Has Netflix peaked?

Plus, what’s between price increases and competition?

On Saturday, DISH failed to reach an agreement with Disney and Sling subscribers lost access to Disney-owned channels, including ESPN. But just in the nick of time for Monday Night Football, DISH and Disney made up and the lost channels returned. Blink, and you’d have missed the outage! That’s the power of sports in streaming, people!

In this issue:

  • Is Netflix struggling? Or are its competitors just smarter?

  • Pick your fighter: HBO Max? Apple TV+? Peacock?

  • Vampire series are back for spooky season

Today’s issue of the Stream Report is sponsored by Hulu+ Live TV.

It’s like cable, but better.

Looking for a place to watch your favorite fall shows — like Bachelor in Paradise, Abbott Elementary, and 9-1-1 — live without cable?

Try Hulu+ Live TV. It’s the best way to stream live TV on any device. And you don’t even have to wait until the next day to watch.

Set up is no hassle, there’s no hidden fees, and you get access to the best movies, shows, and sports. Not to mention 75+ live TV channels.

3 signs Netflix is down and out

Streaming services don’t usually fall away by surprise. (Though they do sometimes drop content by surprise.) There are typically signs that things aren’t going well. As András Juhász noted in, “Netflix Has Peaked, What’s Next?” we can measure a streamer’s success using three metrics:

  1. subscriber count

  2. market share

  3. cost

Let’s dive into that analysis for Netflix.

 Subscribers are 📉

At the end of Q4 2021, Netflix had reached nearly 222 million subscribers worldwide, its highest ever.

But by the next quarter, the company reported its first subscriber loss in a decade. That bleed continued with a net loss of 970,000 subscribers in Q2 2022.

One caveat: Netflix exited Russia in Q2 2022, which immediately lost the streamer 700,000 subscribers.

Even before the Russia Problem, though, Netflix reported two straight quarters of net subscriber losses, quite a trend for a company that had seen nothing but growth for 10 years straight.

 Market share is 📉

Netflix continues to have the largest market share for on-demand streaming service providers. But Netflix saw its market share drop by 2% in Q2 of this year, one report suggests. So as Netflix has lost subscribers, it seems its competitors have gained subscribers.

Netflix still commands the market with a 21% market share, but declines are a problem for the company and highlight just how much its competitors are gnawing away at its customers.

 Cost is 📈

Netflix has increased prices multiple times in the past year. As we discussed last week, Netflix has increased prices over 90% since it launched in 2007, and for U.S. customers, the price comes at a premium of 40% above inflation-adjusted prices.

The company raised its prices at the beginning of 2022 for US and Canada, which likely helped push many people on the fence about Netflix over the edge and caused them to cancel their subscriptions.

But can content output save Netflix?

Despite it all, Netflix is still a content powerhouse. IMDb data shows that at the start of October, 480 titles on Netflix were rated above 8/10. That’s 7% of the Netflix library.

The raw numbers suggest Netflix has more highly-ranked **titles than its competitors, like Amazon Prime Video (459 titles), Disney+ (116 titles), Apple TV+ (18 titles) and HBO Max (43 titles).

But if you look at the percentage or total library, Netflix is in a bit of a bind.

Netflix hits parity with Disney+ and beats Amazon Prime Video, but Apple TV+ and HBO Max are up-and-coming threats.

If those two services continue to produce high-quality content and increase the rate of their content production, they’ll eventually overtake Netflix and likely steal more market share.

Our takeaway: Netflix just has a competition problem

Our takeaway on this is that Netflix didn’t peak. It’s still #1 by a long shot and that isn’t going to change in the immediate future.

Instead, its competition has both increased in number and gotten better at creating quality content that people want to watch. Combine that with economic forces that make it harder to justify paying for multiple streaming services, and Netflix becomes a less desirable option — especially when people can still share passwords without consequence (for now).

Netflix knows that, of course, and despite its promises in the past is starting to clamp down on password sharing.So, if Netflix is stumbling, which streaming service do you want to see overtake it? 

  • *|SURVEY: Disney+|*

  • *|SURVEY: Amazon Prime Video|*

  • *|SURVEY: HBO Max|*

  • *|SURVEY: Apple TV+|*

  • *|SURVEY: Peacock|*

  • *|SURVEY: Hulu|*

  • *|SURVEY: Paramount+|*

The Watchlist

Discover hidden treasure on Disney+ with ‘Shipwreck Hunters Australia.’

Watch the North American Premiere of Sherwood on BritBox.

The vampire series Let the Right One In is streaming on Showtime — and you can watch it on Sling TV.

Is high resolution on YouTube now a premium feature?

Paramount+ is airing the first season of East New York this month.

Watch the Netflix drama “Glitch” this Saturday (Oct. 8).

Find the best ways to watch NFL games this weekend.

Join the conversation

or to participate.