Creative Thinking

Netflix: the rise and fall of the streaming disruptor

Published on

May 10, 2022


Man with feet on table watching Netflix

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news lately, you’ll know that Netflix’s share price has plummeted to the lowest we’ve seen since late 2017 due to a significant reduction in subscribers and a lack of planning for how to become profitable in the future.

There’s many theories around why this has happened to what has been the descriptor for home streaming globally for the past decade. Could it be the loss of 200,000 subscribers due to a crackdown on password sharing? Or the inevitable drop-off after a pandemic-fueled growth period? Maybe. But we think there’s something deeper going on.

What’s in a name

People don’t realise that brand names consumers frequently misuse as generic product descriptors – such as Bubble Wrap, Band Aid and Granola – are registered trademarks and the property of specific companies. Netflix became synonymous with online home streaming.

But what goes up, must come down. Could Netflix be falling victim to its own successes?

Netflix and Chill, 2015 style

Let’s go back to 2015. Netflix is the streaming service globally, with next to no noteworthy competitors. They have a monopoly over the streaming market.

‘Netflix and chill’ is a Friday night staple and it seems like everyone knows someone who has a Netflix account they can piggyback off of. Unless you wanted to watch reruns or sprint to the bathroom during ad-breaks, it made sense to pay for a Netflix subscription.

While Netflix was basking in their descriptor glory, brands like Amazon Prime, along with up-and-coming streaming services like Hulu and later Disney+ were hot on their tail. Building new offerings to directly compete with Netflix.

Too many cooks spoil the broth

These new streaming providers have built brands that give Netflix a run for its money. Turning once die-hard Netflix fans into paying customers of their own. Netflix is no longer synonymous with streaming, but simply another player on the pitch.

The rise of other streaming services has leveled the playing field, and it seems Netflix is struggling to find a way to stay on top.

Sure, the lack of new content could be a factor. Or competing in price in today’s current cost of living crisis.

But our question is this: has Netflix’s reign as the streaming service descriptor finally come to an end? And if so, has its astronomical success actually been to its own detriment?

Join the conversation on LinkedIn and let us know your thoughts.

written by

Daniel Dagher

Founder and Client Partner

Bray St.

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