By Richard Bledsoe April 22, 2022 at 1:41pm
In a speech last summer, former President Donald Trump couldn’t resist uttering the phrase, “Everything woke turns to s***.”
Evidence of that vulgar assertion came in a financial filing Tuesday by Netflix, the streaming service that has proudly embraced divisive left-wing programming that fits that description.
In the first quarter of 2022, the company lost 200,000 paid subscribers, the first decrease like that in over a decade. Even worse, Netflix predicted the losses will soar to 2 million in the second quarter.
The company’s stock plummeted in the wake of the news, from $348.42 on Tuesday to $215.52 on Friday — a 38 percent drop.
Don’t worry, though, Netflix has a plan to counter the collapse and prop up the sinking stock: It says it will be coming after those who watch using shared passwords.
CNBC reported on strategy, calling it a “dark day for your ex-boyfriend’s brother.”
Netflix said it currently has 222 million subscribers around the world. The audience for the platform surged while people were trapped in their homes during the poorly conceived and ineffective COVID-19 lockdowns.
The company was performing so well it did not overly concern itself with how many viewers accessed the streaming service without paying.
Netflix said this week that an estimated 130 million households around the world — including 30 million in the U.S. and Canada — were watching using someone else’s login information.
Have you canceled your Netflix subscription?
It apparently finds it cannot afford to overlook the practice any longer.
Netflix announced last month it was testing a solution in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru. For an additional monthly fee, up to two more profiles could be added.
According to NPR, feedback about the plan on social media was negative. People are used to having fun while someone else pays, as wrong and unsustainable as that is.
Now that approach is coming to the United States.
“Another focus is how best to monetize sharing — the 100M+ households using another household’s account,” Netflix said in a letter to shareholders on Tuesday. “This is a big opportunity as these households are already watching Netflix and enjoying our service.
“Sharing likely helped fuel our growth by getting more people using and enjoying Netflix,” it said. “And we’ve always tried to make sharing within a member’s household easy, with features like profiles and
“While these have been very popular, they’ve created confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared with other households. So early last year we started testing different approaches to monetize sharing and, in March, introduced two new paid sharing features, where current members have the choice to pay for additional households, in three markets in Latin America.
“There’s a broad range of engagement when it comes to sharing households from high to occasional viewing. So while we won’t be able to monetize all of it right now, we believe it’s a large short- to mid-term opportunity. As we work to monetize sharing, growth in [average revenue per membership], revenue and viewing will become more important indicators of our success than membership growth.”
There are many factors contributing to Netflix’s troubles.
As CNBC noted, the end of lockdowns reduced the demand for entertainment at home.
A rise in competing streaming services such as Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney+ diluted the customer base, although some of those brands are having their own problems.
Two big issues for Netflix were not addressed in the liberal outlet’s report.
The first is the brutal Biden economy. Inflation is setting records under President Joe Biden, with no end in sight. As prices for basics such as food and fuel skyrocket, entertainment often becomes a causality in people’s budgets.
The second issue is the quality and the character of the content on Netflix.
Elon Musk, who is currently shaking up another tech giant, put it this way: “The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable.”
The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2022
Our family quit Netflix back in 2018 when Barack and Michelle Obama signed on as content producers. It was easy to where the streaming service was going.
More recent offerings include “Don’t Look Up,” a science fiction spoof/analogy targeting “climate deniers”; “Colin in Black and White,” a slanted documentary about former NFL quarterback and national anthem protester Colin Kaepernick; and agenda-pushing productions such as “Q-Force,” a cartoon about LGBT spies, and “He’s Expecting,” a drama about a pregnant man.
Perhaps the most infamous example was the film “Cuties,” which was widely criticized for sexualizing young girls.
Having a reputation as “woke” propaganda might be Netflix’s biggest hurdle of all for gaining and retaining customers.