Netflix Is Facing a Moment Of Truth; Could Leave Executives ‘More Scared and Paralyzed Than they Already Were.’

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A man watching Netflix on TV.
A man watching Netflix on TV.

After Netflix reported a 200,000 subscribers loss for the first time in ten years, the streaming platform laid off 25 marketing staffers and is reining in its multibillion-dollar annual content budget. 

Hollywood insiders said the crisis will either push Netflix to create higher quality original content or haul it to a creative retreat. 

Though the streaming giant is still expected to spend as much as $18 billion on content in 2022, Hollywood producers, showrunners, and talent reps revealed that the streamer reached a threshold and facing the last days of glory 

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“I miss the days when Netflix executives had passion projects — projects they nurtured and fought for as much as any creator — and they could make that case and follow that passion,” one showrunner said.

Now that the company’s meteoric rise is slowing, the showrunner said they “worry that people are going to be even more scared and paralyzed than they already were.” 

But some see the crisis as an opportunity for the streamer. “I hope it forces them to change,” said a TV agent. “We want them to be a viable buyer. They need to get shaken a little.”

Last week, Netflix announced it lost 200,000 subscribers during the first quarter of 2022 and expects to lose another 2 million in the coming months. The streamer argued that its subscription drop is due to the growing competition, password ramping, and macroeconomic factors such as inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.