was willing to lean more into the company’s history and cater to an even wider base of consumers by releasing physical media on a more frequent basis and further developing their disc rental service, it would help to set them apart from their direct competition.

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