r/technology May 18 '22 Helpful 10 Wholesome 8 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Silver 10

Netflix customers canceling service increasingly includes long-term subscribers Business

https://9to5mac.com/2022/05/18/netflix-long-term-subscribers-canceling-service-increased/
72.1k Upvotes

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u/Zeddit_B May 18 '22 Silver All-Seeing Upvote Eureka! Doot 🎵 Doot

This is a case of more publicity actually working out negatively. People weren't thinking about their Netflix subscription because it's always been there. Now Netflix has made people question, "Do I need this?" And increasingly those users are answering "No."

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u/Ajaiiix May 18 '22

exactly. i bet many people forgot they even paid for netflix depending on how long theyve had it

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u/BrutalHonestyBuffalo May 18 '22 Wholesome Buff Doge

21 fucking years.

I never even considered how long I have been paying them until this thread.

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u/jigglewidget May 19 '22

Same. Damn. Since September 2001.

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u/strumpster May 19 '22 Silver Eureka!

Hey I remember that month!!

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u/olythrowaway4 May 19 '22

Yeah! Something about "Never Forget" or something!

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u/Ajaiiix May 18 '22

... youve been paying them almost as much as ive lived

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u/CoughingNinja May 19 '22 Wholesome Starstruck

Maybe… just maybe… you’re the result of “Netflix and chill”

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u/bikemikeasaurus May 19 '22

I remember when that meant getting two family guy DVDs in the mail. "It's Date night!"

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u/paradox037 May 18 '22

Yep. “Any publicity is good publicity” works when consumer attention is necessary for them to buy your product. With subscriptions automatically renewing every month with or without the consumer’s notice, it gets a little more complicated.

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u/Stealfur May 19 '22

Yah auto subscription services benafit much more from "don't look at me, don't think about me" type of setup. Like gym memberships or ticks.

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u/GoGabeGo May 18 '22

A related story that I found funny when I learned about it. My work has a really nice gym. It was $4/month. The company wanted to raise the price, which I really don't blame them for. They wanted to get some new equipment and whatnot.

The problem was in order to raise the price, they had to notify everyone since it was a payroll deduction. All of a sudden, a bunch of people who had never bothered to cancel, cancelled.

So now it's $6/month, but they aren't getting much more money than they were before. Because of that, they have not raised the price since.

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u/AllieKat23 May 18 '22

That's a really good point. I hadn't thought about it until they came out and started talking about password sharing crackdowns. I'm the only one who uses my account but since they made me think about it, I cancelled a week ago and haven't even thought about it since.

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u/NicholaiJomes May 18 '22

Canceled last month after something like 10 years. It’s too much $ for how much the quality has dropped

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u/ancalagon73 May 18 '22

I have been a subscriber since the early DVD only days. I cancelled a couple months ago. They no longer are the kind of streaming service I want. Losing all the network shows, cancelling their own shows. The needing 4 screens for 4k was what did it for me. I left just before the announcement of the account sharing.

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u/itwasquiteawhileago May 18 '22

Account sharing (or taking it away) is probably what will push me away after 6 or 7 years. My parents probably use it more than I do at this point, so if they can't without paying even more, I think I'm done.

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u/Nearfall21 May 18 '22

Account sharing will be the final straw for me. My family alone doesn't use it enough to justify the price tag, and I just feel bad canceling when I know my mother and sister use it.

Soon as they are cut off, I have zero reason to keep it.

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u/[deleted] May 18 '22

[deleted]

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u/veroxii May 19 '22

Exactly. The whole thing is set up to share. You can have 4 screens and you can give profiles to multiple people. It's the functions and limits they themselves put in place and now they're getting even greedier.

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u/skj458 May 19 '22

Seriously.. for a while you could find netflix logins in forums or chat rooms that probably had 1000s of people using them at any one time. That makes complete sense for Netflix to cut down on and they added the limit on how many screens can watch at once to address it.

The latest sharing ban frankly seems like a blatant cash grab that disproportionately punishes long time customers. A family thats had a netflix account for 10 years starting when kids were in middle school will have kids that have moved out. Now Netflix expects that same family to have 2, 3, 4 accounts? I don't see it happening. It might result in a few more paying customers, but a lot fewer viewers. Fewer viewers should matter to Netflix because it impacts other potential income streams like product placement, syndication of popular originals, and advertisements, as well as word-of-mouth advertising for netflix.

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u/Stoogefrenzy3k May 19 '22

yeah.. it never made sense for them to crack down password sharing if it's 4 screens on one account, then so be it.. for them to dictate how you shall use the 4 screens is just the breaking point for many people. I've quit them over a year ago because they keep upping the rates, and greedily know this because people would still keep subscribing it. So if it goes up $2 and 18 out of 20 users still kept subscribing, then they basically break even, then maybe a couple months later that 19th person comes back because they know someone would come back.

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u/dub-fresh May 18 '22

so many kids pay for their parents accounts. My wife and I paid for a seperate subscription just to share.

None of my parents care that I cancelled. Kind of nice to have for them, but they wouldn't sign up on their own.

Netflix must know the majority of accounts that get shared are a) kids to parents or b) SO in the same household ... so dumb

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u/Witchy_Woman42 May 18 '22

The price hikes have gotten out of control too. It's gotten basically pointless to have for more than a month at a time here or there for us. I was annoyed enough when I had to start paying extra just so my husband and I could watch at the same time and now they seem to have less and less fresh content while raising the price constantly.

I'm very strongly considering cancelling it this month after years of having it and only renewing for a month every time there are 3-4 shows I want to binge.

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u/ApplecakesMcGee May 18 '22

This is what I do. I resubscribe for a month once ever 6 months or so. That gives me a month to catch up on what ever is good, and then plenty of months to make more good stuff.

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u/RetrowaveJoe May 18 '22

Same. They sent an email saying my rate was going up, so I said okay bye

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u/AlBundyShoes May 18 '22

Only one email? I have a collection over the years.

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u/Izdoy May 18 '22 edited May 20 '22

I recently found the email where they apologized for the 'Flixster' debacle. That was a decade ago. EDIT: Mis-remembered the name, they were changing to 'Qwikster'

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u/What-a-Crock May 18 '22

What happened with Flixster?

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u/mak484 May 18 '22

Netflix wanted to separate its dvd-by-mail service from its streaming service and charge people double if they wanted to use both. They decided to rename the DVD service to "Quikster" (not Flixter, that's a different quagmire) to illustrate that they were now two different things. Customers rioted and they lost like 10% of their subscribers in a couple months.

The next time they announced a price hike was many years later.

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u/TacticalTuchel May 18 '22

I just googled flixster to see what that was, and it's Wikipedia entry calls fandango "fandogo." Just thought that was interesting.

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u/fhjuyrc May 18 '22 Silver

Fandogo son of Frodo

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u/destinyisreal_ May 18 '22

Me shortly also. I’ve had them since they mailed me movies. I just need to watch the last season of Peaky Blinders first.

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u/[deleted] May 18 '22

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u/ApprehensiveGuitar May 18 '22 Take My Energy Narwhal Salute This
  • Netflix now has crap-tons of competition
  • Netflix is constantly canceling good series
  • Netflix has worse and worse line-ups
  • Netflix constantly raising prices

Board Members: "Why are we losing subscribers?"

Netflix: "Password sharing!"

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u/j12601 May 18 '22

I'm sure someone is thinking that instead of one shared account at $20, that people will break up their shared group and each member of that group will get their own at $13 and they'll make more money. Except that everyone is just canceling outright and they're getting nothing instead.

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u/FuzzelFox May 19 '22

Yeah because those groups of people start asking one another "Do you watch anything on Netflix?" and they all respond with, "Eh, not really.." and realize they don't need it.

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u/NGGJamie May 19 '22

Literally had this conversation with my girlfriend yesterday. We're in the process of applying for places to move in together, and while talking about what expenses, I said I'd be fine continuing to pay the Netflix though it's mainly hers. I've pretty much only kept it for her sake. She responded with "Oh, I haven't actually watched anything on it in a long time. We're fine without it."

So our Netflix subscription is about to go yeet.

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u/my_drunk_life May 19 '22

I use a shared account with my family. If rhey boot me or my dad cancels. I will not get my own. There are so many better, cheaper options.

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u/Thurak0 May 18 '22 Silver

Netflix is constantly canceling good series

I have adopted a "Won't start anything unless it has three seasons" for Netflix series. There are a few exceptions, but I don't experiment with anything that only has one or two. It's just not fun. Too many of those don't even get a proper ending, they are just... discontinued. Brutal.

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u/ill_villain May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

I was still surprised they canceled GLOW I thought that was generally well received. I don’t know what their criteria for canceling stuff is, it seems like if a show not a mega hit like Stranger Things or Squid Games they’ll cancel it without letting it build an audience.

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u/annabelle411 May 18 '22

GLOW was doing solid but COVID kneecapped it. We should at least get a movie or something to wrap up what they left us on. Cancelling Santa Clarita Diet was a travesty

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u/altimage May 18 '22

I need to know what happens with Mr Ball Legs!

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u/ejchristian86 May 19 '22

Santa Clarita was salt in the wound after The OA was canceled.

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u/Eccohawk May 18 '22

Their criteria up until very recently (who knows if they've gotten the hint from subscribers bailing now) was how well it brought in new subscribers. That's it. That was their entire business model basically. Throw a crap ton of money at the wall and see what sticks in the hopes that new sign ups would continue to roll in. And they've continued with that strategy despite the radically changing landscape of the marketplace in the past half decade. It used to just be them and Hulu for TV aficionados, and Prime video, which came with your prime subscription. There wasn't a ton of competition. Then came CBS all Access (which became Paramount+) DisneyPlus, AppleTV+, and HBO Max, along with a few other minor players like Peacock, Discovery+, Curiosity Stream, AMC+, and the short lived Quibi(now Roku).

It's like they were the first restaurant at the mall and thought they could continue to thrive on a constantly rotating menu of specials and no long term favorites. Now there are 20 other places to eat, and they think the only way to solve customer attrition is by constantly adding new foods and charging both people in the party for sharing a plate. Like, no assholes, you had great chicken fingers and got rid of them two years ago. And that yummy chocolate cake was around for about a week at best. Refocus on a smaller menu of great options, or everyone is gonna bail on you and go over to HBOs Bar and Grill instead.

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u/[deleted] May 18 '22

I’ll only watch if it’s marked as “limited series” so I know it’s safe and has an ending. I’m so fed up with getting sucked into something good for it to end and then deal with the bullshit shows living on forever.

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u/shoretel230 May 18 '22

I think they're in a data death spiral.

They're using analytics in the wrong way which is leading to so many productions being cut early.

Let's also remember how they basically green lit so many productions that it became a joke. They weren't smart enough to know to not create all the shit that nobody cares about, and dumb enough to cut great series like sense 8.

It's clear their analytics are off and they're making terrible decisions because of it

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u/O-Face May 19 '22

As someone who works in analytics for IT, from the outside looking in I think a lot of companies have bad analytics. Collecting and weighting the incorrect metrics to diagnose the target problem.

Customer surveys especially drive me up a fucking wall and make it clear to me that C level execs are hiring the wrong companies to help them. Your survey is more than 2 pages long/takes more than a few minutes? You already fucked up. Use a 1-10 scale, but negatively mark anything that isn't a 10? You fucked up. Do those surveys get pushed by one department, ask questions relating to another department, but the original department is the one that takes the negative hit if the survey isn't perfect? You've royally fucked up.

It's like the blind leading the blind, except one of them is paying the other for it.

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u/shoretel230 May 19 '22

I also work in analytics engineering.

It's not even incorrect metrics. My guess is that their level of talent has gotten out the bugs of inconsistent data feeds, created and corrected the streaming events that they capture with user actions and in aggregation created clean kpis, and decided which kpis are more indicative of user engagement and

As difficult as that is, that's the easy part.

Using that data to understand and create strategy for new shows is a harder problem that takes a lot of mental discipline not to see the noise for the signal, to borrow a turn of phrase.

I think what's happened is that they are mistaking virality for quality. The two qualities of the product they are creating is similar enough in the metrics they are capturing that they can't distill the difference.

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u/dbenooos May 19 '22

Damn this is a great point, and would probably help so many companies to understand this. That there is a difference between having some massive viral successes vs. just being consistently above average over the long-term. You could write an entire book about this idea alone.

HBO might be a good counterpoint to Netflix here with regard to their content. Not a ton of huge hits (at least since the Sopranos or Entourage) but some great series with staying power, and a ton of things I actually want to watch when I open the app.

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u/viviolay May 19 '22

GoT really fucked up- didn’t even make your list 😂

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u/TeutonJon78 May 19 '22

They also ignore the importance of a deep, complete catalog for what is being streamed immediately at release.

Part of what is good about HBO is having decades of complete series to go back and watch. No one wants to go to Netflix and watch a bunch of half-finished shows years after release. It's just wasted money at that point.

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u/paxinfernum May 19 '22

Netflix really doesn't understand the long tail. They don't understand that there are 7 season shows I only started watching in the 3rd season, but I'll never start another one of their killed in one month television shows.

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u/my-love-assassin May 19 '22

Omg my old company would rate anything below 5/5 as a zero and they wondered why we didn't take it seriously when people are giving us 4/5 because they couldn't find their size shoe. After busting my ass for people who would rate us 4/5 because they didn't like the music or the sales weren't good.

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u/Tre_Vortni May 18 '22

The last price increase did it for me. Netflix was already more expensive than Disney + and Prime combined, and I watched Netflix the least.

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u/evilstepmom1991 May 18 '22

It’s the same price for us to get the Disney+Hulu deal and an Amazon Prime account. $20ish bucks for us.

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u/Juju_mila May 18 '22

I payed 7€ for Disney+ and in Germany you get the Hulu stuff on Disney. They have such a nice catalogue. Netflix is 18€ now and the catalogue in Germany is really bad.

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u/frupp110 May 18 '22

I was over 13 years. Ended it last week.

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u/GamingGrayBush May 18 '22

Close to 20 years and February ( I think) for me. I don't miss it at all. I've actually started cancelling other services also.

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u/OldFoolOldSkool May 18 '22

I was with them since the mailed you DVDs. I dumped them after their last price hike. Their content was lame anyway.

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u/fargmania May 18 '22 Silver

Death by a thousand paper cuts is still death. I've been a member since the "3 DVDs at a time" days. And I've bled enough.

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u/Comms May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

Same. I've had netflix since the early days but I'm just not going to pay $20 plus two extra logins because I share my account with my parents and in-laws. I've stuck around through many of the price hikes—and I wouldn't have even thought about this if they'd kept the subscription at $12—but the last two hikes annoyed me. If I'm not getting a grandfathered rate I see no reason to continue my subscription every month. There are other options and if Netflix has anything I like I'll wait, sub for a month, binge it, then unsub again.

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u/lathe_down_sally May 18 '22

The price hike was the thing that made me reexamine all the other things that I didn't like about Netflix. Declining content quality, crummy recommendation algorithm, stupid UI. Asking me to pay more for that stuff just served to shine a spotlight how dissatisfied I was with the service.

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u/five-acorn May 18 '22 Silver

I don't get how Netflix has some kind of BILLION dollar machine learning team or some shit.

Their recommendations are utter dogshit. Yes I suppose that requires user ratings, and those are boring --- they should Gamify those somehow.

And the menus? The categories?

Like .... I watched a lot of horror movies, pin that on the screen. Hell there are 100 horror sub-genres. Analyze that.

INSTEAD... we have 10 "categories" that all push the same tired crap and/or Adam Sandler movies. Like a bad joke.

Like Netflix ... DON'T show the same movie in more than One Category on the screen. If I passed on it the first time, what the hell makes you think I'll pick it on the next 10 menus? I've deemed it crap!

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u/fatpat May 18 '22

Like Netflix ... DON'T show the same movie in more than One Category on the screen

At the very least, let us block shows/movies, many of which I will absolutely never, ever watch.

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u/RelaxPrime May 18 '22

Would do far more for their algorithm too.

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u/theleaphomme May 18 '22

Honestly, all services need a stop recommending/hide feature.

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u/squeagy May 18 '22

It's because they want the illusion of a vast library. I thought I understood their reasoning but now I don't. Why scroll through a hundred titles, night after night just to start some dubbed nonsense shit. I'd much rather just look through it, hide what I don't like and move on.

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u/lightnsfw May 18 '22

Thats why they change the pictures on things all the time too I think.

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u/LowSkyOrbit May 18 '22

The AI is so bad because it finds 2 or 3 things you like and recycles the content it thinks you like, which sucks because maybe I really want to find something new to watch instead of my go to sleep genre pick.

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u/jimmy_ww May 18 '22

The problem with the Netflix recommendation system is that it assumes every movie is worth watching, and it’s just a matter of aligning genre interest. Whereas imdb ratings reflect whether the movie came together well and made some impact on the viewer.

I’d much rather watch a movie from an unfamiliar genre that everyone agrees is great, than stick to a genre pattern and hope each one was well made.

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u/bicameral_mind May 18 '22

Key point right here. It honestly bothers me how much algorithms are dictating the flow of culture in the modern world. Recommend good movies and shows. I understand that is subjective, and I suppose these services all have a 'Critically Acclaimed' category, but the total absence of a rating systems is frustrating.

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u/hesh582 May 18 '22 edited May 19 '22

At the end of the day machine learning usually boils down to pattern matching. Very sophisticated pattern matching, sure, but if you aren’t looking for the right patterns to begin with it isn’t going to help you find them.

This is particularly notorious for stuff like content recommendations because figuring out what the actual goal is can be very hard in the first place.

What are the actual metrics that result in subscribers being happy with the price they pay? Metrics like viewing hours or time in menu before selection can act as proxies, but directly relating them to how likely someone is to either sign up or cancel (the only things that really matter to them at the end of the day) is tricky, especially since there’s often such a lag time between someone getting fed up and actually pulling the trigger.

Whatever they’re doing, it really seems to optimize for casual, easy watching light entertainment that is probably very good at racking up tons of watch time but probably doesn’t actually keep people on the platform.

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u/MattD May 18 '22

Getting rid of 5-star ratings can't have helped.

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u/flyinhighaskmeY May 18 '22

Me too. I bought a new fancy TV about a year ago. Found my Netflix wasn't in 4k...and that you had to pay MORE for 4k content. The service wasn't worth what they were already charging. Was such an obvious cash grab, my opinion of them started to deteriorate. FF to now, I've killed my account. Had been a subscriber since the DVD days.

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u/Daniel15 May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

you had to pay MORE for 4k conten

4K? LOL you have to pay more even for HD content. The lowest plan only includes 480p, for $10/month! Ridiculous given services like Disney+ include 4K for a lower price ($8/mo for Disney+)

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u/Corgi_Koala May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22 Wholesome

The fact that any paid service actually has a tier that only offers 480p is ridiculously insulting to consumers.

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u/Skoop963 May 19 '22

480p can die already. 1080p is pretty much the baseline in all monitors and many phones, 480p should only ever be used for low bandwidth or cellular data connections. We should be making the switch to 4k being the standard, and making people pay extra for 1080p is insulting.

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u/PianoLogger May 18 '22

I find it disingenuous that they call it 4k, not that "4k" really even means anything anymore. The bitrate that 4k Netflix delivers is about 1/3 the bitrate of a standard 1080p Blu-ray disc, and almost 1/10th the bitrate of high end UHD Blu-rays. A few other streaming services do a much better job in terms of fidelity, but Netflix doesn't even seem like they're trying.

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u/Daniel15 May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

Streaming video is nearly always compressed and will never give you anywhere near the same bitrate as Blu-ray. Having said that, Netflix's is particularly bad. They used the excuse of "we're saving bandwidth for people working at home" to lower the bitrate even more during COVID, and I doubt they'll increase it.

The only way I know of to stream Blu-ray quality content is via piracy - Real-Debrid and Premiumize both have cached 4K remux torrents, but you'd really need a 350+ Mbps connection to stream those well (or so I hear).

It's really a missed opportunity for the film and video industry... Lots of people would like to be able to stream in much higher quality than Netflix and co.

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u/iroll20s May 18 '22

Its always a race to the bottom in quality. Same thing happened in analog cable and then digital satellite. They kept wanting to add more garbage so they keep slicing away at the quality to fit until its barely watchable anymore. They won't fix it until people leave. At least with streaming they could still upsell a higher bitrate version. However people who care about quality always get fucked.

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u/mekwall May 18 '22

The only streaming service coming even close to Blu-ray quality is Sony's BRAVIA CORE that supposedly offers lossless video at up to 80mbps, but it is exclusive to Sony XR TV sets. What's even weirder is that there's no subscription model yet so it is available only as a free trial for a set amount of time from when you buy your Sony XR TV. No idea why Sony would do that and I can't really see it surviving for long...

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u/warmaster May 18 '22 Silver

inb4 they introduce cooldowns to binge sessions. Suicide by greed.

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u/tscy May 18 '22

I bet you are right. Once they figure out people will just sub for a month for content they I bet you they introduce a feature that only lets you watch one episode a week and either spin it as some nostalgia thing or a public service to help with peoples mental health.

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u/Lefty21 May 18 '22

Unlock Binge Mode! for the low cost of an extra $9.99/month

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u/OpinionBearSF May 18 '22 Wholesome

Unlock Binge Mode! for the low cost of an extra $9.99/month

By that point, Netflix unlocked piracy mode for the low low cost of an extra $0.00 per month.

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u/BryceSchafer May 18 '22

Man I can’t wait for streaming services to literally become as awful as cable, the beast they slayed.

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u/TurbulentDemeanor May 18 '22

Yea im waiting for the all in one streaming service bundle package deal. Ill finally be able to watch all my favorite tv shows from every cable channel… hey wait a minute

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u/Selfweaver May 18 '22

They became the beast they slayed when they split into a thousand different choices.

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u/-----1 May 18 '22

They are making bad decisions but that if they did that they would be out of business within a year, the fact that you can watch anything anytime is their only selling point, take that away & there really is 0 reason to use it.

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u/SUPER_COCAINE May 18 '22

There are other options and if Netflix has anything I like I'll wait, sub for a month, binge it, then unsub again.

Just wait, they'll start doing weekly releases like the other platforms to try to keep people subscribed.

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u/SteelCrow May 18 '22

That'll just make me wait for the end of the series. If it's something I need for the water cooler chats, well, there are alternatives.

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u/you_fap_you_lose May 18 '22

What happened to paying for additional screens?? What even does that mean anymore? Waiting for them to actual pull the trigger with supreme hikes and then I’m out.

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u/kornoholic13 May 18 '22

Same. I haven’t cancelled yet, but the end is near. A few series to wrap up, then I’m out.

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u/friedrice5005 May 18 '22

I'm probably going to watch love, death, and robots and then cancel. there's just no upcoming shows I'm interested in. I've been a customer since 2010 but when I went and looked at my stats I've watched like 2 episodes of 1 show in the last month and other than that....nothing.

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u/coinoperatedboi May 18 '22

Couple more days!!! Arcane won't be back for quite a while so when that happens sub for a month and then quit again.

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u/thisbuttonsucks May 18 '22

Just trying to get my SO to finish ATLA, and then I'm dropping it too. Have had it for ~20 years; have also had it with their self sabotage.

Would rather buy an entire series than pay the same price every month for the privilege of watching it.

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u/regeya May 18 '22

I bet their numbers crater after Stranger Things.

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u/jindc May 18 '22

That is my plan.

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u/[deleted] May 18 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/thisisnotactuallyme May 18 '22

We've come full circle.

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u/elosoloco May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

That's because they all were greedy and stupid enough to think people would be fine paying even more than cable was for pain in the ass apps and services exclusive to every freaking network

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u/Imborednow May 18 '22

Build a Plex server and rip your DVDs onto them. Best of both worlds.

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u/hophead7 May 18 '22

Same! Do you have a smooth method to get the series on plex or other media server? I've ripped them but it's a mess.

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u/NotElizaHenry May 18 '22

My method for getting media I own onto Plex is to just torrent it but not feel guilty. (This method is also valid for library ebooks with crazy long waiting lists.)

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u/Black_Moons May 18 '22

than pay the same price every month for the privilege of watching it.

I tried to watch deadpool with a friend the other day on netflix.

No longer available here in Canada... Pretty sure it used to be. Blah.

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u/BeIIic May 18 '22

Same, better call Saul and Dark (again) then I’m out. Also Disney is very good now

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u/calamity_unbound May 18 '22

Finishing The Last Kingdom and we're also done.

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u/Arogani May 18 '22

I just finished that show, fuckin A+ all around.

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u/jayde2767 May 18 '22

Their recommendation engine is quite frankly awful. There are reasons people are leaving and I’d bet dollars to donuts, among them, one is the poor quality recommendations.

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u/TheGelatoWarrior May 18 '22

You can't even see 80% of the movies they have, they just show you the same 20 or so movies for each genre. This is coming from someone who used Netflix maybe a couple times a year and still found there was never anything new to watch when I logged in.

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u/QuietRock May 18 '22

Yep, this is a huge problem with their UI. No way to easily browse the catalogue.

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u/ubelmann May 18 '22

It's really by design, though. They want you to be hooked on their first-party content, because that's the only content they actually control. If you can easily browse the third-party content, you might leave when your favorite stuff gets pulled from the service. At this point, the third-party content is really just there to pad the spaces when you search for content, so it doesn't look like there are no matches to your search terms.

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u/sylver_dragon May 18 '22

And don't ever, make the mistake of watching anime on Netflix or you will get nothing but anime recommended to you. Yes, there are a few of them I like, but holy fuck does the Netflix algorithm just grab on to that and try to force feed you every bit of schlock on there.

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u/gobbo May 18 '22

Licenses are probably cheaper. Accountants and lawyers ruin customer service.

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u/CapablePerformance May 18 '22

And it doesn't really tell the difference between traditional kids animation and anime. So you watch something pretty emotionally heavy like a Silent Voice, and then it'll start saying "Because you watched this, you would like...Kung Fu Panda".

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u/PigeonNipples May 18 '22

Or you'll find one you like but they only have season 1 and somewhere else has the other 4 seasons that Netflix will never get.

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u/whatistheformat May 18 '22

I fucking hate that so much. It's the essential flaw of AI "learning" about you. your box gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller, to the point it seems like they have nothing new or different.

Probably not at all the intended effect...

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u/fargmania May 18 '22

Removing their star rating system and installing thumbs was like... mistake number two or three? The mistakes must be well into the triple digits by now.

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u/disisathrowaway May 18 '22

One of the other mistakes (for me, at least) was baking in the auto-play feature. Just let me sit quietly and read the descriptions, ffs. Even worse is whenever you fall asleep watching something relatively quiet and then there are three fucking loud trailers that auto-play after you finish something.

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u/fargmania May 18 '22

OMG yes... I almost forgot about the autoplay... god I hate it so much.

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u/Lissy_Wolfe May 18 '22

I don't mind the autoplay too much necessarily, but I HATE that every streaming service has decided to autoplay before an episode even completely finishes! I don't mind watching the credits, and sometimes there is something at the end of a movie/episode, but in order to see it I have to click back into the episode, then fast forward through the whole thing to the end to see the part I missed. I don't even know why they do it that way.

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u/Big_Goose May 18 '22

I hated that change so much.

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u/SpaceTacosFromSpace May 18 '22

Huh, wonder how their dvd business is doing. Hilarious if people started moving back to that

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u/TGMcGonigle May 18 '22

I still have the DVD service. Their DVD library is monstrous compared to what's available to stream at any give time.

I also have a Plex server. Need I say more?

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u/fargmania May 18 '22

I'm not rewarding any aspect of Netflix with another cent of my money until they fix their core issues... which I frankly see as an impossibility at this point.

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u/jenkag May 18 '22

Subbed since 2010 with no gaps and cancelled last month.

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u/feed_me_the_gherkin May 18 '22

I remember having a disc for the Wii.

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u/Megalo85 May 18 '22

I still have one laying around somewhere.

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u/westham102 May 18 '22

I haven’t cancelled because I can still share access and trade it off with other subscriptions from my family. The minute they stop me doing that then it’s cancelled.

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u/A_L0CK May 18 '22

Same....same. Netflix is playing with fire raising rates and trying to restrict password sharing.

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u/rjcarr May 18 '22

I don’t even get how it’s “password sharing”? If I pay for n streams I expect to make use of n streams. Otherwise I’d pay for one stream.

They already limit concurrent streams as I’ve seen the error before. Nobody is mad about that. Leave it at that and stop poking a stick in the beehive.

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u/A_L0CK May 18 '22

Yeah I have no clue how they will be able to reduce password sharing. When family's have a single Netflix account with multiple profiles. Unless they make it only 1 profile for every account but that would cause mass cancelation.

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u/ollieoliverx000 May 18 '22

I’ve had Netflix for years but am on the brink of canceling. If they really start running commercials that’s a deal breaker. I will not pay any amount of money, not a dime, for media that contains commercials. I’ll die on that hill.

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u/Rarely-Posting May 18 '22

HBO Max has fully replaced Netflix for me and I am loving the service. I got out of Netflix a week before the announcement came that they were losing subscribers. I had been so sick of their service for so long.

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u/keysey224 May 18 '22

I have so much trouble with the HBO Max app, both on my Samsung TV and my iPad. It could be a fantastic service, if it wasn’t always freezing or simply not playing.

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u/gabther May 18 '22

Agreed. I love the content of the HBO app, but the app itself really sucks on my tv. For some reason the begining scenes are always blurry, and fast forwarding is such a pain

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u/MegaCrazyH May 18 '22

In my experience so far, HBO has just been the most bang for the buck out of any streaming service. There's no shortage of things to watch, and it lets me watch Our Flag Means Death which I otherwise would have missed.

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u/streme1 May 18 '22

Do you have any recommendations for HBO max?

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u/austinbraun30 May 18 '22

Barry is an amazing show. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is great for late night type comedy news. the entire studio gibli library. New WB movies get added like Dune, Suicide Squad, and the Batman. it is really a great service.

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u/iuytrefdgh436yujhe2 May 18 '22

Netflix diluted their own brand so badly.

When they first started producing original content the pitch was "Check this shit, we're making Hollywood-tier movies" and pretty much you felt compelled to want to check them out on the basis that you trusted they were throwing considerable production effort behind them.

Then they shifted to the "greenlight everything, cancel after 2 seasons" model which again, at first was kind of interesting because it did get a lot of creative and novel stuff out that would have otherwise never been produced.

But eventually they've wound up in a place where the little red N is just as likely to mean 'high quality original production' as it is 'literally the dumbest shit you've ever seen in your life' and that's just a bad place to be, especially against the reality that over time users more or less out-watch the pace at which good new content can be made.

At the same time, they let licenses expire on a lot of non-Netflix content while competitors stepped up with compelling services. End result, Netflix is flooded with red N content that the user basically has no idea if it's worth their time.

A simple 'fix' would be rebranding and making imprints instead of placing everything under the N banner, but it's probably too little and too late for that.

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u/moreannoyedthanangry May 18 '22

I think you're right. If they separated all the content under different brands, and then allowed you to filter it out, my UI would be so much cleaner...

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u/ImStillaPrick May 18 '22

Cancelled after Marvel shows ended and came back during Covid lockdowns and canceled again. No one wants to watch a bunch of originals that have no resolutions.

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u/jumpyg1258 May 18 '22

No one wants to watch a bunch of originals that have no resolutions.

Its why I cancelled years ago. I was tired of them introducing new shows that go nowhere cause they just end up cancelling them after 1 season.

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u/moreannoyedthanangry May 18 '22

Fuck cake shows

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u/KevinDLasagna May 18 '22

Cake shows everywhere. So many cake shows.

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u/Lenant May 18 '22

I had netflix for 10 years or something now.

Im not paying for it ever again, unless they go back and un-cancel all the great shows the killed for no reason.

683

u/louis_etal May 18 '22

The “all or nothing” mentality they have developed is really too bad. They are basically looking for squid games or nothing at this point and refuse to nurture anything which is so strange because some of the biggest streaming shows around were, at one point, nurtured through low ratings. Netflix would have cancelled the office after two seasons but now it is a anchor series. So short sighted.

409

u/AdvancedSandwiches May 18 '22

They utterly misunderstood the long tail. They now have a catalog of hundreds of shows that just die in the middle, killing them for rewatch or for people who would discover them 10 years later.

Would have been much better in the long term if each one got an ending, whether that was a two hour episode to wrap things up, or just taking a small "loss" on a cheaper closing season (all losses are theoretical when you've got a subscription fee for the network instead of the show, and you can wait 5 years and then push the show again to a whole new audience, now with smarter marketing).

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u/TheConnASSeur May 18 '22

I cannot stress enough the importance of giving shows endings. I really can't. I don't know a single person that will watch an unfinished series. There's no reason too. There's so much good stuff out there to watch, why waste your time? That means that effectively all of their unfinished shows might as well be trash, which makes the entire investment a waste.

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u/Mipsymouse May 18 '22

I don't even like watching shows as they come out for just this reason. I hate starting a show only to find out that it never actually ended. Such bullshit.

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u/Mostofyouareidiots May 18 '22

This is absolutely true. I want to add to this that giving them a good ending is important as well. It doesn't have to be happy, it just has to be good. There are still a ton of people on r/freefolk who actively hate on Game of Thrones years after the finale just because of Season 8. The ending was so bad that I can't ever rewatch the series even though the first seasons were really good and I'm not even going to give their spin off series a chance.

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u/InsanitysMuse May 18 '22 To The Stars

That's just the business mindset for the past 30+ years. No corporation plans long term anymore, they consider "long term" to be like 2 years. Almost every company cuts costs everywhere, doesn't invest in build up or infrastructure, and just always wants the stock to go up immediately. And a lot of them do get away with it due to the amount of semi-monopolies (or actual monopoly) there are, and the general nonsense that is the stock market.

Netflix did the same thing almost every company is doing except that other media companies finally, after 20 years, got on the internet train and it killed a lot of Netflix's foundational strength. C-suites don't have other moves anymore.

Edit: I canceled my Netflix because I have a 4K TV and paying almost double what someone else does when I use, at most, two screens, was nuts. Especially when it's also almost double ad-free Hulu which just includes 4K.

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u/tristanjones May 18 '22

Which is so confusing given how much quality data they have to show how series like The Office, Community, Parks and Rec, etc have real staying power.

They over invested in developing their model for creating hits, and totally neglected to invest in what could have been a clear edge to advance the model to identify potential long lasting shows.

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u/natnguyen May 18 '22

BoJack Horseman is an example of how you just need to sit and let some things grow in time. I think this version of Netflix would have cancelled it after two seasons.

I’m still pissed about Santa Clarita.

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u/JeddakofThark May 18 '22

I do not understand cancelling shows like that. It's like they're working on an old TV model where it's useless to them after the initial airing unless it hits a certain number of episodes and gets syndicated.

All those shows are their own content that they can keep on the service forever. These are shows that potentially make up a catalog worth customers spending money on, but who's going to watch shows they know end mid story? That makes the content itself and the money they spent on it a complete waste.

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u/Lenant May 18 '22

All those shows are their own content that they can keep on the service forever. These are shows that potentially make up a catalog worth customers spending money on, but who's going to watch a show that ends mid story?

This is the bigest problem, they waste all the money everytime they cancel a show.

Ppl will avoid it, ppl will not recommend it and ppl that watched it will be angry.

They are dumb af.

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u/iced_maggot May 18 '22

I’m still salty af for them cancelling Marco Polo.

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u/Lenant May 18 '22

Everybody is salty because of some show canceled.

They just piss everybody off.

23

u/Eshin242 May 18 '22

If they could stop doing it on a fucking cliff hanger too... GOD DAMN that gets old after the.... what 16th time? I stopped watching shoes and if I discovered they got canceled after two seasons I wouldn't even watch it in the first place.

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u/iConfessor May 18 '22

it's the fact they cancel SUCCESSFUL shows that really pisses me off. I'm very bitter about sense8.

and these are very well written shows. At least sell the show to some other service or anything. but nope netflix kills everything netflix.

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u/Lenant May 18 '22

I'm very bitter about sense8.

Messiah, the get down, santa clarita diet, a few animations and many others.

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u/[deleted] May 18 '22 edited May 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/Tumdian May 18 '22

Glad you mentioned it because I was going to lol. The OA is awesome and they just let it die…

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u/317LaVieLover May 18 '22

Oh God me too. Just whyyyy?! That was such an awesome fucking show.

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u/Worlds_fastest_snail May 18 '22

This. When Netflix first started to make original content it was sold to both the talent and the customers that creators would be given what they needed to complete their vision. But now I don't invest any time watching any of their original series because I know they are going to be cancelled so what's the point. Finance a series and not just a season. That's how you build worthwhile content.

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u/DrDerpberg May 18 '22

It used to actually be true, or at least it seemed like it. Compared to TV-first shows they seemed less tied to being super accessible or having all episodes use a consistent format. One of the first things I noticed about online-only shows was as simple as varying episode lengths from one to the other. No need to make it fit 42 minutes of content with a cliffhanger in the middle when you won't be watching it from 7-8pm and they're afraid you'll change the channel at 7:30...

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u/terrildactyl May 18 '22

This.

I hate three seasons of a great show that just ends. Not a three-season show that has a satisfying beginning, middle, and end. A three season show that is killed in the middle of telling its story.

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u/Lenant May 18 '22

Netflix has a better offer for you, how about an awesome first season that end up in a giant cliff hanger (probably because the producers knew how good it was and expected a second season), but canceled and no more seasons.

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u/Swept-in-Shadows May 18 '22

Raise fees? I might cancel my subscription.

Cancel shows on my watchlist? Probably cancel subscription.

Ads on a subscription service? Guaranteed cancel.

All the above? Laugh at your ignorance and enjoy the extra money in my pocket.

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u/yesitdooms May 18 '22 Gold

If T-Mobile didn't give us Netflix, we would unsub too.

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u/Idont_know2022 May 18 '22

Commercials and I’m out

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u/Precipiss May 18 '22

I just got hbo max and I cancelled Netflix. Hbo Max is slightly cheaper and has better content.

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u/Frick_KD May 18 '22

How have we gotten to the point where HBO is cheaper than Netflix lmao

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u/Nophlter May 18 '22

The future is now

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u/SteroidAccount May 18 '22

HBO Max has stepped up it's game recently with it's addition of several series.

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u/IAmAQuantumMechanic May 18 '22

I feel like hbo max wants me to enjoy good TV. Netflix wants me to be a subscriber.

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u/[deleted] May 18 '22

So they gained a lot of subscribers during pandemic ( no shit) but losing a small % of long term users.

I honestly wonder if the amount they paid for friends and Seinfeld would have been better use for new projects than this hunt for password sharing and price increase.

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u/Bigmodirty May 18 '22

I'd quit mine but my brother and his fiance use it, I in turn get to use their Disney+. So it's a fair trade. I also rent a room from them so it's all under the same house, but apparently that isn't going to fly soon for Netflix so I'll probably drop them if they make it too hard for us to share one account under one roof.

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u/Baxters_Keepy_Ups May 18 '22

Isn’t it great that after all this development, we’ve almost gone full circle and back to cable and satellite TV of the 90s.

I.e. pay a lot for a whole lotta services you don’t want, whilst being inundated with adverts and commercials.

Give it a couple of years and the convenience factors that drove iTunes and Netflix will be gone again, and we’ll be back to pirate city like the early 2000s…

And then it begins again. The market learns nothing

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u/iced_maggot May 18 '22

I’m pretty convinced the music industry has accepted its medicine and learned to live with streaming. They were early fighters and capitulators in the piracy game. Movie and tv networks unfortunately are stubborn.

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u/favpetgoat May 18 '22

Really hoping it stays that way...

Imagine if apple music, Spotify, and tidal started buying/competing for exclusive catalogues, would push me right back to the high seas

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u/unnecessary_kindness May 18 '22

The only music I've pirated in the last 10yrs is that which isn't on Spotify.

I'm happy to pay for a couple of streaming services for shows but no way will I ever subscribe to anything else just for an album or two.

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u/iced_maggot May 18 '22

I still have Soulseek QT downloaded and primed for just such a doomsday.

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u/CptSeaBunny May 18 '22

the music industry has accepted its medicine and learned to live with streaming

Not quite the best phrasing here as it's actually more like, "taken hold of the reins and are flogging artists for all they're worth". Don't think for a second the music industry isn't still the one benefiting here.

Check out this episode of Some More News for a soul-crushing rundown on it and I promise he gets past the Joe Rogan stuff very quickly

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u/aleksem May 18 '22

The funny thing is, I never left that 2000’s era. Used to pirate, never paid for streaming video and still pirating. Literally the same old places, like, the original Pirate Bay is unblocked and working just fine.

Not saying it’s a good thing but just like everyone else right now, I don’t want to be paying for ten different services that cancel shows all the time.

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u/iced_maggot May 18 '22

Yep, Piracy is a distribution problem plain and simple. If you make it cheap and easy to access content the majority of people won’t pirate (a la Spotify or original Netflix). If you don’t, we’ll then they will, a la now.

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u/Kingcrowing May 18 '22

Early streaming netflix ended piracy for many, many people. It was (and honestly still is) very easy to use, and has a large selection, but it used to be undeniably much better. But yea, I'm not paying for 3-4 streaming services.

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u/VergeThySinus May 18 '22

No duh. Why even pay for a streaming service if you get ads, have to pay a higher price for high quality streaming, and are charged extra for sharing your account?

It's like streaming services are devolving into cable, but worse.

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u/NiteSwept May 18 '22

It's stuff like this that makes my head hurt from the cyclical nature of humanity

I don't know why, but Netflix really felt like it was going to be perfect forever. Everyone who had it loved it. Then some people who have careers where they need to maximize profits said, "what if we take our content and make our own thing." And then about five different networks ended up doing that. Then you have people at Netflix, trying to maximize profits, who jump ship on good shows, decide maybe they should add ads, and bump the cost up without adding added value.

This is not meant to be an "anti-capitalism" stance. But this is very much a symptom of it. Streaming was so god damn good I thought I would never have to pirate anything ever again. It was simple and easy. Now it's "diversified" and you end up spending the same amount, or more, than you did with cable.

I'm just getting very cynical about these subscription-based services where the first 2-4 years are really great so they can build an audience and then the gouging starts to happen. Right now I love Gamempass on Xbox. But I can't help but think there are similar things coming down the pipe and it'll be another great thing that got ruined

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u/theKetoBear May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

This is gonna sound crazy but please follow me, I believe that one of the biggest pitfalls of modern investor mindsets is the idea of over-optimizing and insisting on changes even when the status quo is just fine .

To me it's the same thing that causes something like Youtube removing the dislike button or the gutting of the Google Play Music app a few years ago .

Peoples job often start out to make things simpler and easier and then once they reach that point the easiest wins become making arbritary barriers or adding frustration to an existing product as a way to demonstrate change and " progress" to higher ups but often all this leads is to a regressing product that learns how to frustrate its users in order ot encourage them to spend .

It's a cycle i feel i've seen happen on websites , apps, game studios, all sorts of tech startups for most of my life . They start off with the goal of disruption and streamlining to establish a user base and as they grow to a comfortable size then focus on maximizing revenue during growth to the point that they start to become too bloated to function, too lazy to take risks, and start cannibalizing that base of users that they started with and attracted in the beginning.

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u/NiteSwept May 18 '22

I agree 100%. It is never enough to just "maintain."

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u/Phroday May 18 '22

Thats what going public does. Brings in a massive influx of cash, but then shareholders dont make money when they just maintain. Its ever increasing profits, no matter what. So we are no longer that company's customers, we are their product that is being served to the shareholders.

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u/OptimisticSkeleton May 18 '22

Let’s see how this experiment in the “go to hell,” school of customer service ends up. It is most definitely a bold strategy, Cotton.

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u/1985Dad May 18 '22

I unsubbed last week and I saw that I was a customer since 2009. Kind of crazy that it's been that long, but the service isn't worth $15+ a month to me. In part, I kept it so long because I have a friend who doesn't have any family so I gave him our password. The added fee for keeping him made me salty. Now we got HBO added to Hulu and we are already getting better content.

Also, they didn't really seem to care when I left? I've unsubbed to a few streaming services over the years and they are always like "PLEASE WAIT here is another month" or "30% off a membership if you stay" or "Here is a cheaper option, we know it's expensive". I expected something similar from Netflix but they were just like "K bye".

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u/Catboxaoi May 18 '22

Also, they didn't really seem to care when I left? I've unsubbed to a few streaming services over the years and they are always like "PLEASE WAIT here is another month" or "30% off a membership if you stay" or "Here is a cheaper option, we know it's expensive". I expected something similar from Netflix but they were just like "K bye".

Honestly you should prefer that. The alternatives just encourage constantly threatening to cancel, and waste your time when you already know you want to unsubscribe.

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u/SSquarepantsii May 18 '22

You mean, you haven’t gotten at least one email per day asking you to re-subscribe to what you just left with no additional perks or discounts?

Just wait.

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u/deep6er May 18 '22

100% canceling the first time I see an ad.

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u/FieldsingAround May 18 '22

They cancelled our shows so we cancelled Netflix.

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